Toptal Reviews – Client Feedback
Toptal is a global network of freelance tech talent that offers businesses access to the most elite tech freelancers in their respective fields. In this Toptal review, we explore the world-renowned talent marketplace in more detail.
Toptal was founded in 2010 and has since grown into one of the largest networks of remote professionals in the world, with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Toptal’s rigorous screening process ensures that only the most skilled and experienced freelancers are accepted into the network, and clients can work directly with these freelancers on a project basis or through ongoing relationships.
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Let’s dive deep into all things Toptal in this comprehensive Toptal review in order to understand their offerings and services better.
1. Things to Know About Toptal: For Clients
Toptal has a reputation for providing access to highly skilled and experienced freelancers. The company has a rigorous screening process that filters out 97% of applicants, ensuring that only top talent is accepted into its network.
1.1 What is The Screening Process for Toptal’s Freelancers?
Toptal screens all freelancers through a rigorous process that involves five steps. They are:
- Language and personality screening – All Toptal developers are evaluated on their English language communication skills as well as behavior and conduct.
- Skills review – All Toptal applicants undergo technical screening to ensure they are competent in their tech stack and problem-solving skills.
- Live screening – At this stage, the candidates are required to complete a live coding test and interviews conducted by Toptal screeners
- Test project – All candidates are required to successfully complete the test project assigned to them within the 1-3 week period that’s allocated for it.
- Continuous monitoring – Once they’ve completed the above 4 stages, they are accepted into Toptal’s elite talent pool. Yet to maintain their status within its pool, all talents are required to ensure high standards and utmost quality in every assignment they are offered.
1.2 How Does Toptal Work?
Toptal works by connecting businesses with top-tier freelance talent across a variety of fields, including software development, design, finance, and project management, among others.
Here’s a general overview of how to hire talent through Toptal:
- Submit a request through their website: This request will outline the talent requirements for your project. Including everything from what type of talent, to the tech stack, specific skill sets, number of talents required, etc., which will help Toptal’s team to better evaluate your needs and find you the suitable candidate/s.
- Freelancer matching: Toptal matches clients to freelancers based on several factors, including the specific skills and experience required for the project, the availability of the freelancer, and any additional preferences the client may have such as timezone or language. Once they’re aware of all the requirements. Toptal’s Talent Matching Team then searches its pool of pre-vetted freelancers to find the best match for the project. The client is presented with a shortlist of potential candidate profiles.
- Talent review: After the Talent Screening stage, Toptal presents the most qualified and suitable candidates to the client. The client is then able to review the presented candidates and select those that they believe are the best fit for the project. The client can review the candidates’ profiles, including their skills, work history, and other relevant information.
- Interview: During this stage, the clients may interview each talent to ensure they are a good fit for the project. Once a freelancer is selected, they can begin working with the client right away.
- Engagement: Once the engagement begins, Toptal presents a 2-week trial period to ensure a satisfactory match.
Additionally, Toptal handles all project management as well as billing and payments for the services.
1.3 Toptal Pricing: How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Freelancer Through Toptal?
Toptal’s pricing can vary depending on the skills and experience level of the freelancer, as well as the scope of the project.
Here’s a general overview of Toptal’s pricing:
- Hourly rates – Toptal’s freelancers set their own rates and receive their set payments from the clients. The rates may vary based on freelancer-specific skillsets, geographical location, and seniority.
- Project rates – Toptal also offers project-based pricing for larger engagements with rates varying depending on the scope and complexity of the project.
- Toptal Fee – In addition to the talent rates, the client has to pay a service fee to Toptal which is currently not disclosed.
1.4 How Much Does Toptal Charge Per Hour?
Toptal’s hourly rate varies depending on the type of talent being hired and the complexity of the project. The exact rate is negotiated between the client and the freelancer, and Toptal adds their fee which is charged to the client.
Toptal does not take a commission from their talents. Instead, they charge a service fee from the clients. Toptal does not publicly disclose the service fee rates, as the percentage may vary depending on factors such as the type of talent being hired and the rate negotiated between the client and the freelancer. However, according to Toptal’s website, the company charges a percentage of the hourly rate or project fee as its fee for connecting clients with top-tier freelance talent. This fee covers services such as talent matching, project management, and quality assurance, as well as access to Toptal’s network of high-quality clients and opportunities for career growth and development.
