Toptal Review: Is Toptal Legit? (2021 Edition)

What is Toptal?

Toptal is a company that taps into the top 3% of software developers in the world.

Toptal is a tech talent marketplace that exclusively connects developers with companies in need of technical skills.

Founded in 2011, Toptal is based out of San Francisco and offers an extensive network of vetted, remote developers.

The firm provides these talents for short-term and longer-term engagements on projects in need of highly specialized skills.

The firm works with established companies around the world, as well as with startups and small businesses.

Toptal also helps individuals to find the right talent for their goals and challenges.

The firm covers a range of skills required by its clients, from front-end to back-end development, work on prototyping, mobile (iOS and Android) apps, and security projects. Toptal can also work with the client to employ a team of developers remotely, working from home or onsite.

How Does a Toptal Freelancer Work?

Toptal is a marketplace for creative talent. Toptal's network of 6,000 freelancers includes enterprise software developers, designers, data scientists, and more.

The Toptal business model has proven to be a game-changer in how freelance talent markets work today.

By creating an on-demand supply of top talent available to fulfill projects that usually would not have been in scope for contractors or freelance agencies, Toptal presents a solution that helps both clients and freelancers hire those they need with ease.

Clients can access specialized talent that they previously could not afford, or that simply wasn't available, and freelancers can earn more money than ever before.

Freelancers on Toptal work from their home office and are paid weekly.

Toptal accepts payments directly from clients on behalf of freelancers, and all primary payment methods are accepted. Freelancers are never billed for any expenses or hidden fees, and there is no minimum number of hours that they need to work each week.

Working with Toptal is easy and efficient. Toptal makes it simple to set up a profile and connect with clients. The Toptal site also lets freelancers publish their skillsets, pricing, and availability for immediate client searches.

Clients can access a comprehensive list of freelancers to choose the best fit for their needs.

How Hard is it to Get Into Toptal?

In 2014, Toptal received over 50,000 resumes and hired fewer than 100 engineers. Toptal has a screening process that takes up to 5 weeks. Here are the steps a candidate must go through to be considered by Toptal:

Step 1: Screening Interviews

There are between 20 and 30 screening interviews during this step. At these interviews, the Toptal team asks an applicant questions about their background, coding experience, and goals. A Toptal engineer will be on the call with the applicant so he or she can ask any coding-related questions.

Step 2: Coding Test

The second step is a timed hour-long Coding Test. This test covers basic programming concepts such as loops, functions, and arrays.

Step 3: Technical Interview

The third step is a technical interview with a Toptal engineer. This could be via video chat or in-person. The interviewer will ask about projects that you've worked on in the past and may ask you to work through some coding exercises.

Step 4: Personality Assessment

The fourth step is a personality assessment. This is a 45-minute questionnaire that evaluates your personality.

Step 5: Final Interview

The fifth and final step is an interview with a Toptal hiring manager.
All of this takes approximately 5 weeks to complete, but the good news is that you can reapply later if you're rejected at any point. (You can also apply for other positions within Toptal at any time. There are no application restrictions.)

How Does a Toptal Developer Work?

Toptal developers are typically freelancers that have been extensively tested and vetted.

Toptal has a small team of recruiters who match the client with the best developer and monitor their progress. This means that Toptal provides all the benefits of hiring an in-house employee without any costs or administrative burdens.

Hiring a Toptal developer eliminates payroll, tax, and administrative responsibilities.

Every developer has their own particular way of approaching a problem. However, with the Toptal platform's help, users can attach all of their work samples, including their code and coverage reports.

This helps them find developers who are most suited to working on their specific problem.

These points are consolidated in a single profile for the developer so that recruiters can see what they are really capable of.

Is Toptal Good for Freelancers?

Toptal provides benefits to both freelancers and employers.

For freelancers, being part of Toptal is a way to make money without having to go into the office 5 days a week, work around company holidays, worry about hours or pay rates, or sell themselves short by taking jobs they're not necessarily qualified for all from the comfort of their home in any country and at any time that fits their schedule.

Freelancing at Toptal is like a free agency for professional athletes. There are no tradeoffs between earning potential, workload, work-life balance, and agency-provided benefits.

For companies, Toptal streamlines the hiring process in a way that allows them to add talent on-demand.

This allows talent to see multiple offers, choose the best one for their needs at the time, and quickly remove their profile from consideration if they feel it's not suitable for the job.

freelance female developer
Toptal Review: Is Toptal Legit? (2021 Edition) 3

Is Toptal a Good Company to Work For?

Toptal is an excellent company to work for if you are someone who has the skills that are required in today's workforce.

It offers competitive salaries for qualified workers.

The skills that Toptal offers are in high demand, and it's difficult to find engineers with these skillsets who will work at a reasonable price point.

Toptal works with some of the highest paying companies in Silicon Valley. They are known for their communication and professionalism.

Toptal is an excellent company to work for if you don't mind working remotely. There are no offices. Thus there is no commute time spent sitting in traffic or wasting time getting to work on public transportation. You can work from home, which gives you more free time to spend with friends and family.

Toptal hires people who are genuinely interested in the field of work they do.

