Andela vs. Toptal: Which is better for hiring remote developers?

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When it comes to hiring remote developers, there are many options available in the market, but two of the most popular are Andela and Toptal. 

Both platforms offer access to talented developers from around the world, but which one is better? While Andela provides a great solution for hiring entry-level developers and training them, Toptal offers a more flexible and higher-quality service that caters to businesses of all sizes and industries. 

Let’s take a closer look at the two platforms and find out which one is the better choice for hiring remote developers.

What is Andela?

Andela is a global talent marketplace where companies source for vetted software engineers from Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Andela has a sizeable talent pool of more than 250,000 tech developers from 100+ countries. It works by matching you with a list of suitable talents that fit your project requirements. 

Another unique feature of Andela is that they provide continuous training to their developers, increasing the quality of their talent pool.

How Andela works

  1. You create a job listing, detailing the type of role, and the skills required.
  2. Andela provides you with a shortlist of recommended candidates that fit your job requirements and budget.
  3. You can schedule interviews with candidates and talk directly with them.
  4. Onboarding your preferred developer and immediately start working with them.

Andela’s vetting process

Round 1: Andela proactively sources for talented developers through various channels.   

Round 2: Candidates undergo psychometric tests and paired programming exercises.

Round 3: English proficiency test 

Round 4: Coding evaluation to test their knowledge and abilities.

Round 5: Final interview with senior officials to assess culture fit and competency. 

Andela pros and cons


  1. Developers are highly skilled because they undergo intensive training.
  2. Affordable for most startups on a budget.
  3. Very suitable for long-term projects and permanent jobs.


  1. Lack of senior developers in their pool. Mostly Junior and Middle-level engineers.
  2. Very little public info about how Andela works for companies and developers.
  3. Talent is mainly sourced from South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, so you need to keep your time zones in mind.
  4. Not the best option for contract jobs. 

What is Toptal?

Toptal is a tech-focused platform where tech companies can hire freelance developers, designers, and project managers around the globe. With a strict vetting process, they claim to have only the top 3% of the world’s best software developers. 

How Toptal works

1. Give details of your requirements, e.g. type of skill, number of hours, and the tech stack/s you’re hiring for.

2. Toptal sends you a shortlist of suitable candidates within a few days.

3. You get to interview the matched candidates to see if they’re a fit.

4. After signing off on your choice and paying an initial security deposit of $500, the developer can start working with your in-house team in a 2-week risk-free trial period. You can ask for a refund if you opt out within the 2-week period. 

Toptal’s vetting process

Toptal has a notoriously strict vetting process to ensure high quality.

Round 1. A communication skills interview to assess candidates’ language proficiency.

Round 2. Coding assessments to make sure technical skills are up to scratch.

Round 3. Live coding exercises to assess problem-solving skills, creativity, and experience.

Round 4. Candidates who advance to this round are given a mini-project that lasts about 3 weeks.

Candidates who successfully pass all 4 rounds are added to Toptal’s talent pool. 

Toptal pros and cons


  1. Diverse tech talent from various industries is available.
  2. Strict screening process to ensure access to high-quality talent.
  3. You can enjoy a risk-free 2-week free trial with your preferred developer.


  1. Quite expensive compared to other alternatives in the market.
  2. Slow hiring process, which can sometimes take weeks. 
  3. Developers are based in Europe and North America.
  4. Small talent pool due to limited geographical location and strict vetting process.

Comparing Andela and Toptal

We’ve put together a number of factors to judge between these two platforms and help you make a decision. 

Time-to-hire24hrs to 3 weeks48hrs to 2 weeks
Tech stack specialtiesMajor tech stacksMajor tech stacks
Hourly rate$100 – $250 per hour$25 – $100 per hour
Any upfront fees?$500 initial depositNo
Payment optionsCard, PayPal, ACHCard, PayPal
Free trial?YesNo
Can I work with the developer on-site?Yes, but rarely happens.Yes

Andela vs Toptal: Client reviews

Here’s what other clients had to say about the two companies.

Andela reviews

Andela grooms their developers for permanent jobs and is relatively new to offering freelance developers. This has affected the quality of developers coming through their pool.

Toptal reviews

Toptal has a 4.7 rating on G2. Most client reviews appear to be positive. But there are some reservations about Toptal’s quality of service.

Any great alternative to Andela and Toptal?

Yes, there is. Andela and Toptal are decent, but they have their limitations. Andela, for example, often prioritizes permanent hires. Plus, their platform doesn’t appeal much to senior developers. Toptal, on the other hand, is quite expensive, and your options are limited due to location. 

However, if your project requires ReactJS, then consider using ReactSquad. With ReactSquad, you can get a React specialist embedded into your team and shipping code within 7 days. Their expert developers are spread across the European and USA time zones, which means they are always in sync with your schedule.

Why We Recommend:

  • Unlike other alternatives, Reactsquad is fully focused on one specific tech stack (React & Node.js). Their developers have high expertise and a niche focus on SaaS products
  • Reactsquad has a rigorous vetting process for their developers; with 4 interview rounds and 4 weeks working on a paid test project
  • Senior developers with 5+ years experience
  • Startup-friendly rates (starting from $75/hr)
  • 7-day free trial with your matched developer and a replacement guarantee at any point during your project

Visit Reactsquad’s website to get matched with the best React developers for your SaaS startup.

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