10 min read

Recruiting the right people typically takes a lot of time and money, especially for many different tech roles. Toptal is an exclusive freelance network for many roles, such as software developers, designers, and product managers. It is one of the most popular ways to find top freelance talent, but there are other options that might be a better fit for you. 

The best Toptal alternatives are going to be affordable and will match you with an experienced freelancer quickly. One of the reasons Toptal is so popular is because of their vetting process and guarantee that they only offer the top 3% of freelancers. Let’s take a look at what alternatives exist and how they stack up to Toptal’s bold claim.

Why choose a Toptal alternative?

If Toptal is so popular, why would you consider outsourcing your talent search to anyone else? Well, there are some key differences to how Toptal and others operate that might convince you to consider another service. 

For example, maybe your concern is pricing. Some customers find Toptal’s fixed pricing more expensive than other subscription model services. Or maybe Toptal doesn’t offer the specific talent you’re looking for, or their vetting process isn’t robust enough for your taste.

Every business has different needs and some just won’t find Toptal to be the right fit, so we’ve put together a list of the best alternatives. Let’s look at what you should be looking for if you find Toptal not to be a good choice. 

5 features to look for in a Toptal alternative

To find a suitable alternative to Toptal, you need to know what to look for so that you’re comparing apples to apples. It also matters what type of position you’re looking for, so we’re going to focus on finding developers. 

We recommend you consider these top five features when considering a Toptal alternative for freelance developers:

  1. Available Talent: When considering talent, look at the freelancing platform’s screening process. What experience does talent generally have, and how large is the talent pool?
  2. Pricing: Determine how much your project would cost by calculating the platform’s pricing. Does the service have fixed hourly rates, or do they offer subscription options? What are their terms? Do they offer a trial period? How about additional fees? There are enough platforms out there with quality talent that you shouldn’t give in on your total cost allotment.
  3. Hiring process: Explore the platform’s hiring process for being matched with the right developer. In other words, how do you choose the talent you need and begin collaborating on your project? Do you hire freelancers ad-hoc, or can you hire a team? Make sure that their process fits your needs.
  4. Time zone: Research what time zones your talent is available. Can they work in your time zone if you need them to work in sync? What are the turn-around times for check-ins, drafts, and finished products if they work asynchronously?
  5. Quality assurance: Ensure the platform uses a QA process for your project and that it is made clear what that process will look like. Ideally, the QA operation should occur throughout the development process.

The 12 best Toptal alternatives

Some of the best Toptal competitors are included on this list as well as other firms or marketplaces that we feel could be a good match for those looking to staff developers. Each has its own reason as to why it might be the best opportunity to find what you’re looking for if you’ve decided that Toptal isn’t the right fit. 

With that said, here are the 12 best Toptal alternatives for hiring developers:

DEVSQUAD

1. DevSquad

Summary: DevSquad helps entrepreneurs build and launch new products and helps growing companies plug in a ready-to-go tech team to get the nuance out of the way and start building.

Talent: Our elite software developers are expertly trained and battle-tested because we require four years of experience, minimum. Our team lineup includes:

Pricing: Pay-as-you-go monthly subscription based on how many developers you need with no long-term contracts, a perfect setup for short-term and long-term projects.

Hiring process: DevSquad delivers fully-managed, high-performing development teams, an approach that’s one of its biggest advantages. As the saying goes, “Players win games, teams win championships.” To get started, all it takes is a conversation. Let’s talk.

Time zone: With a product manager on the team to ensure productivity and deadlines are met, we can work asynchronously or synchronously—your choice.

Quality assurance: Our QA teams run manual and automated testing for continuous quality.

UPWORK

2. Upwork

Summary: Upwork is a freelance marketplace boasting an extensive database of freelancers in more than 50 verticals.

Talent: There is no vetting process, per se. Freelancers create profiles in Upwork and they can bid on jobs that are posted by businesses or individuals. Those posting the jobs can also invite specific people to bid. Because of this setup, Upwork can provide a wide range of tech talent, from web developers and web designers to JavaScript and WordPress developers, all varying greatly in skill level. Here is a complete list of development and IT options:

Pricing: You negotiate rates with your candidate(s), and there are no costs until you hire. Rates start as low as $8.00 and up to $200.00 per hour. Upwork also offers an enterprise option for custom services and rates.

