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Toptal

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27 User Reviews

7.0

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: November 6th, 2020

Toptal is a global network of top talent in business, design, and technology that enables companies to scale their teams, by hiring on demand. The company serves thousands of clients, including Fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Bridgestone, and Pfizer, among many others, delivering expertise and a world-class freelance solution. 

The company was founded in 2010 by CEO Taso Du Val and COO Breanden Beneschott. Admission to the Toptal network requires passing an extensive screening process, with an emphasis on problem-solving capabilities and soft skills, such as collaboration, communication, professionalism, and creativity. The screening process underscores Toptal’s unique attitude that remote teams are motivated by impact, not hours worked. The top 3 percent of applicants make it through the screening process to join the website's hiring network.

Clients can engage freelancers in part-time, full-time, or hourly positions and each engagement starts with a no-risk trial period. 

Keep reading for pros and cons, plus Toptal reviews from real users. 

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The Good

  • Focused on Top Quality Talent in a Variety of Fields
  • Fully-Managed Billing/Payments
  • Professional Growth
  • Community Support
  • Work Flexibility
  • Giving Back

Focused on Top Quality Talent in a Variety of Fields

Through its comprehensive screening process, Toptal will only hire the very best software engineers, designers, and business experts. By focusing only on those fields of expertise, Toptal promises to provide its clients with talented individuals who are the best fit for clients’ projects and who can produce excellent work.

Toptal engineering offerings include:

  • AI/machine learning
  • Back-end development
  • Blockchain engineering
  • DevOps
  • Front-end development
  • Full-stack development
  • React development
  • Among many others

Toptal design offerings include:

  • Brand & logo design
  • Mobile app design
  • Product design
  • UI design
  • UX design
  • Responsive web design
  • Among many others

Toptal business offerings include:

  • Blockchain/ICO consulting
  • Financial modeling
  • Interim/part-time CFO work
  • Fundraising consultants
  • Private equity consultants
  • Valuation specialists
  • Venture capital consultants
  • Among many others

Toptal project management offerings include:

  • Technical/digital project management
  • Scrum masters
  • Program managers
  • Lean project managers
  • Technical business analysts
  • Among many others

Fully-Managed Billing/Payments

Members of the Toptal network do not have to handle payment or billing issues. The site bills clients twice a month and then pays the freelancer directly, so there are no concerns with late or unpaid compensation.

Professional Growth

Toptal enjoys healthy revenue gains year over year and has received news coverage from outlets including Forbes and TechCrunch about its success. With this strong revenue foundation, Toptal ensures every member of its talent network can benefit from professional growth opportunities. This is integral to the company’s DNA, and Toptal puts emphasis on progressing the careers of freelancers through high-impact business projects, internal courses on hard and soft skills, mentorship, and more.

Ongoing professional development opportunities are offered to enhance skill sets, with one-on-one guidance on technical and professional skills in everything from cutting-edge technology certifications to public speaking. 

Community Support

Toptal has built an elite global network of experts unlike any other. The company organizes hundreds of community events around the world each year, and as a Toptal freelancer, you have immediate access to a global community through co-working events, volunteering, happy hours, and conferences. 

The company also has a network of conference speakers that deliver keynotes at high-profile events, as well as a network of mentors for members of the network to connect with and support the next generation of top talent.

Work Flexibility

Toptal freelancers work remotely from anywhere and everywhere—they are fully-distributed in over 100 countries. Toptal offers guidance on making the most of your remote work experience while keeping you in the driver’s seat of your schedule. You are in complete control of your hours and rate. 

Giving Back

As a community, members of the Toptal network share the values of giving back and positively shaping the future. Toptal organizes ongoing community programs and services aimed at leveraging the power of their network to give back. Past initiatives have included mentorships, community leadership, academy professorships, and scholarships. Additionally, Toptal Open Source Grants invest $100k each year to members in the network who are contributing to cutting-edge work to open source projects that impact millions of people around the world.

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The Bad

  • Lack of Clear Information Provided to Non-Network Members

Lack of Clear Information Provided to Non-Network Members

The company does not publicly list the number of members it has or how many jobs are available. Given the complexity of the Toptal screening and interview process and the fact that only about 3 percent of applicants make the cut, freelancers may appreciate additional information before they invest time and effort in the screening process. Publicly available information about the number and quality of jobs Toptal has available and how many members you will be competing against should you be accepted by the company would be helpful.

Additional areas where we think Toptal needs to improve its support to freelancers include:

  • The transparency in the number of jobs they have posted (it is currently unknown until you are accepted)
  • The transparency in the quality of jobs they have posted (it is currently unknown until you are accepted)
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The Bottom Line

Because the platform has such a strong focus on connecting top talent with leading companies, it’s a great place to grow your professional skills and do impactful, resume-boosting work from anywhere in the world.