If you are looking for a place to start out your career or just make money while working from home, this is a great way to make money and gain skills you will need in the future.

Toptal is also known for its high standards when it comes to its employees' skills. They do not hire people who don't have the skills needed to be a good member of a team.

Toptal also requires their employees to be punctual and professional, which helps build a friendly work environment.

Toptal pays weekly, which most companies are unwilling to do for their employees. It allows for more work-life balance. This might seem like an unimportant factor, but this really helps keep workers motivated and happy with Toptal.

How Much Do You Make On Toptal?

A successful freelance developer can make anywhere between $3,200 and $12,000 per month. The amount earned varies by how many hours a freelancer can bill for.

How Much Does Toptal Cost?

Toptal will charge an hourly rate based on the freelancer's qualifications.

Rates start around $60/hour for developers, $79 for design, $125 for finance experts, $90 for product manager & $90 for project management.

These are starting rates. Depending on what you are looking for, Toptal's pricing may be higher. To begin a search, Toptal will ask for a $500 deposit.

If you're not satisfied after 14 days, Toptal will refund both the deposit as well as the charges for your freelancer's work.

What Makes Toptal Different?

Toptal recruits only the best-talented people available for each role through its one-of-a-kind interviewing and vetting process — whether it's sales, marketing, engineering, or any other field.

Toptal sources its talent from across the world and has helped corporations like Medium, Tesla Motors, and ExxonMobil find great employees.

Toptal freelancers can also work remotely anywhere they please as long as they have an internet connection—providing the flexibility that a traditional 9-5 job just can't match.

The Toptal team is led by CEO Tal Mor and COO Ofer Laor, formerly of Google and Geni.

Tal joined Toptal after seeing the gap between what freelancers were seeking and what companies actually hired them.

Ofer joined Toptal after spending five years working in one of the top talent acquisition firms in the country, where he specialized in bringing on-campus talent to Silicon Valley startups and tech companies.

Toptal's goal is to provide the best talent to businesses in need of consultants.

Toptal Review – Pros

There are many benefits to using Toptal for both freelancers and Toptal clients. Here are a few of the top reasons to consider Toptal:

Instead of bidding against a crowd of freelancers for jobs on platforms like Upwork, you'll join a curated group of talent. This gives you access to the highest quality projects that are more likely to lead to long-term, high-paying work.

You will have a reliable source of income to fall back on when your business is slow. This also means that you will have a secondary source of income to supplement your primary income.

Toptal has a high-quality standard for its engineers. Each of them is peer-reviewed and has to demonstrate a high level of skill and proficiency to be on the platform. In general, they have a very high-quality standard, so you're guaranteed to get a good developer.

Toptal is a network of top-notch developers hand-picked for each project, ensuring they have the skills required and the perfect fit for the project. This is why they are so popular among clients.

Toptal is the top freelance marketplace in the world. It is the brainchild of the same man who created the freelance industry.

Its website is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

It is the best service in the market that connects talented freelance professionals with the world's best companies, including many top tech firms.

You won't have to worry about arguments about your hourly rate. You also won't have to worry about prolonged and tedious negotiations.

Toptal will send you client requests based on your experience and skills. Their job is to find you the best clients based on your skills and experience.

Their job is also to find you the best project based on your skills and experience. They will do all the hard work for you.

One of the most significant advantages of using Toptal is the worldwide events hosted by the site. These events bring together Toptal freelancers to learn new skills and make connections with potential clients and companies. As a member of Toptal, you can access these events and attend them (at a fee, of course). You can also get the exposure you need by attending these events.

Toptal Review – Cons

No freelance platform is perfect. Here are a few cons with using Toptal:

A grueling screening process for freelancing positions might deter some people from applying.

Toptal is usually prohibitively expensive for most startups and cash-strapped companies. Toptal charges a fee to the company and a fee to the freelancer.

The fee that Toptal charges to the company often is much higher than the fee that they pay the freelancer. The costs are often over 100% of the freelancer's fee.

Even though Toptal is an excellent platform for finding freelancers, it doesn't work for everyone. The platform only caters to five different professions, so you can't apply if you don't work in one of these fields.

Toptal Alternatives

There are a handful of other sites that offer access to a freelance developer network. Most notable are:

Upwork
Fiverr
Flexible
Upstack
Arc

Conclusion

Toptal enables companies to find a freelancer based on expertise, experience, location, and industry.

To get the job done, you choose the best one for your needs.

As a hiring company, you will save money by hiring the right freelancer with enough skills to do the job right. You can also expect faster delivery of projects because hiring freelancers gives you more time than hiring full-time employees.

Toptal companies have reported that they can reduce freelancer costs by 53% and increase their ROI (Return on Investment) by an average of 71%.

For the experienced developer, working for Toptal makes sense.

A lot of developers and programmers are out there competing for the same opportunities. It's tough to stand out, especially when applying to jobs online.

Toptal connects top developers with companies looking to hire them.

Companies can post jobs on Toptal, and Toptal's network of talented freelancers can apply to these jobs.

Toptal takes care of screening the candidates and making sure that only the best are paired with the best companies.

It's a win-win for everyone involved!

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