Hiring process: You can create a job posting, look for talent directly, or hire Upwork to scout talent out for you. There isn’t a built-in matching feature like some options have, but there is a lot more freedom if you want to control the whole process. 

Time zone: Time zones vary based on the location of your talent.

Quality assurance: The responsibility is yours to vet the talent and their work.

FIVERR

3. Fiverr

Summary: Fiverr is an online marketplace platform for freelance services worldwide. The platform allows listing and applying for one-off jobs or gigs.

Talent: Like Upwork, there is no vetting process for their standard platform, but talent can take tests to show proficiency in their fields. However, Fiverr has a “Pro” option that gives customers access to hand-vetted talent. Freelancers create Fiverr profiles, and they can also bid on jobs. Their talent pool in programming and tech include:

Pricing: Project-based pricing varies by talent and project, including the Fiverr Pro option. Every experienced worker on the platform gets to set their own rate for the work they are doing so the prices vary quite a bit.

Hiring process: You can create a job posting or search for talent within the platform.

Time zone: Time zones vary based on the location of your talent.

Quality assurance: The responsibility is yours to vet the talent and their work, but the platform offers customer support.

GIGSTER

4. Gigster

Summary: Gigster helps you build tech projects on demand. It delivers enterprise applications with its global network of subject matter experts and fully-managed service.

Talent: Gigster curates teams from top tech companies, start-ups, enterprises, and academia from around the globe.

Pricing: Contract-based pricing varies by project and is determined after a consultation. Gigster also offers an enterprise option for custom services and rates.

Hiring process: Gigster takes a team approach and focuses on delivering projects. A typical Gigster team consists of key stakeholders for your application development, such as project managers, developers, QA specialists, and UI/UX designers.

Time zone: With a project manager, you can work synchronously or asynchronously.

Quality assurance: Gigster teams offer end-to-end testing, 24-hour bug support, and on-demand maintenance.

GURU

5. Guru

Summary: Guru is a freelance marketplace that allows you to find freelance workers to commission work.

Talent: Like Fiverr, there is no vetting process. Freelancers create Guru profiles, and they can also bid on jobs. Their talent pool in programming and development include:

Pricing: Project-based pricing varies by talent and project.

Hiring process: You can create a job posting or search for talent within the platform.

Time zone: Time zones vary based on the location of your talent.

Quality assurance: The responsibility is yours to vet the talent and their work, but the platform offers customer support.

GUN.IO

6. Gun.io

Summary: Gun.io is a software development platform that helps companies build custom engineering teams.

Talent: A team of senior engineers vets and matches candidates to you and your needs. Gun.io boasts more than 10,000 remote technology professionals in their freelancer network, including developers for:

Pricing: You can hire freelance developers at a monthly or hourly rate, or you can retain them starting at $1,000 per month with no long-term contract. Gun.io also offers you the option to hire employees full-time.

Hiring process: Gun.io’s approach starts with your job post for the network’s candidates to apply to. Then, you review your top candidates and schedule interviews on the platform. Gun.io handles the contracts, time-tracking, and payments.

Time zone: Time zones vary based on the location of your talent.

Quality assurance: Gun.io vets the talent, but you’re responsible for all QA oversight.

CLOUDDEVS

7. CloudDevs

Summary: CloudDevs is a Latin-American-based developer network whose focus is providing you with high-quality talent for the best hourly rate possible.

Talent: CloudDevs vet new talent. Developers must pass a coding exam, a live coding exercise, and a technical interview with a CloudDevs engineering team member. They boast more than 8,000 developers and designers, including:

Pricing: Prices start with an hourly rate of $40.00 to $70.00 per hour, plus a $500.00 deposit applied as a credit to your first invoice after you hire a candidate. CloudDevs also offers a 14-day free trial for every project engagement.

Hiring process: To hire talent in their network, you must place an order and schedule a call directly with the CloudDevs team. You’ll discuss your project in more detail and talk about your options. And should you choose to move forward, you’ll sign a letter of engagement (LoE). Then, you’ll receive onboarding materials. A kickoff occurs within a day or two after, and all of it takes place in CloudDevs’ collaboration environments.