The application process to join Toptal is involved because the company carefully screens its members to guarantee they have the required professional and technical skills to complete projects with the highest quality. Toptal’s revenue growth indicates that the company is providing client engagements for the members of its network. As with any agreement, if you are accepted by Toptal, read the terms of service carefully and ask for clarification if anything confuses or concerns you before joining the network.

Toptal has the expertise to seek out challenging and well-paid jobs for its members and it is actively seeking team members based in countries throughout the world. This business model can help developers, engineers, designers, and finance experts work on their own terms and can assist its clients in connecting with the best talent regardless of location for their most critical initiatives.

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Star Rating

3.5

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27 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

52%

4 grade

4%

3 grade

11%

2 grade

4%

1 grade

30%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Trustworthiness

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Yucheng San Francisco, CA

It's been a great experience! Finding freelance or contract designers can be hard. TopTal took the time to understand my project and needs. It's great that there's you have a liaison who help you write the scope of work and then recommends the right designers. They have great people and a lot of experience. We're sticking with them long-term because it's been such a convenient solution. Their customer service is also all-around great -- prompt and courteous. Our designer, Pawel, in particular, has done an outstanding job with a variety of projects. He's versatile and patient. He usually gets to a great outcome in a couple iterations, and he takes feedback really well. He's also incredibly nice and has fast turnaround time. I'd highly recommend working with him!

3 years ago

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Saad

Top rated developer on Upwork with number of successful projects. And recently joined toptal and landed on my first job. After a month, I can say its far better than other sites like Upwork or Fiverr where you have to beg and compete with low quality developers to get a project. Where one bad experience can ruin your whole profile. Toptal on the other hand, due to vetting and fixed rates done justice to client & developer. On toptal, you can work calmly without tension of billing or rates negotiation. You can also schedule break. If there is some issue, you can talk to assigned recruiter to discuss and fix the issue. So, from freelancer's perspective, I must say toptal is far better than Upwork.

4 years ago

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Jessica Brown Seattle, WA

My company has had an excellent experience with Toptal. Over the last few months, we've hired two freelancers via Toptal. One is full time and the other is just a few hours/week. Both freelancers are excellent fits for our projects. My small team especially appreciated the Engineering Director's assistance in finding a developer, since this is our first foray into software development. The Toptal team has always been helpful and responsive to questions. Next time I need a freelancer Toptal will be the first place I go. I will certainly recommend them!

3 years ago

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Daniel Miller Saint Paul, MN

Toptal has been a great company to work with from day one. Prior to working with Toptal I had terrible experiences with developers for my mobile app. Apps were buggy, improvements were delayed, etc. I have used Toptal for web development and app development and the developers have all been terrific and responsive. The onboarding process is super smooth and the support is terrific. If your company has development needs Toptal is a no brainer.

3 years ago

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Lindsay Irwin Tecumseh, MI

Toptal talent saved our business! We had a terrible developer who took advantage of us and our lack of knowledge to put us months behind schedule with no hope to launch our website on time. Toptal found us a talented developer who communicated and worked with us to get our project moving in the right direction. Professional AND knowledgeable. I would suggest Toptal to anyone!

3 years ago

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Gael Parra La Honda, CA

I am a software developer graduated from Stanford and MIT. After experiencing the quality of their talent through different informal situations, I hired talent from the network for my side projects. Their back-end and front-end developers were great. Toptal provided top candidates within 2 days, and despite my very specific requirements, they always kept a great customer service. I definitively will trust them in my future projects.

3 years ago

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Don McMurtry Clifton Park, NY

We were searching for a very specific technical skill. The Toptal team identified a candidate very quickly and the consultant was soon working on our project. We were thoroughly pleased with the results and we will certainly work with the consultant again and we will look to Toptal for other needs if the circumstance should arise.

3 years ago

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Alex Martell

I've worked with Toptal for 3 years now and every time I wrap up a project I'm looking forward to starting the next with them. Not only do their engineers deliver superb work, in every engagement I learn something new from them.

3 years ago

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Cesar Garza Houston, TX

Awesome experience! The Toptal designer really exceeded our expectations. From listening to our needs and wants to actually executing the plan, we could not have asked for more. He truly nailed the design and we could not be happier.

3 years ago

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James Southlake, TX

Our small company needed a database project to collect data and produce required reports. Toptal found us an expert who developed a tool that meets all our needs, and we are very satisfied with the results.

2 years ago

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James Sarasota, FL

We are starting up and taking quite some time to source permanent hires. Toptal has been invaluable in filling in the talent gap and keeping our product development on track while we build up our permanent team.

3 years ago

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Sam Rizk Westlake, OH

The consultant that TopTal provided was excellent. She did what she was asked to do , provided creative feedback and was a no nonsense quality driven database developer. I would hire her again any time

3 years ago

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Andrew Bellay San Francisco, CA

Great experience. The entire Toptal team and our developer were prompt, professional, and a pleasure to work with. Thanks for helping us hit a home run with our project!

3 years ago

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Dmitry Pavlov

As a remote .NET developer I work via Toptal for thier clients with very careful assistance since 2012.

4 years ago

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