How to Hire Developers in Portugal and Benefit

January 25, 2023

10 min read

Due to  the COVID-19 outbreak, companies all over the globe started to digitize their processes, leading to an increased  demand for software development services. In turn, software development companies faced IT specialists shortage, which made them go beyond the local market in search for foreign IT talent. 

Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world, with a sufficient number of affordable developers, especially in comparison  to the USA and the rest of the EU. Even though Portugal is a good location for hiring, the talent market is different there, and it’s essential to know about these differences. What does the local talent market look like? What are the typical employment types? Where do you  look for candidates? These are the common questions companies face when they seek to hire employees from abroad.

This article will tell you everything you need to start recruiting Portuguese IT talent.

5 Major Reasons to Hire Portuguese Developers

Why should companies hire IT talent in Portugal, despite having so many options all over the globe? There are a few reasons:

Balanced Developer Seniority

One of the advantages of the software development market in Portugal is an equal number of developers of different levels: junior, middle and senior specialists. In Ukraine, for example, there are more junior specialists than senior ones. It is important for the project’s success to have enough high-level specialists — with relevant and sufficient experience — which Portugal is able to offer.

This balance in seniority works for developers, and as for other specializations, such as design or project management, the ratio of seniority levels is about the same as in other countries.

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High English Proficiency

According to the Education First English Proficiency Index 2022, Portugal holds the 9th position, being considered as having a “Very High” English Proficiency. Interestingly, Portugal’s neighboring countries — France, Spain, and Italy — have a “Moderate” proficiency in English. Therefore, you can always find a common language with IT specialists from Portugal, generating  a positive effect on the work process.

English Proficiency Index 2022

Cultural Compatibility and Convenient Time Zone

It is favorable for European companies to work with Portuguese developers for hire because they have a similar work ethic. When choosing a job, the Portuguese give  attention to the project itself, the proficiency of the team, and possibilities to further develop skills. At the same time, they are responsible, adhere to deadlines, and try to exceed customer expectations. 

An added bonus: Portugal has the same time zone as London. Among European countries, Portugal is closest to North America and Canada, with only a 5-hour time difference. While  with Western European countries, Portugal has only a 1-hour time difference, providing more convenience and efficiency for working with teams from this area. 

New YorkTorontoLisbonLondonOsloAmsterdamBerlinBrusselsWarsawKyiv

Political Stability and Safety

Russian aggression towards Ukraine has shown how important it is to consider stability and safety when outstaffing or hiring remote employees. You will be pleased to know that  Portugal is 6th in the 2022 Global Peace Index.  Such a high rate of stability guarantees businesses the security of investment and the possibility of strategic planning.

Global Companies Offices and R&D Centers

Many global companies such as Amazon, Google, Oracle, Capgemini, SAP, Cisco Systems,, and so on have their local offices or R&D centers in Portugal. IT outsourcing in Portugal is widespread; not only do many Portuguese developers have  great tech and English skills, but they also have experience working in multinational companies. 

In sum, Portugal is the ideal  country for hiring developers because of the convenient time zone, safe environment, and cultural similarities. On top of that  you are able to save time on business trips since it only takes 2-3 hours to travel anywhere in the EU from Portugal, and around 8 hours to the USA.

Note, you can open a business in Portugal in three days because of the transparent legislative system.

Portuguese IT Market Short Overview

The Software Development in Portugal industry, valued at €982.5m is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5% from 2021 to 2025, reaching $1.3 billion by 2025. There are 10,126 people employed in the Software Development in Portugal industry as of 2023.

Lisbon became the home of one of the most prominent technological conferences in the world,  Web Summit. Held annually since 2015, the event attracts many diverse people: Fortune 500 company owners, startups, investors, sales reps, and anybody who is interested in technology.  

Why people attend Web Summit:

  • Fresh entrepreneurs strive to introduce startups and find investors;
  • Investors look for a future star to invest money in it;
  • Business owners look for new clients and partners;
  • Gaining knowledge about the latest trends in technology, especially blockchain;
  • Networking. 

Web Summit significantly increased the recognition and popularity of Portugal. At the same time, this event inspired the local government to create a start-up friendly ecosystem to boost technology development in the country and positively influence the economy. They put significant effort into the development of small businesses and offered a number of incentives for startups, including tax breaks and funding opportunities. According to the 2022 Startup & Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report, there are 2,039 registered startups in the country. It is clear  that the development of Portuguese IT is rapid and promising. 

Besides, one of the advantages of IT outsourcing in Portugal is the quality-price ratio. The average software engineer salary in Portugal is €24,769 per year (2,064 per month). 