Time zone: CloudDevs talent work primarily in Latin American countries and Europe, so synchronous or asynchronous work will depend on their locations.

Quality assurance: CloudDevs vets the talent, but you’re responsible for QA-ing the work.

FLEXIBLE

8. Flexiple

Summary: Flexiple is a network of pre-vetted freelance developers and designers geared toward top startups.

Talent: Flexiple reviews their talent’s past work and assesses their communication and technical skills. Their network of freelancers include:

Pricing: Hourly rates range from $30.00 to $100.00 and include a one-week risk-free trial.

Hiring process: You provide Flexiple all of the details of your project’s requirements when signing up. Then, they give you personalized candidate recommendations for you to interview. Once you choose a candidate, your free trial begins.

Time zone: Time zones vary based on the location of your talent.

Quality assurance: Flexiple vets the talent, but you’re responsible for QA-ing the work.

LEMON.IO

9. Lemon.io

Summary: Lemon is a developer marketplace geared toward early-stage startups.

Talent: Lemon vets its developers with a four-step process, from a resume review to a soft and hard skills check. Their developers with the following technologies:

Pricing: The startup plan goes for $45.00 to $80.00 an hour. Lemon also offers a CTO plan, but you must contact them for custom pricing.

Hiring process: First, you answer a couple of questions about the projects. Then Lemon offers the best-fitting candidate. After that, you fund your account to get the project started.

Time zone: 96% of Lemon’s freelancers are in eastern Europe, but synchronous or asynchronous work might vary by the candidate.

Quality assurance: Lemon vets the talent, but you’re responsible for the project’s QA.

ARC

10. Arc

Summary: Arc is a platform that aims to simplify hiring developers who work remotely with a network of more than 34,000 developers.

Talent: Arc vets their remote developers with a six-step process, from manual profile screening to technical interviews and pair programming. Arc promotes talent in the following popular tech stacks:

Pricing: Prices vary as developers set their salary expectations,and you pay a fee based on that salary. Arc also offers a risk-free trial period. The Arc team will match you with another developer free of charge during the first three months if you’re dissatisfied.

Hiring process: Arc gives you the option to hire permanent or freelance remote developers. Their three-step approach includes:

  1. Request: You describe the role and provide details about your ideal developer(s).
  2. Interview: Next, you interview candidates. It takes an average of two interviews to get to the hiring stage.
  3. Hire: Finally, you choose the top candidate while Arc handles the paperwork.

Time zone: Time zones vary based on the location of your talent.

Quality assurance: Arc vets the talent, but you’re responsible for QA-ing the work.

FREELANCER

11. Freelancer.com

Summary: Freelancer is a popular freelance marketplace website with developers from around the globe, and it has been around for a lot longer than most options on this list.

Talent: There is no vetting process. Freelancers create profiles on the site and bid on jobs, similar to UpWork. The site boasts more than 1800 talent categories. Here are the most popular developer-related categories:

Pricing: You negotiate rates with your candidate(s), and there are no costs until you hire. Rates are fixed, project-based, and paid on completion.

Hiring process: Potential employers post jobs and freelancers on the network then bid to complete.

Time zone: Time zones vary based on the location of your talent.

Quality assurance: The responsibility is yours to vet the talent and their work, but the platform offers customer support 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

GAPER

12. Gaper

Summary: Gaper is a platform that provides software engineers for recruiting needs and software development projects.

Talent: Gaper vets its engineers, although they don’t explain their process, only that the talent is the top 1% from well-known corporations. You can find software engineers who will work in the following technologies:

Pricing: Prices start at $35.00 an hour, and your project comes with a free two-week trial.

Hiring process: You must fill out a form to get a quote to begin the hiring process.

Time zone: Talent is available worldwide, which means you can work synchronously or asynchronously.

Quality assurance: Gaper vets the talent, but you’re responsible for QA-ing the work.

DevSquad will help you choose your Toptal alternative

Maybe we’re your best choice, and maybe we’re not. We can even say that the right choice is unique to your needs, but if you’re looking for a ready-to-go tech team eager to help you grow, then you should give DevSquad a call.

Either way, we’d love to help you figure it out. Let’s talk.

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