1.5 What Types Of Freelancers Does Toptal Provide?
Toptal provides a wide range of highly skilled freelancers across various fields.
Here’s a general overview of the types of freelancers you can find on Toptal:
- Software Development: Toptal provides freelance developers across a variety of technologies and programming languages, including full-stack development, mobile development, front-end development, and more.
- Design: Toptal’s network of freelancers includes UX/UI designers, graphic designers, product designers, and more.
- Finance: Toptal provides freelance finance professionals, including CFOs, financial analysts, and investment bankers.
- Project Management: Toptal offers project management services, including project managers, agile coaches, and scrum masters.
- Product Management: Toptal also provides freelance product managers to help businesses with product strategy, road mapping, and execution.
- Data Science: Toptal offers freelance data scientists and analysts with expertise in machine learning, data visualization, and more.
1.6 Is Toptal Better Than Upwork?
Whether Toptal is better than Upwork depends on your specific needs and preferences as a freelancer or client.
Toptal is known for its high-quality talent pool, recruiter screening process, and its focus on matching top clients with the best freelancer. The company is a fully managed talent service that takes care of all the administrative and logistical tasks associated with hiring and managing freelancers. Toptal is a good choice for clients who need access to top-tier talent for complex or specialized projects.
On the other hand, Upwork is a more generic freelance platform that offers a wide range of talent and services from intermediate-level freelancers, entry level freelancers to more experienced professionals.
Ultimately whether Toptal is better than Upwork depends on your specific needs and priorities as a freelancer and if you are looking for high end fully managed talent service and have the budget to pay for it Toptal may be the better option. Keep reading this Toptal review to learn more about why you should hire from Toptal.
But do keep in mind that with the wider range of talent and services present at Upwork, if you are working with a limited budget and aren’t too concerned about hiring the most elite talent, then Upwork may be a better fit for your requirements.
1.7 What’s The Difference Between Fiverr And Toptal?
Fiverr and Toptal are both platforms that connect clients with freelance talent, but they differ in several ways:
Toptal is focused on providing high-quality, experienced freelance talent in fields like software development, design, and finance, while Fiverr offers a wider range of services that includes everything from writing and translation to voiceover work and creative services.
Toptal has a highly selective screening process for its freelancers to ensure that only top talent is accepted into the network, while Fiverr allows anyone to sign up and offer their services.
Toptal’s rates are typically higher than Fiverr’s as Fiverr’s non-vetted talent pool can be accessed for as low as $5 per hour. But Toptal offers a higher level of quality and expertise.
Toptal offers project management services to help clients manage their freelance teams and ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Fiverr, on the other hand, is more focused on individual projects and does not provide the same level of project management support.
Overall, if you’re looking for top-tier, highly-skilled talent in specialized fields, Toptal may be the better choice. If you’re looking for a wider range of services on a limited budget, Fiverr may be a better fit.
1.8 How Long Does it Take to Hire a Freelancer Through Toptal?
The Toptal matching process is typically conducted in under 1 or 2 days depending on the complexity of the project and the availability of freelancers.
1.9 Why Hire Freelancers From Toptal?
Here are some of the reasons to hire freelancers from Toptal:
- Top-quality talent:
Toptal has a rigorous screening process that filters out 97% of applicants, ensuring that only top talent is accepted into its network. This means that clients can expect high-quality work from the freelancers they hire through Toptal.
- Wide range of expertise:
Toptal offers a wide range of expertise, including software development, design, finance, and project management, among others. This makes it a great platform for businesses of all kinds looking for specialized talent.
Clients can hire freelancers on a project-by-project basis or through ongoing relationships. This flexibility allows businesses to find talent for short-term or long-term engagements, depending on their needs.
- Ability to hire remote and on-site freelancers:
Toptal primarily offers remote freelancers who work from their own location. However, if the client has a specific requirement for an on-site freelancer, Toptal may be able to accommodate this on a case-by-case basis, depending on the location and availability of suitable freelancers.
- Fully managed talents:
Toptal offers fully managed talent solutions, which means that they take care of the entire process of hiring and managing freelancers. Toptal manages all aspects of the engagement, including billing and invoicing, talent retention, and quality assurance.
