Alternatives to Toptal for Hiring Developers – 7 Best Toptal Competitors

Varun Omprakash
Content writer at Flexiple. Passionate about sales. Loves reading.

Here, we take a look at the Top 7 Toptal alternatives, and which one you should choose based on your specific needs.

Toptal has been one of the top companies in the premium freelance market over the past decade. Its defining features are its detailed screening process backed by a strong recommendation system. In execution, it has to be said that Toptal has done a great job of consistently maintaining the quality of talent in its network.

However, the market for freelance workers has grown over the years, with companies of all sizes increasingly choosing to work with freelance talent. This has powered the growth of more solutions tackling the problem in other unique fashions – from pure bidding marketplaces to powerful vetted talent networks – further bolstered by the increasing popularity of remote working.

So, if you are looking to find quality talent outside of Toptal, let’s guide you with all your options.

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Table of Contents

  • Why would you want to consider Toptal alternatives?
  • Top 7 Toptal Alternatives to Hire Developers
    1. 1. Flexiple v/s Toptal
    2. 2. Upwork v/s Toptal
    3. 3. Arc.dev v/s Toptal
    4. 4. Hubstaff Talent v/s Toptal
    5. 5. Gun.io v/s Toptal
    6. 6. Gigster v/s Toptal
    7. 7. Fiverr v/s Toptal
  • Which Toptal alternatives are the best for you?

Why would you want to consider Toptal alternatives?

Before jumping into the various Toptal alternatives available in the market, we need to first understand why you might look out for an alternative. Then, you can accordingly select the Toptal alternative most suitable for your needs.

1. More pricing options

You want flexibility in pricing, or to directly set the rates with the freelancer you choose.

2. Unavailability of freelancers

In the event that Toptal doesn’t have freelancers suited to your requirements and budget, you would have to consider a Toptal alternative.

3. Your location isn’t supported by Toptal

At present, Toptal doesn’t accept clients from India and some other countries. Thus, if you belong to these regions you would have to hire through a different platform.

Top 7 Toptal Alternatives to Hire Developers

Now, given you are here on this blog, it is clear you are looking for Alternatives to Toptal. Also, since Toptal is a vetted talent marketplace, it is likely that you are looking for other vetted talent networks.

However, since this could also just be the initial part of your search, we will detail solutions for all use cases. Depending on your requirements, there are various platforms to consider. These range from established names such as Upwork and Gigster, to newer sites like Hubstaff Talent.

These are the top 7 Toptal alternatives to hire developers:

1. Flexiple v/s Toptal

  • Being a lean team, Flexiple has already served over a hundred clients, earning great reviews for the quality of service.
  • Flexiple offers expert vetting of developers, with a rigorous screening process that includes testing their technical proficiency as well as soft skills.
  • It has personalised matching, where freelance developers are hand-picked to match your requirements. Coupled with a risk-free 1-week trial period, this ensures you hire the best-suited person for the job.

How does it compare to Toptal?

  • Flexiple charges a highly nominal rate and offers the same quality of freelancers as Toptal.
  • With a strong focus on customer satisfaction, Flexiple promises round-the-clock support, with a dedicated support manager, throughout the engagement.
  • However, Toptal, being a much larger entity, might have more developers in niche skills when compared to Flexiple.

How much does it cost?

  • You can hire a top-quality developer in the price range of $30-$80/hr.

2. Upwork v/s Toptal

  • Upwork is not one of the like-to-like Toptal alternatives, since it doesn’t offer a screening of developers.
  • However, if you have the resources and time to screen developers yourself, Upwork can be a good option. With thousands of freelancers registered on its platform across a vast price range, you can receive a large volume of applicants.
  • It works on a bidding system, where in Upwork invites developers to ‘bid’ their lowest price for your project. This makes Upwork more suited for short-term projects and one-off tasks, where low costs are a higher priority than quality.

How does it compare to Toptal?

  • Upwork has a huge database of freelancers across a wide range of over 50 verticals – you can hire freelance developers, designers, writers, and video editors, to name just a few.
  • Upwork isn’t as much of a fit as Toptal if you’re looking for developers for a long-term project.

How much does it cost?

  • The average rates of developers at Upwork can start from as low as $8-$15/hour and can go up to $200/hr.

3. Arc.dev v/s Toptal

  • Arc.dev was initially started as CodementorX, a mentoring platform for developers. It allowed users to seek help from their network of developers, for problem-solving, skill improvement, etc.
  • It recently re-branded as Arc.dev, but continues to carry the tag of “leading on-demand mentorship platform for developers”. To complement its offering, it has also developed a solution for hiring freelance developers.
  • Similar to other premium freelance platforms, Arc also has a rigorous vetting process to ensure the quality of developers.

How does it compare to Toptal?

  • Arc.dev focuses on long-term hiring, helping companies hire full-time remote-working developers. It takes care of compliance, payroll, and benefits.
  • It has a vetting process similar to Toptal.

