Toptal was established in Silicon Valley in 2010, by Taso Du Val and Breanden Beneschott, and carefully vets freelance software engineers to provide its select number of clients with only the very best such individuals in their respective fields - the acceptance rate being just 3% of freelance applicants.
With its supremely stringent vetting process for new freelancers, it's fair to say that Toptal takes a drastic different approach to higher-volume platforms like Freelancer.com. With only around the best 3% of those who apply as a freelancer actually earning a profile on the site, you can't necessarily expect big numbers, but you can definitely expect the very highest caliber of developer or engineer.
It is easy to use the site to browse for independent workers with skills in such in-demand areas as Android, API, HTML5, iOS, Java, .NET, Python, Ruby and many more. Click through to one of the member profiles, and you will be able to read their own description of their background and the kind of work that they carry out, tags denoting their various skills, the number of years in which they have worked in their specified fields and their level of availability, among so many other interesting parameters. You are also able to peruse a comprehensive work and education history, which should only make it even easier for you to make a hiring decision.
Toptal, however, isn't just another online freelancer portal, with the highly tailored service that it provides to its small number of clients - geared at finding the perfect match for their given project - giving it more the feel of a recruitment agency that brings clients and developers together.
In terms of upfront recruiting or contracting costs, the site demands a $500 deposit for each engagement, which is ultimately applied to the first invoice, or refunded in the event of a failed trial period. There is much flexibility in exact pricing for each engagement, given how the site is designed around finding a price that best serves the client. However, the following are useful vague guidelines.
The initial signup process as a client is a little more longwinded and complicated than is the case for your average online freelancer marketplace. Once you have provided the basic details necessary to establish an actual account, you will need to give more detailed information that you will then be able to talk about with one of Toptal's renowned engineering specialists. You will need to specify your phone number so that you can be called back, as well as whether you are open to working with a remote worker if they are the right match, the skills and characteristics that you desire in a developer and the size of your company, among many other things. As aforementioned, it is easy to search for freelancers and the overall site design is a clean one that lends itself to maximum ease of use.
+ Stringent screening process gives you access to only the very best freelancers
+ Very broad range of engineering and development expertise
+ All-encompassing customer support
- Not the best option for those seeking the highest possible volume of freelancers
- Only represents engineering and developing talent
- More longwinded registration process may deter some potential clients
Toptal is clearly the go-to source of engineering and development talent for those companies that demand the very best. The site is clean and convenient to use, while the freelancers themselves are of unparalleled renown. Register now to discover why Toptal enjoys such a formidable industry reputation.