Top 8 Best Toptal Alternatives for Hiring Developers

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Toptal has long held the crown as a leading platform in the premium freelance marketplace, boasting an intricate vetting system supported by robust recommendations. Their consistent quality control has earned them accolades over the years.

However, with the freelance workforce growing and the rise of remote work, many other platforms have sprung up, offering unique ways to connect companies with freelancers. If you’re considering branching out from Toptal, we have a list of alternatives to guide you.

Why Opt for Toptal Alternatives?

It’s essential to pinpoint the reasons to consider a Toptal alternative:

  1. Pricing Flexibility: Maybe you seek different pricing structures or wish to negotiate directly with a freelancer.
  2. Specific Freelancer Unavailability: Sometimes, Toptal might not have the freelancer matching your precise needs and budget

Top 8 Toptal Alternatives to Hire Developers

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While you’re exploring Toptal alternatives, remember that you might be specifically searching for platforms with a vetting process similar to Toptal. However, depending on your requirements, there are various platforms, ranging from the well-known like Upwork and Gigster to newer platforms like Hubstaff Talent.

1. Trio vs Toptal

Trio specializes in rapidly scaling software engineering teams with top-tier senior and mid-level talent.

Based in Boston, MA, Trio sits at the heart of the Eastern tech community providing startups and mid-size enterprises with the talent and support they need to achieve their business goals.

Their vetting process, combined with deep customer support and personalized matching ensures you receive developers that match your requirements and will be long-term team members.

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Comparing with Toptal: While Trio provides superior quality developers at competitive rates, Toptal provides a wider range of technologies, skills and roles.

Cost: Expect to spend between $48-$75/hr for developers from Trio.

Risks: Trio specializes in JavaScript (React, React Native, Node.js, Next.js), Python, Java, and iOS based technologies. Hire times increase if you’re looking for developers outside of those technologies or using obscure JavaScript frameworks, Trio might not be the best fit.

2. Flexiple vs Toptal

Despite being a lean team, Flexiple has caters to numerous clients looking for freelancers. Their vetting process, combined with personalized matching, ensures you get the best fit.

Comparing with Toptal: While Flexiple offers comparable talent quality at competitive rates, Toptal, due to its vastness, might have more niche skills.

Cost: Expect to spend between $30-$80/hr for developers from Flexiple.

Risks: Flexiple offers a wide range of freelance developers. The risks associated with hiring freelance developer talent is widely known, and Flexiple is no exception. Learn more about the risks of hiring freelance developers here.

3. Upwork vs Toptal

Unlike Toptal, Upwork doesn’t vet its freelancers. It’s a vast platform where freelancers bid for projects, suitable for short-term tasks where cost might be a higher concern than quality.

Comparing with Toptal: While Upwork offers a broad range of freelancers across various domains, it might not be the ideal fit for long-term projects.

Cost: Freelancer rates can start at $8-$15/hr, going up to $200/hr.

Risks: Upwork suffers from serious quality issues, making it difficult for non-experienced managers looking to hire developers to find the right fit. Freelance developer talent tend not to be loyal in the long-term and can leave customers high and dry at the drop of a dime.

4. Arc.dev vs Toptal

Arc.dev focuses on providing AI-driven staffing solutions via a marketplace for remote software developers. They also provide contractor options as well.

Comparing with Toptal: Arc.dev is very close to Toptal as a marketplace, however they are focused on placing full-time hires. .

Cost: Arc charges a fee based on the candidate’s annual salary only when you decide to hire.

Risks: Staffing can be a great option for companies looking to hire internal team members. Arc’s need to be a scalable marketplace might cause some issues with their vetting process as they aren’t able to tailor specifically to your needs.

5. Hubstaff Talent vs Toptal

A newer platform offering a free service, Hubstaff Talent emphasizes software-driven freelancer-project matching.

Comparing with Toptal: Unlike Toptal, Hubstaff Talent is more of an open database of freelancers.

Cost: The platform is free for businesses and freelancers.