1.10 Toptal Review for Clients: Is It Good For Hiring Developers?
Based on Toptal’s screening process and the high caliber of talent in its network, it is a good option for businesses looking to hire top-tier developers. The thorough vetting process ensures that only the top talent is accepted into the network, which can provide businesses with a sense of confidence in the quality of the work they receive from Toptal freelancers.
While the average developer at Toptal may quote a higher rate than one you can hire through Upwork or Fiverr, keep in mind that the average Toptaler has gone through rigorous vetting to get selected to Toptal’s platform, and as such you receive a higher quality of service. Hence, businesses should consider their hiring budget and the quality expected when evaluating whether Toptal is a good fit for their needs.
Here’s a look at Toptal’s overall review based on Clutch.co data:
Overall, Toptal can be a good option for businesses looking to hire skilled developers who can help them with their technical projects.
2. General Questions About Toptal:
2.1 Is Toptal A Legit Company?
Yes, Toptal is a legitimate and reputable company. Founded in 2010, Toptal has grown into a leading talent marketplace that connects businesses with the world’s top freelancers. They have built a strong reputation for providing high-quality talent and exceptional service to their clients. Toptal has also received numerous awards and accolades for its innovative business model and commitment to excellence, including being named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America for six consecutive years. Furthermore, Toptal is committed to transparency and professionalism in all aspects of its operations, including its hiring process, engagement model, and pricing.
2.2 What is The Toptal Controversy?
There have been reports that early employees of Toptal were promised equity in the company, but were never granted it. This controversy has been circulating online and can be found documented on other Toptal reviews. Some former Toptal employees are said to claim that they were offered equity in the company but never received it. Taso Du Val, the CEO of Toptal, has denied these claims and stated that the company has always been transparent with its employees regarding equity and ownership. The exact nature of the controversy is unclear and has not been fully resolved.
Following is the Glassdoor rating for Toptal’s CEO:
3. Things To Know About Toptal: A Toptal Review For Talent
3.1 Can you make good money on Toptal?
It is possible to make good money on Toptal. The platform has a reputation for offering high-paying projects to top-tier freelance talent. The hourly rates charged by Toptal freelancers are typically higher compared to other freelance platforms due to their seniority and rigorous screening process that ensures only top-quality talent is accepted into the network. However, the amount of money you can make on Toptal depends on your skills, experience, and the types of projects you work on.
3.2 How Much Does Toptal Pay Recruiters?
Toptal does not publicly disclose how much they pay recruiters. However, according to Glassdoor reviews, recruiters at Toptal receive a base salary as well as performance-based bonuses and incentives. The exact compensation package for recruiters may vary depending on the role, location, and experience level. It’s worth noting that Toptal is known for having a highly selective hiring process for all roles, including recruiters, and emphasizes the importance of finding top-tier talent to maintain the quality of its network.
3.4 Is It Hard to Get into Toptal?
It can be difficult to get accepted as a freelancer on Toptal as the company has a rigorous screening and selection process to ensure that it only accepts top-tier talent. The process involves several stages including an initial application, skills testing, and multiple rounds of interviews. Toptal only except the crème de la crème of applicants who passed its rigorous screening process.
While it can be challenging to get accepted into Toptal as a freelancer, those who do make it through the process can benefit from access to high-quality clients and projects as well as the opportunity to work with top talent in the field.
3.5 Is Working At Toptal Worth it?
Working at Toptal as a freelancer can be worth it for some people but it depends on your personal goals and priorities as a freelancer.
One of the biggest benefits of working with Toptal is the potential to earn high rates and work on high-quality projects with top clients. Toptal is known for its rigorous screening process that only accepts the best talent so if you are accepted into the network you can potentially access high-paying clients and projects that may not be available through other freelance platforms.
Additionally, Toptal offers a fully remote work environment which can be appealing for freelancers who prefer to work from home or travel while working. Toptal also provides support and resources for its freelancers including membership and career growth opportunities.
However, Toptal is also known for its high standards and demanding client expectations which can lead to long hours and intense workloads. Some freelancers may find that the pressure and expectations are not worth the potential benefits and may prefer to work with other freelance platforms or clients with different working styles.
Ultimately whether working at Toptal is worth it for you will depend on your personal goals and preferences in a demanding and high-pressure work environment.
