The Ultimate Toptal Review

Lyudmila Kucher
Lyudmila Kucher

I specialize in outstaffing and staff augmentation, and I have extensive experti...

35 posts

Toptal review

If you’re looking into freelancing, you might’ve heard of Toptal. This site says that it lets you hire the absolute best freelance developers, designers, managers, and financial advisors. In fact, they get their names from the idea of providing users with access to the top 3% of all talent.

Though this claim might sound very exciting, it’s important to do your research before working with any freelancing company. Does Toptal really live up to the hype? Our Toptal review will take a close look at how the site works and carefully analyze user experiences. Keep reading to learn more about how this service works and see whether or not it’s right for you.

What Is Toptal and Why Should You Try It?

Before getting into all the details of our Toptal review, let’s go over the basics. This site is a type of online freelancing platform. Their goal is to help interested clients connect with freelance workers. Freelance workers can apply to work with the site, and the company carefully vets them and Toptal reviews their work. Interested businesses then hire local people or hire overseas developers through the site for help with their projects.

Unlike many other freelancing sites, this company only works with the best of the best, so it is considered one of the strongest Upwork competitors. Their goal is to offer businesses people within the top 3% of freelance talent. Freelancers have to pass a lot of screening tests and provide proof of their credentials. Only a select few make their way through this screening process and become a freelancer.

What is Toptal company? Originally, it was all about software developers and engineers. Reviews showed that clients were interested in other fields too, so Toptal started offering freelance design services. From there, the site’s services gradually expanded. They currently offer freelancers in the following fields:


  • Design
  • Finance Experts
  • Product Management
  • Project Management
  • Software Development


The site’s primary service is making connections. Businesses can easily browse through a variety of freelancers to find the right person for their project, for example, to find a coder. The other way that the site helps its users is through contract facilitation. They help safely transfer money, arrange deadlines, and mediate disagreements, so both freelancers and hiring companies are protected.

The Toptal Hiring Process: How Does Toptal Work?

Toptal review

Most Toptal company reviews agree that the site’s freelance hiring process is fairly straightforward. When you sign up to hire a freelancer through the site, it lets you enter all your criteria. The company then filters its candidates based on the skills you need and offers you a selection of freelancers.

They give you two freelancers to pick from within 24 to 48 hours of starting the process. You can look at each person’s qualifications and speak with them about your project. According to reviews, most people pick one of the first suggested candidates. However, the company will allow you to turn both down and keep searching if you want, let’s say, to gather a nearshore software development team from freelancers.

You get a two-week trial to review and evaluate your selected freelancer. During this trial period, you can choose to quit working with the freelancer at any point and won’t be billed. However, most clients are fairly satisfied after working with Toptal. Due to the site’s rigorous reviewing process, all freelancers are highly knowledgeable and professional.

How Much Does Toptal Cost?

Toptal reviews

No Toptal review is complete without taking a close look at the company’s pricing structure. Do the company’s services make up for the Toptal cost?

Overall, it is much pricier than other Freelance sites, just compare with Bairesdev reviews or Upwork benefits. Reviews show that the typical client ends up paying upwards of $3,000. You don’t pay any fees. Instead, the site just takes a commission from each freelancer.

The company doesn’t have a defined pricing guide every client follows. Instead, prices vary based on how skilled the freelancer is and what work you need them to do. Here are common costs for different freelancers:


  • Developer: $60 to $150 per hour
  • Designer: $70 to $150 per hour
  • Finance: $90 to $250 per hour
  • Project manager: $90 to $180 per hour
  • Product manager: $90 to $200 per hour


How does Toptal work to charge customers? They follow some routine guidelines for handling all their bills. Every new user has to deposit $500 in their account. This money goes towards paying your first freelancer, and it’s refunded if you change your mind. If you end up using more than $500 worth of services, which most reviews say they do, the company bills you every two weeks.

Is Toptal Easy to Use?

Keep in mind that you need to ask more than, “Is Toptal legit?” In addition to providing decent freelancers, a good hiring platform also needs to have high reviews for its ease of use. The last thing you want is to give a bunch of money to a site that’s annoying and time-consuming to use.

