What does Toptal do?

Toptal is a freelance marketplace platform that provides remote contractors for large corporate clients. They claim to have only top talent in their network and put all freelancers through a four to six-week vetting process.

Toptal was started with the aim to fill this gap and to create a network of the best engineers and designers from various corners of the world. The platform claims to provide the best freelance talent, highly qualified, and fits your product requirements.

Founded in Silicon Valley in 2010 by only offering software developer services, but have since added designers and finance consultants to their service over the past few years. The company is fully distributed with all employees and freelancers working remotely. Employers can find software engineers, finance experts, and designers there. There are no offices, and only virtual teams gather there.

The search continues until the perfect match is found. They also suggest a no-risk trial period, which means that, if you are not satisfied with the initial results, you don’t have to pay anything. If you are dissatisfied, they are also able to restart the project and do it all over again. Let’s take a comprehensive look at the popular hiring platform Toptal and its suitability for hiring freelance developers.

Toptal Review: Pros and Cons


  • Quick access to a vetted database of freelancers: Toptal is the industry leader in vetted freelance networks and is a brand in itself. With its rigorous screening process,  you save enough of your time when hiring developers for small projects.
  • Experienced developers: You don’t have to deal with the zero experienced freelancers when connecting for the projects. It’s a hub of experienced developers and designers with quality talent.


  • Overly priced platform: Toptal brings you a platform of highly skilled freelance developers and designers completely overpriced. Instead, you can find better alternatives like Crewscale with the same quality of talent within a couple of weeks.
  • Lack of transparency in the billing process: Clients look for information on exactly how much is being spent on a particular developer within a time-bandwidth. One of the Toptal reviews shown below particularly focuses on the failed responses of the community.
  • Not feasible for smaller companies: For small projects, putting a huge amount on finding the best of developers could prove to be a huge risk. It is more like draining your company into financial losses without looking for a better fit. Here’s another Toptal review where the customer highlights the issue with the viability over smaller projects.
  • Inadequate customer services: There is no project management support and no client-facing tools for project management either. This means you’ve to manage developers yourself.

How much does Toptal cost?

Toptal requires an initial deposit of $500 once companies hire talent. If they decide not to move forward with the hiring process, the platform refunds the deposit amount in full.

However, the pricing plan ranges from $60 to $200 per hour, depending on the amount and quality of work required. On top of that, full-time freelance help to grow from $2,000 to $6,400 per week.

  • An initial refundable deposit of $500
  • Ranging from $60 to $200 per hour
  • Full-time freelance help from $2,000 to $6,400 per week

What is Toptal famous for?

  • Vetted Freelancers
    There are no unchecked specialists, all of them are selected and approved before they can be put onto the project. They focus on developers, designers, finance experts, and project managers for companies of all sizes.
  • Talent Relocation
    Toptal can also relocate freelancers if needed. This process generally takes only a week so companies are able to quickly work with their hired talent. You don’t need to organize any office space for the Toptal team, all you need to do is communicate your expectations.
  • Remote Work
    Toptal freelancers work from different places around the globe. They are able to work on their employers’ assigned working hours so the existing workflow is not disrupted. As a general rule, teams work remotely. If, however, you would like to have a specialist work physically at your office, this is also possible.
  • IP Protection
    Everything your freelancers do is kept private, including your IP and all related information. The level of security is very strong.

What does Toptal offer?

Toptal supposedly offers the top 3% of the development, design, and finance talent pool, but there are other sites like Toptal that might be the better choice in many cases. For example, Toptal is usually not suitable for smaller projects, and their rates are far too high for many businesses. Let’s dive into some major points that Toptal offers.

  • Hiring process
    With Toptal there are no recruiting fees or termination costs if the project gets canceled. Also, there is no agency markup. It usually takes up to 21 days to hire a developer, compared with over two months when hiring full-time employees.
  • Different sizes of teams
    You can have a different number of specialists in your team for various stages of the project or particular tasks. Toptal is quite flexible in this matter and can gather a team of any size to make it the most suitable for the task.
  • Pre-screened candidates
    Toptal accepts only 3 out of 100 applicants who apply to be a part of their network. To do this, they use a 4-stage vetting process: Interview, assessment, screening, and a test project.
  • Wide range of specialists
    There are front-end developers (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, etc.), and back-end developers (Python, Django, Java, C++, PHP, Ruby, iOS, Rails, etc.). Not only that, quality assurance specialists (Unit Testing, Selenium, PHPUnit, JUnit, Cucumber, etc.), designers and finance experts (FP&A, financial modeling & valuation, fundraising, market research, pricing analysis, etc.) on the team.
  • Any location in the world
    The network of Toptal freelancers has a global reach, which means that specialists from different countries can work on your project. Toptal has been working with different companies from Germany, the United States, Brazil, Russia, Canada, Japan, and others. Sometimes they even relocate their freelancers if it is necessary for the project.

Is Toptal right for you?

Let’s make it simple for you. If overpaying isn’t your concern anymore then Toptal could be a consideration for hiring the best quality developers. Toptal being a fully-remote company makes sure the employees love their superior work-life balance and enjoy their flexibility in work.

Of course, Toptal is a multi-sided platform that provides enough value to both clients and employees. If you want to undertake the projects on a temporary basis, you can step into this global opportunity platform.

However, if you’re looking for collaboration with ease and speed and of course with fair pricing, Crewscale might be a better alternative. We connect companies with the best of global talent to help engineers and recruiters build tech teams faster.

The market has flourished with a pool of highly-skilled and vetted talent networks. Look for the right choice in the same budget. Do not settle for one!

Live your work dreams with us at crewscale.com and find your right match!

Roobal Gupta

About Roobal Gupta

Roobal Gupta is a budding content writer and is the latest addition to our marketing team. She is an elite writer at Writer's Pocket. She also writes fiction and has a debut novel to her credit. She has also been awarded for "Top 100 Debut Indian Authors 2018-19". Like most other writers, she likes to read books and write blogs in her free time.

View all posts by Roobal Gupta

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