Risks: Hubstaff is a general purpose staffing database, which means most of the validation process (the actual time consuming stuff) is placed onto you and your team. Another concern is the quality and relevance of the talent in their database as well.

6. Gun.io vs Toptal

Gun.io is a direct-hire and freelance solution for companies looking to save time in their hiring process.

Comparing with Toptal: While both focus on quality, Gun.io’s pool is smaller due to its exclusivity.

Cost: Expect rates between $75 to $150 per hour.

Risks: Certain risks apply when dealing with freelance networks.

7. Gigster vs Toptal

Ideal for businesses needing a fast tech team augmentation, Gigster uses AI to build the perfect team for you.

Comparing with Toptal: Gigster offers end-to-end solutions, charging per project.

Cost: A project starts at a steep $52,000 per license.

Risks: Gigster has had to reposition a few times in the past 5 years. From agency to now team augmentation solution, some risks range from their ability to succeed fundamentally as a business, to all the processes inside.

8. Fiverr vs Toptal

Pioneering the order-based freelance model, Fiverr caters to one-off specific tasks.

Comparing with Toptal: More suitable for smaller tasks, Fiverr doesn’t offer any quality guarantees.

Cost: Services range from $5 to $995.

Risks: Fiverr is probably not the place to find web application developers for direct-hire or long-term work, as it’s not positioned as a platform to fulfill the needs of tech leaders.

Which Toptal Alternative Suits You?

Your choice depends entirely on your needs:

For top-tier talent that delivers real impact

Trio has long been one of the leading providers of top-tier senior level talent, with a strong emphasis to support developers to drive real impact at the teams they are a part of.

They are able to scale your team with quality senior and mid-level talent within 5 days and support partners throughout the process, creating a long-term partnership that helps companies grow and achieve their business goals.

For talent without breaking the bank

Consider Trio, Flexiple and Gun.io when your looking to hire developers without stretching your budget.

Each option has their own vetting mechanism for developers, and ideally they will pair you with the best match for your needs, offering a seamless way to expand your technical team.

It’s up to you to decide which process you like the best, and who you feel like can deliver what you need the best.

When time is of the essence in hiring

When quick hiring is your top priority, Trio, Flexiple, and Gun.io stand out as the go-to platforms. Their efficient processes and customer service mean you can kickstart your project in a span of 48 hours to a week.

If budget constraints are tight

For those aiming to avoid platform fees and are comfortable vetting candidates personally, Hubstaff Talent is a smart pick.

The platform boasts a continually expanding list of remote developers, giving you the tools to pinpoint and connect with your ideal match.

For those not familiar with how to hire software developers or build teams, this might not be the safest option.

For short-duration projects or tasks

For brief assignments or singular tasks, freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr come highly recommended.

Their vast freelancer pool spans a broad spectrum of pricing, often starting below $15/hr. However, their open bidding nature and lack of preliminary freelancer evaluation make them more suited to minor technical jobs.

For ongoing, long-term projects

If you have an extended project necessitating steady developmental effort, top-tier platforms such as Trio, and Arc.dev are your best allies.

These platforms are invaluable if you’re on the lookout for developers to bolster your technical crew but wish to remain hands-on with the developmental trajectory.

When you need a development team

For those considering outsourcing the complete developmental cycle and seeking a comprehensive team, Trio or Gigster are your go-to options.

Both Trio and Gigster allow you to onboard development along with a project overseer. Gigster’s premium pricing might be a stretch for many budding enterprises, so Trio might be a more affordable option without sacrificing talent quality.

Another way to look at which Toptal alternatives you should consider is:

  • Top-Tier Talent: Trio
  • Tight-Budget: Flexiple, Gun.io
  • Swift Hiring: Trio, Flexiple, Gun.io
  • No Expenditure: Hubstaff Talent
  • Short-Term Projects: Upwork and Fiverr
  • Long-Term Engagements: Trio, Arc.dev
  • Full Development Team: Trio, Gigster

Remember to carefully weigh your requirements against each platform’s offerings to find your ideal match.

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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