This is one area where the company gets very positive reviews. Toptal reviews frequently mention just how streamlined and convenient the site is. Once you have your account, an automated interface guides you through the process of working with the company.

This convenient interface asks you questions, reviews your needs, gets you to fill out basic details about your project, and walks you through each step. You never have to sort through a menu with hundreds of options. The company prioritizes user satisfaction, so its site ends up being extremely user-friendly.

Pros and Cons of Toptal

So, is Toptal worth it? This will entirely depend on your preferences and your needs. To decide whether or not it’s right for you, look at these pros and cons found in Toptal reviews.

toptal company reviews

The pros that people frequently mention in reviews include the following:


  • A very thorough screening process: Toptal reviews mention the high quality of the job candidates on the site. Thanks to their screening method, every employee speaks English fluently and has plenty of experience at prestigious institutions.
  • Convenient hiring interface: Toptal takes all of the guesswork out of the hiring system. Their site walks you through each step and guides you through the process.
  • No-risk trial period: When discussing, “What is Toptal,” it’s important to remember their trial period. You can cancel your hire at any point in the first two weeks and get your money back.
  • Fast hiring system: Since Toptal facilitates the entire hiring process and reviews candidates for you, things go very quickly. Instead of spending weeks interviewing people, most Toptal users hire candidates within a couple of days.
  • Only top talent on board: Toptal sets itself apart from other freelance platforms, focusing on top-tier talent. Thanks to years of working experience in the industry, their screening process has been improved to ensure, as they mention, that only the top 3% of freelancers make it onto the platform. This selection criteria guarantees clients access to highly skilled professionals capable of delivering exceptional results.
  • Range of Services. Toptal reviews best outline that it offers a diverse range of services, covering various clients’ needs. Whether you’re looking to hire a SharePoint programmer or dedicated Golang developers, Toptal provides a comprehensive selection of freelancers with expertise in diverse fields. This goes for UI/UX design, software development, engineering, DevOps, and much more. Still, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find and onboard the exact specialist you’re looking for in no time.
  • Community. The Toptal community is known for its professionalism, networking, knowledge sharing, cultural diversity, and supportive environment. Freelancers benefit from opportunities for growth and collaboration within their ecosystem. Meanwhile, clients appreciate the platform’s emphasis on delivering top-notch results. While glowing reviews for Toptal consistently rank it among the best freelance platforms, it’s evident that their approach and commitment sets them apart in the industry.


The cons that people mention in reviews include:


  • High prices: This site isn’t the place to go if you need a budget hire. Their experts charge fairly high rates, and you pay a premium for their helpful services.
  • Overqualified candidates: If you just need to throw together a basic app, reviews show this site might be overkill. Their freelancers have experience at places like Goldman Sachs, Ubisoft, and Google, so their skills are best put to use on high-end projects.
  • Excessive automation: In their drive to make things as convenient as possible, the site prevents you from doing things like scrolling through every freelancer or negotiating a contract yourself. If you like to micromanage and pay close attention to detail, the site might not be for you.

Toptal vs. Talmatic: Which Is Better?

what is Toptal

When considering, “Is Toptal worth it,” you’ll also need to keep in mind that there are a lot of fantastic alternatives to review. Sure, the company does a good job, but there are some other hiring platforms that get even better reviews.

A good alternative for a Toptal is the IT outstaffing service Talmatic. How does Talmatic work? This outstaffing service allows companies to hire carefully vetted software developers and designers dedicated only to their projects.

Talmatic performs extensive screening, selects highly-qualified developers from a pool of global professionals, and then helps businesses find and hire the right programmer for their job with verified skills. However, reviews point out some key differences between the two companies.

Talmatic Focuses More on Teamwork

Though a lot of people who just need a single worker are satisfied with Toptal, the site lags behind when it comes to modern workplace collaboration. Talmatic lets you build entire teams that stay together for the duration of your project. They also onboard your new team members for you and help integrate the Talmatic talent into your workplace. This gets things done quicker and ensures that big projects go as smoothly as possible.