3.6 Is Toptal Good for Beginners?
Toptal is not the best fit for beginner freelancers as the company has a rigorous screening process that only accepts top talent with a proven track record of excellence in their field. Toptal requires a high level of expertise and experience in order to meet the demands of its clients and projects and beginner freelancers may find it difficult to compete with the more established professionals.
Instead, beginner freelancers may benefit from starting with other freelance platforms or working with smaller clients to build their skills and experience. As they gain more experience and develop their skills they may be in a better position to apply to Toptal or other higher-end freelance platforms.
3.7 What Are The Factors to Keep in Mind when Freelancing on Toptal?
Why should freelancers be on Toptal:
- Access to high-quality clients and projects.
- Opportunities to work with top-tier companies and teams.
- Ability to set your own hourly rates or project fees.
- Toptal handles administrative work such as invoicing and billing.
- Professional development opportunities through Toptal Academy.
- Potential for long-term ongoing projects with clients.
- It is compulsive to under Toptal’s extensive vetting process to stand a chance to enter its elite platform of devs.
It is important to note that the specific pros and cons for freelancers on Toptal will vary depending on individual skills, preferences, and goals.
Here’s a look at G2’s overall Toptal review:
G2’s Toptal user satisfaction rate:
3.8 Which Skills Are Most in Demand on Toptal?
Toptal has a high demand for a wide range of skills including but not limited to:
- Software development: full stack development, mobile development, front end development, back end development, development, and more.
- Design: UI/UX design, graphics design, web design, and more.
- Finance and accounting: financial modeling, accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, and more.
- Project management: agile, scrum, Kanban, and more
- Product management: product strategy, product design, user research, and more
- Data science and Analytics: data engineering. data analysis. machine learning and more
These are just a few examples of Toptal’s latest range of industries and domains.
3.9 What Happens If You Fail A Toptal Interview?
If the talent fails the screening process at Toptal, they may be eligible to re-apply. TopTal may provide feedback for the talent to increase their chances in the next application. However, this is subjective to each case and applicant.
3.10 Does Toptal Require A Degree To Sign Up For The Platform?
Toptal does not require a degree for its talent network. They value practical experience and expertise over formal education, and their rigorous screening process is designed to assess a candidate’s skills and capabilities rather than their educational background. However, having a degree in a relevant field can be beneficial and may increase your chances of being accepted into the network.
4. Review of Toptal Competitors
Toptal is one of the leading freelance talent networks, but it has several competitors that businesses can consider when looking to hire skilled developers. Here’s a comparison of Toptal with some of its major competitors:
CloudDevs is a talent network that specializes in software development and design. CloudDevs’ hourly rates for developers range from an average of around $70 to $150. CloudDevs offers a two-week trial period for businesses to test their freelancers before committing to a project. CloudDevs’ screening process is rigorous and ensures that only the top talent is accepted into the network. CloudDevs’ freelancers are matched to time zones to ensure efficient collaboration.
Gigster is a freelance talent network that specializes in providing software development teams for hire on a project basis. Gigster charges a minimum per-project rate of $52,000 for an engagement. Gigster’s screening process is rigorous and ensures that only the top 5% of talent is accepted into the network.
Upwork is a popular freelance platform that offers businesses access to a large pool of non-vetted freelancers across various fields, including software development, design, writing, and more. Upwork’s hourly rates for developers range from $15 to $150, with an average of around $30 to $50. Upwork does not offer a trial period for its freelancers, but businesses can choose to work with freelancers on a project-by-project basis. Upwork has a global pool of freelancers, but businesses may need to spend more time vetting candidates to ensure they have the required skills
Freelancer.com is a global freelance marketplace that connects businesses with non-vetted freelancers across various fields, including software development, design, writing, and more. Freelancer.com’s hourly rates for developers range from $10 to $100, with an average of around $30 to $50. Freelancer.com does not offer a trial period for its freelancers, but businesses can choose to work with freelancers on a project-by-project basis. Freelancer.com has a larger pool of freelancers than Toptal, but the quality of talent can vary.
Overall, each platform has its strengths and weaknesses, and businesses should consider their needs, budget, and the quality of talent when choosing a freelance platform. Toptal and Gigster are known for their focus on top-tier talent and rigorous screening process, while Freelancer.com and Upwork have larger pools of freelancers at lower rates. CloudDevs offers a balance of quality and cost-effectiveness with rigorous screening and trial periods.
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