Toptal is one of the leading freelancer sites for people and businesses in need of exceptional talent and for highly skilled freelancers seeking work. Although not quite as well known as competitors such as Upwork or Fiverr, Toptal has been around since 2010. At first, it was strictly a platform for software engineers but in 2015, added design services. A year ago, they added yet another division, Toptal Finance.
Toptal: A Unique Freelance Site
Toptal aims to provide the highest quality developers, designers, and financial experts. Compared to other freelance sites, this one caters to a higher-end market. Although it’s used by small, mid-sized, and large companies, it doesn’t appeal as much to casual users as do sites such as Fiverr and Upwork. Toptal promises to “Connect the top 3% of freelance talent all over the world.” Here are some of the ways that Toptal ensures that all of its freelancers are supremely qualified.
Rigorous Screening Process
One of the things that set Toptal apart is the selective screening process. On most freelance sites, anyone can join, and reputations are built on reviews and feedback. With Toptal, it takes a great deal to be accepted in the first place. In keeping with its motto, only about 3% of applicants are accepted. Here are some of the criteria used to access someone’s suitability.
With such arduous screening, Toptal is one of the most selective freelance services in the world. It is not the place to get the cheapest work done. Nor is it a place for a freelancer just learning his or her craft to get practice. Toptal is a place that connects the most qualified freelancers with people who want, and are willing to pay for the best possible work.
Types of Services Offered
Toptal has freelancers in the three main categories of development, design, and finance. Within these categories, you can find many specialists. The following are some examples of the many skills you’ll find listed on this site.
The above is only a very partial list of the kind of talent you can find on Toptal . Chances are, no matter what type of specialist you’re looking for, you’ll have plenty of choices. Many of the experts listed on Toptal have multiple skills and can adapt to a variety of projects and work environments.
How Toptal Works For Clients
If you’re looking to hire exceptional talent for your next project, Toptal is worth considering. They offer a no-risk trial period of two weeks where you can make sure that the person you’re working with is a good fit. You can work with more than one expert in your chosen field to help you find the ideal candidate.
When you hire a freelancer from Topal, you, not the freelancer or Toptal itself, retain all legal rights to any intellectual property. This is all included in the contracts signed by freelancers, so there’s no need to discuss these conditions with applicants.
Workers for Toptal are located all over the world, from more than 100 countries. As noted, however, all are fluent in English. Most work from their homes or co-working spaces. The vast majority of work done on Toptal is remote, though in some cases freelancers can travel to clients’ workplaces. While Toptal is a freelance service, some clients use it as a screening process to find full-time employees; If you hire someone for a project, you have the option of offering him or her a permanent position. Some people, of course, may prefer to remain working freelance but others are happy to accept full-time employment.
In addition to hiring individual freelancers, you can use Toptal to put together a whole team. You can select the specialties you need for your project so you have people who can perform all the essential tasks.
As with any freelance service, rates are set by each specialist. Because of the highly selective screening process, you can expect to pay, on average, a little more for services here. On average, developers charge between $60 and $95/hour, designers $75 to $150/hour, and financial experts $125 to $200/hour. You can also hire people part-time or full-time by the week.
Toptal Discounts for Startups
Toptal announced that it will be offering a 20% discount to startup companies that received seed funding from startup accelerators TechStars, 500 Startups and Y Combinator. See the full announcement here >> Toptal Offers Its Elite Programming Talent At Reduced Cost To Startup Entrepreneurs.
Toptal Careers For Freelancers
Since Toptal only hires about 3% of applicants, only an elite minority of freelancers can even consider working here. However, if you feel you have the talent and experience to pass through Toptal’s extremely rigorous screening, there’s no harm in applying. Becoming a freelancer with Toptal puts you in an elite category, analogous to graduating from an Ivy League university. While anyone can create a profile on most other freelance sites, simply being listed on Toptal broadcasts to the world that you’re among the top performers in your field.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Toptal
Because Toptal is a little different from other freelance sites, it’s important to make sure you use it in the most advantageous manner. Freelancers on this site, because they represent the upper echelon of their professions, are often in demand and under lots of pressure to perform at a high level. At the same time, this means clients also have to live up to certain standards.
The Benefits of Choosing Toptal
More and more companies are working with freelancers using the on-demand model rather than hiring full-time employees. This is an agile, cost-effective, and flexible way to get projects completed without having to deal with the costs and commitments of employees. There are, however, certain limitations and risks when you work with freelancers. Many freelance sites are relatively risky when it comes to finding the appropriate talent. There’s a wide variety of expertise, and even people with good reviews often prove to be less reliable and skilled than you hoped.
Toptal is designed to remove the usual pitfalls of dealing with freelancers with whom you haven’t worked with before. Toptal itself is so selective that you can be assured that anyone you even consider for a project is highly qualified. The trial period gives you additional reassurance that you’ll be working with someone who’s a good fit.
Many leading companies, including Priceline, Airbnb, Motorola, Pfizer, Bridgestone, and many others, use Toptal. Countless smaller companies are starting to see the advantages of this approach as well. If you’re ready to undertake a project that requires expert help and you’re looking for an alternative to hiring employees, Toptal is one of your best options.