Why Pakistan is a hidden gem for remote hiring


Before 2020, the world of work was already being transformed by rapidly advancing communication technologies, globalisation, and outsourcing. The Covid-19 pandemic greatly accelerated this transformation, with a behavioural shift towards remote work now firmly entrenched. Both workers and firms are now increasingly questioning whether physical borders and offices should determine how teams are hired and managed. 

At Bettersource, we help our clients adapt to the future of work by enabling them to hire and work with the best talent from developing and emerging economies. We are able to do this because of our deep knowledge of these markets, and on-ground presence there. Through strong relationships with universities and other talent hubs, and our own specialised recruitment teams, we select top professionals who can seamlessly integrate with international teams.

In this piece, we give an overview of our top talent sourcing market, Pakistan. It is a country of about 220 million people, the world’s fifth most populous. Like most developing economies, it faces structural impediments to growth but for those who look closely, there are valuable opportunities too. In our assessment, there are five major factors that make Pakistan’s labour market highly suitable for remote hiring by global firms.

  • A youth bulge. Pakistan’s population is one of the youngest in the world, with a staggering 64% of it below the age of 25. Large numbers of young and educated people will continue to enter the job market each year for the foreseeable future, while on the other hand we are witnessing talent shortages in more developed markets. Remote hiring is an obvious solution to this demand-supply mismatch.
  • Growing number of English-speakers. Although a majority of Pakistanis speak Urdu and other local languages, there is a rapidly growing sub-section of urban residents who are proficient in English. Education in the English language was long the preserve of a small elite, but mushrooming private schools and universities are now extending access to millions.
  • Emerging tech talent. While Pakistan is still behind regional peers such as India when it comes to the information, communications, and technology (ICT) sector, recent years have seen strong growth. ICT exports in 2021 grew by over 40%, and there has been an influx of venture capital funding into technology start-ups. This is being enabled by a growing pool of software engineers entering the job market, and a steadily growing broadband and 4G internet penetration amongst consumers.
  • Competitive human resource pricing. Pakistan’s formal economy remains small relative to the largely undocumented informal economy. This means there aren’t enough services-oriented, white-collar jobs in the corporate sector to absorb all such job seekers. This over-supply of talent is an opportunity to hire high quality remote professionals, in an extremely cost-effective way.
  • Reversing brain drain. Pakistan’s best young graduates and professionals face a difficult choice, of leaving their families behind to emigrate abroad in search of better opportunities. In a society of large and close-knit families, this is disruptive at a personal level, in addition to the economy losing out on some of its best human resources. By connecting such people with remote work opportunities, we help them live at home while being a part of the global economy, an instance of win-win globalisation.

The key for truly global businesses to succeed in their talent strategy will increasingly be to understand developing and emerging markets. Bettersource is committed to being a partner that can help clients achieve this, by sharing our insights gained through years of experience operating in these geographies. The best professionals are just waiting to be found – we can help you meet them.