Why Toptal is the Best Place to Find Developers & Designers

You can drive yourself crazy trying to find and hire the right people for your company, especially if the people you need are in a highly specialized field like programming and development. It helps immensely to have access to a huge inventory of sorts, consisting of professionals in all kinds of design fields, with experts as well, who are there to assist you in the selection process.

Toptal is much more than a headhunter service. In addition to a massive network of the most qualified freelancers around the world, Toptal works intensively with you to make a connection between your organization and the individual looking to work for you.

Toptal Hires the Top 3% of Freelancers

This is the singular feature that sets Toptal apart from similar services because you would be hard-pressed to find a hiring assistance service that puts so many first rate candidates at your disposal.

Although they screen thousands of applicants each month, only about 3% of them are accepted into Toptal’s network. They are screened using 5 primary criteria:

Language & Personality

This screening step is the first silter and basically ensures that the freelancer is very enthusiastically self-motivated and has a unique passion for their work. This is also where anyone without a strong ability to read, write, and speak English is ruled out. A deficiency there would obviously be a dealbreaker for any company.

In-Depth Skill Review

The second screening phase is where freelancers have to exhibit exceptional ability in their respective fields. Parameters of this phase include, “technical knowledge, problem-solving ability, and intellect”.

Live Screening

Here, candidates are live-tested by experts from Toptal’s team who have an excellent working knowledge of the field for which a candidate is applying. Elements of this testing phase are designed with exercises which test the candidate for, “problem-solving ability, depth of experience, communication ability, and creativity”.

Test Projects

To “demonstrate competence, thoroughness, professionalism, and integrity,” candidates are given a test project that they have to complete to show that they can do the work for which they will be hire. This phase takes about 1-3 weeks to thoroughly prove their competence.

Continued Excellence

Toptal, above all, requires all of their freelancers to maintain excellent work and performance in all areas throughout the screening process. Exactly 3% of candidates pass this stage.

The most prominent trait that Toptal screeners are looking for is an above-average proficiency in problem-solving; however, they screen candidates for exceptional skill and talent in a variety of areas, as you can tell from the 5 stages of screening.

And not that Toptal necessarily sources talent from certain schools, but many of the freelancers who get approved do come from sought-after educational and training backgrounds. They come out of schools such as MIT, CERN, Wharton, as well as from large companies like Google.

How the Service Works

Toptal is full-service in every essential sense. There’s no need, firstly, for you to, “throw project requirements over a wall” because once you let Toptal know what type of freelancer you are looking for, they will find people who line up with your needs, who have already been pre-screened in every category necessary for a person who works in that particular field.

You will also never need to go through any intermediaries or middlemen to manage the selection and hiring process. Toptal allows you to, “connect with a superb freelancer who will interface with your team”. So, you work directly with the Toptal expert who is assisting you and the freelancer with whom you’ve been paired, instead of going through third parties who can obstruct and delay the process of connecting you with someone.

As soon as you tell them what type of freelance professional you need, Toptal will match you with someone within a few days, usually within a day. If they don’t find a match for you right away, they’ll send you a status report and continue to search for someone who matches your request.

Finally, when you approve the freelancer with whom they’ve matched you, that person will be ready to start working for you immediately, or at whatever date you agree upon. One of the best policies Toptal has is a no-risk trial. If the freelancer ends up not working out for your company, then Toptal will simply start the search over again at no additional cost.

Clients Who Use Toptal

Toptal has helped companies from all over the world to secure top-notch talent, including Silicon Valley, New York City, London, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and more. Some of the startup clients in their extensive portfolio are airbnb, Zendesk, and Shopify; and those are just a few of the successful startups Toptal serves.

In addition to those, here are some of their high-profile clients: Pfizer, Gucci, Bridgestone, Rand McNally, The Onion, Motorola, Hewlett Packard, and Priceline. There are many more.

Why Toptal is the Best Choice

The most foundational virtue that Toptal was built on is that it was created by engineers, so it wasn’t put together by common entrepreneurs wanting to capitalize on an idea that they don’t even fully grasp.

It is a service that aims to match your company with professional designers, developers, and creators of all kinds who will add tremendous value to your business, people who are handpicked and painstakingly screened, so that you’re getting someone who is among the most highly qualified in their field.

Again, there is no risk involved with trying Toptal because you can use the service for 2 weeks for free, and you won’t be billed if for some reason you don’t come away with a match. One of the greatest features of Toptal is that nearly every client is connected with a match within 24 hours. About 90% of clients choose the first candidate they’re introduced.

As professionals who work in the programming and design industries come from all over the world, it may be a concern to companies that the person they hire may not have strong English. This is never a concern when you use Toptal because the very first step in their screening process ensures that all candidates can write and speak fluent English.

Lastly, but not least, the dependability of the Toptal experts who will be assisting you with making a connection with your freelancer is the highest priority. You’ll always be able to get an expert working with you, on your schedule.

There’s a reason that Toptal is used by hundreds of successful companies at all levels. When only 3% of applicants are accepted into Toptal’s network of developers and designers, who are sourced from everywhere in the world (mostly from the U.S.), there’s not much chance that they will fail to find a match for your company that meets and exceeds your expectations.


Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.

Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.

StephanieWhy Toptal is the Best Place to Find Developers & Designers