Talmatic Offers More Flexibility

If you’ve used Toptal in the past, you know that they do great at providing high-end developers. However, this site tends to stick to its niche. As reviews show, Talmatic has a broader range of developers such as sharepoint developers for hire. You can pick workers based on skill level, technical specialization, or pricing. This makes it easier to customize your talent to your job, so you aren’t hiring a former Space X manager just to launch a new page on your website.

Talmatic Is More Tech-Focused

Though Toptal provided a lot of customers with software developers, their main focus isn’t tech. Instead, the site offers a lot of financial and product management services. While this is helpful in some industries, it makes it tricky for tech companies to hire on the site. Meanwhile, Talmatic is all about technology. You can filter developers based on things like mobile, web, or VR development, and Talmatic offers experts who specialize in niche fields like Unity 3D or Ruby on Rails. The work of Talmatic’s developers is well organized and managed.

Talmatic Is More Budget-Friendly

Almost every customer review of their experience with Toptal mentions the price. The company’s freelancers are very expensive to hire. It might be worth paying a lot for a single, important project, but when you want help with day-to-day work, Toptal prices quickly add up. Talmatic’s pricing is designed to work better for the average business. The total cost of software development is more competitive in comparison with an in-house team. Developers are paid a fair price for labor in their location instead of being paid based on U.S. prices. This makes Talmatic’s services a lot more affordable.

Is Toptal a Wise Choice?

While Toptal certainly stands out as an exceptional freelance platform, it’s important to acknowledge that it may not always be the best fit for every business. Despite its vetting process and positive reviews, Toptal’s premium pricing may be prohibitive for some budget-conscious businesses. Also, businesses seeking more affordable and flexible options or entry-level freelancers may find their services rather limited.

Additionally, specific niche skill sets may be harder to find on Toptal or may come at a premium price, making it less suitable for businesses with special needs. It’s important to carefully consider project requirements and budget capabilities before making a decision, especially taking into account that there are more flexible hiring solutions out there.

In conclusion, while Toptal offers access to exceptional freelance talent and boasts a strong reputation in the industry, it’s worth weighing the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. While Toptal provides a high-quality service and a supporting community, it may not always be an optimal choice for every business. We recommend you take a closer look at our IT staffing services and our unique approach before choosing freelance platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to hire remote software developers but have a few questions unanswered? We are sharing our list of frequently asked questions by our clients when hiring software developers.

view all

With Toptal, all of the freelancers that you’ll ever find have gone through a 10-step pre-screening process in order to ensure their legitimacy. Furthermore, after they are hired, each one is given access to personal development resources and guidance from experienced professionals. You can feel confident that the talent you hire from Toptal are reliable and reputable experts who will deliver genuinely great results.

Toptal offers users access to some of the best professionals in the world. Its verified experts are handpicked after a long and rigorous process – and it is only then that they go into the marketplace. In comparison, Upwork also has verified professionals who have been screened following a set of criteria, making it an ideal choice if you’re looking for quick freelancers who can hit the ground running. However, if you need top-notch quality, Toptal makes more sense as its 3% threshold is quite tough to match.

Toptal and Fiverr are both powerful tools to find freelancers, but they differ in some ways. Fiverr is an online marketplace that connects people who need a specific task done with professionals who can provide the service. Toptal, on the other hand, goes beyond this. It’s a network for connecting top-tier clients and freelance professionals — only the best of the best get through their strict “Scouting” process. Furthermore, with Toptal you have direct access to dedicated account managers to ensure that your project is managed properly and your expectations are met.

view all

Read also

More Arrow right

Calculate the costs of hiring top developers with our free estimate.

No obligation to hire. No commitment from you.

Photo manager
George Fironov
Co-founder & CEO
  • Skype
  • Linkedin

This 20-Minute Call Will Change How You Hire Developers

Discover how Talmatic can help you solve your hiring headaches. In this personalized call, learn how we match you with developers that fit your technology and team needs.

In a short call, we would like to:

  • Learn about your development needs
  • Explain our process to match you with qualified, vetted developers from our network
  • Share next steps to finding the right match, often within a few days

Not sure where to start?
Let’s have a chat