Note, your company will get responsible, high-skilled contractors that would be more affordable than their Polish, Czech, and Bulgarian colleagues.

It seems that if you are starting a tech company, Portugal is definitely worth considering, don’t you think?

What You Should Know to Start Hiring Developers in Portugal 

Let’s move further to recruitment in Portugal and its peculiarities. Our recruiters have extensive experience hiring IT professionals in Portugal, and our global recruitment lead, Snezhana, shared valuable information for those considering hiring in Portugal.

Number of IT Candidates and Common Technologies

There are 10,126 IT specialists in Portugal and almost 4,000 companies, including the offices of global companies like Amazon, Google, Oracle, Capgemini, SAP, Cisco Systems, and more.

Leading companies in the local market are Uniplaces (the international website for booking student accommodation) and Codacy (the software company that runs an automated code review tool that helps developers to save time in code reviews and  tackle technical debt).

Among the most popular stacks of technologies are Java, JavaScript, .Net, PHP, Ruby, and Python. So if you are looking for specialists mastered in these technologies, try to look for them in Portugal.

Typical Employment Types

There are three types of employment in Portugal: employment contract, self-employed, and non-habitual residents. 

People with employment contracts pay a social security contribution – 11% from their salaries and their employers pay 23,75%. Self-employed people or habitual residents pay income tax at a progressive rate from 14.5% up to 48%. Non-Habitual Residents pay an equal income tax rate – 20%.

Basic Employment Terms and Benefits

If you want to hire developers in Portugal, you should know about the working conditions they are accustomed to. 

The average software developer in Portugal works 8 hours per day. Overtime hours are paid. The first hour is paid at 125% of the regular hourly rate, and each subsequent hour at 137.5%. Each hour on weekends and holidays is paid at 150% of the hourly rate.

The probationary period lasts from 3 to 6 months. The notice period is 1-2 months as usual.

Among the job perks are these:

  • 13 national holidays;
  • 22 paid days off;
  • the 13th and the 14th salaries (in June and December);
  • medical insurance; 
  • food vouchers; 
  • retirement contributions; 
  • sports compensation;
  • bonuses for achieving professional goals and KPI.

Read our article about social packages and job perks in other countries: Job Perks and Social Packages Around the World

Communication Specifics Based on StaffingPartner Team Experience

The StaffingPartner Recruiting Team has already had various successful hires in this location, and along with that we have some insights to share with our readers. 

What you should expect when hiring in Portugal:  

  • a high rate of response;
  • easy communication with candidates;
  • candidates want to know exactly what their gross and net salary are, they ask for a link to a calculator;
  • they ask about salary in EUR per year;
  • interviews are usually schedule  for after working hours;
  • initiate sharing feedback after the interview;
  • 98% want to work remotely; 
  • the work day typically starts anywhere from 11 am to 3 pm.

Portuguese Websites for Talent Sourcing

Besides Indeed, Upwork, Portuguese IT specialists are looking for jobs on such websites:

You can try these platforms to look for local IT talent, but you should remember that our company will be delighted to assist you in search. Working with us, you get qualified local candidates along with our team’s expertise and suggestions.

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Relocation Practices

Portuguese rarely relocate. However, they consider moving closer to the Portuguese sea coast  (would we blame them?). Usually, they relocate from the periphery to the bigger cities such as Lisbon, Porto, Braga, Funchal (Madeira), Ponta Delgada (the Azores), Aveiro, Coimbra, Portimão. 

“It’s a pleasure to communicate with candidates from Portugal, as they are really open-minded, ask many questions, and give honest feedback after the interview. They mostly prefer to work for the local IT market, but we have experience recruiting Portuguese developers for Israeli, Swiss, and American companies for  remote positions or regional offices of global companies, since  developers from Portugal rarely relocate.”

— Snezhana Khadzhy, Global Recruitment Team Lead at StaffingPartner

In a nutshell, when  hiring developers from Portugal you should keep these points in mind.


Portugal has everything to become a great location for your next remote IT talent hires. In this article we shared basic info about this IT market — so now you know where to start — but remember that a real hands-on experience is always the best!

Our team has experience with global talent, including a vast database of candidates from Portugal. Feel free to get in touch with us to delegate your recruitment or get a consultation on efficient hiring in Portugal from our recruitment experts.

Is Portugal good for developers?

There are good standards of living in Portugal. The best beaches, low cost of living, good products, and low level of crime, making it a  magnet for IT specialists across the world, especially in Eastern Europe.

How many software developers are in Portugal?

There are 10,126 IT specialists in Portugal and almost 4,000 companies.

Why are tech companies moving to Portugal?

The Portuguese government promotes innovation with infrastructure, human capital, and technology investments to enable technological development.

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