How much does it cost?

  • Its hourly rates for developers range from $60 to $200+. This is likely to be tough for many startups to afford.

4. Hubstaff Talent v/s Toptal

  • Hubstaff Talent is relatively new and offers a completely free service. It is suitable for companies that are looking to hire independent freelancers as well as agencies.
  • It does not carry out any manual vetting process to ascertain the quality of developers. Instead, it gives more emphasis to the use of software to match freelancers with projects.

How does it compare to Toptal?

  • Hubstaff Talent is a transparent marketplace that allows clients to browse developer profiles and get in touch with them directly, with no mediators.
  • It functions more like a database of freelancers who sign up on the platform.
  • It has no additional features to help you in hiring the best talent for your needs.

How much does it cost?

  • It’s free for both sets of users – business owners (clients) and freelancers.

5. Gun.io v/s Toptal

  • Unlike most of the other freelance networks, Gun.io is an invite-only, close-knit network consisting of elite software developers.
  • Like Toptal and Flexiple, Gun matches developers with companies through a customised recommendation process, along with stringent vetting of developers. It relies on user relationships to handpick developers.

How does it compare to Toptal?

  • In contrast to Toptal, Gun.io has a community of quality developers via an invite-only basis.
  • It has a relatively small pool of freelance developers.

How much does it cost?

  • Hourly rates vary from $75 to $150 per hour making it a pricey option.

6. Gigster v/s Toptal

  • Gigster promises to be the one-stop-shop for hiring an entire tech team. It is best suited for enterprise companies that need to augment their tech team fast.
  • It has a pool of top-quality developers and project managers. Depending upon the scope and requirements, Gigster uses AI-based algorithms to assemble the right team for your project.

How does it compare to Toptal?

  • Gigster is an end-to-end solution, where you can hire an entire team of developers plus project managers.
  • They only take on projects that are worth above a certain minimum threshold.
  • Unlike most vetted-marketplaces, Gigster charges a per-project fee.

How much does it cost?

  • According to Gigster, their lowest cost for a project is $52,000 per license.

7. Fiverr v/s Toptal

  • Fiverr is the platform that popularized the order-based concept of engaging freelancers. In an order-based system, you specify the required outcome to a freelancer, who list their price for a particular order.
  • Freelancers offer services for one-off, small, specific tasks. For example, building a WordPress website, a basic Android app, etc.
  • Freelancers are termed ‘Sellers’ and offer their services in three different price points based on the complexity of the task.

How does it compare to Toptal?

  • Sharing similarities with Upwork, Fiverr is more suited for small tasks, rather than the comprehensive projects that Toptal deals with.
  • It offers a wide pool of freelance developers, albeit with no screening. Hence, there is no guarantee of the quality of work.

How much does it cost?

  • The prices range from $5 to $995.

Here is a summary of all the platforms listed above, along with features and pricing:

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Which Toptal alternatives are the best for you?

As you can see, there are many online platforms to hire developers. Each one is different and differs in its value proposition. Ultimately though, the choice of Toptal alternative will be decided by defining what your specific needs are. It is important to consider what each platform offers and go with the one that is best suited for your specific requirements.

Based on your use-case, these are the alternatives to Toptal to consider:

A) If you want high quality talent, but at an affordable price

  • Flexiple and Gun.io are excellent choices if you want to maintain the high-quality standards of Toptal, and also affordable developers.
  • They offer a rigorous screening of developers, personalised matching based on your requirements, and a fast, scalable way to augment your tech team.

B) If speed is key, and you need to hire developers fast

  • Again, the best alternatives to Topal for hiring developers fast are Flexiple and Gun.io.
  • With a blazing fast hiring time and super-responsive service, you’ll be able to get started on your project within a period of 48 hours to 7 days.

C) If you don’t want to spend any money

  • If you don’t want any costs incurred and would prefer to screen developers yourself, Hubstaff Talent would be the one to go for.
  • It has a growing database of remote developers, and a platform to search for and contact the right candidates.

D) If you need developers for a short-term project

  • For small projects and one-off tasks, Upwork and Fiverr are some of the websites that are worth considering.
  • They have a huge network of freelance developers, across a very wide price range, starting from under $15/hr.
  • However, the bidding system and no prior screening of freelancers means they are not a risk-averse option – and are hence more suited for small coding tasks.

E) If you need developers for a long-term project

  • For long-term projects which require consistent development work, premium platforms like Flexiple, Gun.io, and Arc.dev are the best bet.
  • Their solutions provide enough value if you’re looking to hire developers to augment your tech team, but want to oversee the development process yourself.

F) If you need an entire team of developers

  • If you plan on outsourcing the entire end-to-end development process and want a team to handle everything, go for Gigster.
  • Gigster has a flexible solution to enable you to hire great teams and a project manager.
  • However, the very high pricing renders it out of reach for a wide majority of startups and businesses.
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