Alternatives to Toptal for Hiring Developers – 7 Best Toptal Competitors

Varun, author for toptal alternatives blog
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 better and innovative solutions – from pure bidding marketplaces to powerful vetted talent networks – further bolstered by the increasing popularity of remote working.

This has resulted in startups questioning if Toptal satisfies all their requirements. A startup is a complex organisation requiring a quick scale in talent while still keeping costs in mind. So, if you are a startup looking to find quality talent let’s guide you with all your options.


Table of Contents

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

Why are Toptal alternatives required?

Before jumping into the various Toptal alternatives available in the market, we need to first understand the areas we find Toptal lacking in. This will allow us to evaluate whether the alternatives actually offer solutions for those specific problems.

1. Highly costly

Toptal’s hourly rates for hiring developers range from $80 to $200 per hour. These costs are disproportionately high due to the exorbitant commission rates that Toptal charges. It might need to price its commissions this high because as Toptal has scaled, numerous full-time employees have been added to its payroll. This has likely resulted in the ballooning of overheads.

Which large enterprises can get away with over-paying for development and design services, this doesn’t bode well for startups. Most startups are cash-strapped and need to achieve growth in an affordable fashion.

2. Rigid structures

Though it has been portrayed as a scalable solution for businesses of all sizes, Toptal has rigid hiring contracts. Customers have to hire on either 20 or 40 hour weekly contracts with no scope for it being adapted to their specific requirements.

Further, there is no room for a decreased cost even if a long-term commitment is offered. It might make sense to a high cost for developers & designers for a short-term project. However, if the intent is to hire for a period of greater than six months, such high costs might be unviable. This is at odds with the approach that should be adopted when startups are the typical target audience.

3. Poor Support

Toptal’s customer support has been criticised often. Right from the initial hiring discussions, Toptal requires multiple touch-points with their staff to get started on the hiring process. This leads to poor customer experience with the hiring cycle taking 1 to 3 weeks. As a startup, what you need is to be working with a hiring partner not an external entity.

Your decision

Are you looking for high-quality developers as offered by Toptal, but at 40-60% the cost? If yes, we think it might be a good idea for you to just hop on a call with our co-founder right away, rather than continuing with this article. If you prefer to share your requirement through a form so that we can reach out to you with a plan, you can share it here.

Top 7 Toptal Alternatives to Hire Developers

Now having understood the shortcomings of Toptal, let’s explore the alternatives that you can opt for. If you are searching for Toptal Alternatives, then you are already just looking for 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?

  • For the same quality of developers, Flexiple’s rates are 40-60% lower than Toptal’s.
  • 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 it 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. v/s Toptal

  • 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, 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?

  • focuses on long-term hiring, helping companies hire full-time remote-working developers. It takes care of compliance, payroll, and benefits.
  • It has a very strong vetting process, with software developers available in niche skill-sets.

How much does it cost?

  • Quite similarly priced to Toptal, hourly rates for developers range from $60 to $200+. Hence, akin to Toptal, this makes it unsuitable for start-ups or for small projects.

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?

  • Unlike 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.

Many companies have chosen Flexiple over Toptal

5. v/s Toptal

  • Unlike most of the other freelance networks, 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, 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 Toptal, which works on a time-based compensation model, 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:


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 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 ones to consider:

A) If you want to maintain Toptal’s quality, but want a lower price

  • Flexiple and are excellent choices if you want to maintain the high-quality standards of Toptal, but want developers at a more affordable price.
  • 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
  • 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. This is worth taking note of, given it’s completely transparent and free.

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,, and 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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