Toptal vs Which is better for hiring developers?

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When it comes to hiring tech talent, it can be a little confusing with hundreds of options out there. Two of the most popular ones are Toptal and They both connect startups with developers for projects. But which is better?

How do they match up against each other in terms of quality of talent? And how much should you budget for hiring? We answer these questions and more in this article. 

What is Toptal?

Toptal is a freelance platform that connects businesses with top freelance developers, designers, and project managers from around the world. They claim to work with the top 3% of the world’s best talent. That’s why they’re notorious for their vigorous vetting process. 

How Toptal works

  1. Give details of what you need, such as skills, number of hours, and the tech stack/s you’re hiring for.
  1. TopTal finds a list of matched fits for you within a few days.
  1. You get to interview the matched candidates to see if they’re a fit.
  1. Once you sign off on your choice and pay an initial security deposit of $500, then 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’s vetting is notoriously rigorous. Only 3% of applicants pass the screening. 

Round 1. A communication interview to test 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 real project that lasts about 3 weeks.

Candidates who get through all 4 rounds are added to TopTal’s talent pool. 

Toptal pros & cons


  1. Wide range of tech stacks available.
  2. Rigorous vetting process ensures access to high-quality talent.
  3. You can enjoy a risk-free 2-week free trial with your chosen developer.


  1. Expensive
  2. The hiring process can sometimes take weeks. 
  3. Developers are only based in Europe and the Americas.
  4. Talent pool is small due to limited geographical location and strict vetting process.

What is, named after Alan Turing, the renowned mathematician and AI enthusiast, is a talent-matching platform that uses machine learning and AI technology to connect companies with developers from around the world. has become a popular name in the talent-matching industry with more than 2 million freelance developers in their talent pool from over 150 countries. Some of their developers have worked with companies like Google and Facebook. You can hire engineers skilled in different tech stacks like Ruby on Rails, Angular, Python, and more. 

How works

  1. Post a job, stating the project requirements, the required skills, and programming languages.
  2.’s AI algorithm will scan their database of pre-vetted developers to find potential matches. This may take a few hours to a few days.
  3. will send you a shortlist of the best-matched candidates for you to review and interview.
  4. After making your choice and discussing terms and finalize the agreement, you can start working together in a no-risk, 2-week trial period.’s vetting process

At, candidates will be screened through 4 steps after setting up their profile: 

Round 1. First screening will be done based on their work experience.

Round 2. Live coding challenge to assess their practical coding abilities and problem-solving skills.

Round 3. Multiple-choice questions tech stack test to see if their knowledge is up to scratch.

Round 4. Successful candidates will have their profiles finalized and start getting matched for jobs. pros & cons


  1. has a large talent pool of over 1.5 million developers.
  2. Free 2-week trial period with no cancellation fee. 
  3. Matches are very accurate due to AI and data driven matching system.



Claims to have a global talent pool, but most are based in Asia.

Comparing Toptal and

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 weeks24hrs to 2 weeks
Tech stack specialtiesMajor tech stacks, Any
Hourly rate$100 – $250 per hour$100 – $250 per hour
Average project length4 weeks to 6 months4 weeks – 1 year
Any upfront fees?$500 initial deposit
Payment optionsCard, PayPal, ACHCard, PayPal
Free trial?YesYes
Can I work with the developer on-site?Yes, but rarely happens.Yes

Toptal vs user reviews

Maybe you’re not yet convinced by our comparison. But hearing what customers have to say about their experiences will. So let’s take a look at what others are saying about these two. though has slightly better reviews based on feedback from users so you can use this to make a choice. Comparably rates Toptal’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) at 20, with 50% promoters, whiles is at 21 with 55% promoters.

Toptal reviews

Toptal has 4.7 stars on G2. Among the client reviews we found, it appears most of them are positive. One client however pretty much unhappy about the quality of service they got. reviews has a decent 4.1 out of 5 rating on G2, though it appears most of the reviews are by developers, so it’s difficult to spot real client reviews. 

Out of the client reviews we read on G2 and Trustpilot, the main issues were with their communication, which can be a bit frustrating. 

Good alternatives to Toptal and

Probably Toptal and Turing don’t appeal much to you because of how expensive it is to hire from them. There are other options that are just as good:

  1. ReactSquad

ReactSquad is a talent company that provides expert React developers to startups to work with their in-house teams on projects. 

With just a few clicks you can get a developer shipping code in less than a week. 

The Verdict

So, which is better? The truth about comparing is that you can’t always answer that question directly. Only you can, depending on what your needs are. But it appears Toptal has a slight upper hand because they have slightly more positive reviews.

However, you must have a sizeable budget in place if you want to work with any of them. Working with a developer on long-term projects can be quite pricey.

Otherwise, if your project uses React, then ReactSquad by the EarlyNode team is a more affordable option with the same quality of developers hyperfocused on ReactJs projects. You can get started here

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