What: Toptal connects skilled high-tech talent with big companies needing temporary specialists

Expected pay: set by project

Husl$core: $$$

Commissions & fees: Not available

Where: Worldwide (generally, remote)

Requirements: Over 18. Pass a screening process that include English proficiency and skills in your field.

Review:

Toptal likes to brag that it hires only the creme de la creme of tech talent. It then markets that talent to corporate clients needing project work.

In theory, freelancers set their own hourly rates and simply make their services available via the platform.

However, the site is secretive about how payments from corporate clients are passed through to the freelancer doing the work. And a company spokesman says Toptal lets freelancers know when their expected hourly rates make them “uncompetitive.”

Pay is also often calculated by the project, not the hour, he says. Freelancers are given information about how much they’ll earn prior to accepting a project. However, they are also apparently not told how much Toptal is charging the client.

Two-week trial

Toptal gives its corporate clients a two-week trial period, during which they can say whether a freelancer is or isn’t meeting their needs. If a freelancer’s work is rejected, the client pays nothing. Toptal says its freelancers are paid regardless. However, a company spokesman couldn’t say whether they’re paid at the agreed-upon rate.

According to a review of Toptal by a freelancer at Coderbook, Toptal pays the freelancer 50% of their billed rate in those cases. Freelancers are paid by the platform roughly a month after completing an assignment.

Recommendations

Freelancers who have worked with Toptal give it mixed reviews. We like several other sites that help tech experts find work, including Catalant and Braintrust

What their users say: (from Indeed)

I don’t feel that working through Toptal is good option for professional. It’s just like any other agency trying to squeeze the best from you and piggyback. It is good for student or amateurs. They don’t have real talent.

“Toptal take away too much money from client.Once I talked with one of my client about their fee and it surprisingly a lot.And because of that, clients give too much pressure.”

There’s a large supply of positions, recruiters are actively involved in finding work for developers there. It’s extremely flexible – you make your own hours, set your own rates – and Toptal handles everything with the client, from legal, to invoicing. The only drawback is that it’s pretty much impossible to be employed 100% of the time, and there are no benefits. Also, most of the work is remote, so you can live anywhere

Had some conflict with them. They are not on the developers side and they are just taking care about their customers.

The company selects qualified individuals and gives flexibility to choose schedule and jobs you want. There may be gaps between jobs but overall gives real flexibility and independence.

From Glassdoor:

Sanity ends when a client complains. Toptal doesn’t care whether it was the developer’s fault, and will always blame you at the end. I had two such clients and it resulted in terminating my contract.

*1/6/2021