Is Toptal Worth It for Hiring Freelancers?

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Founded in 2010, Toptal has earned a global reputation as one of the best freelance marketplace platforms. Toptal (short for “top talent”) works by connecting highly qualified, expert freelancers with clients who need their skills. Thanks to the remote nature of its platform, Toptal is a truly global company with English-speaking freelancers available for hire worldwide.

Between $60-$200+ per hour

Hire the top 3% of freelancers for your project - $0 recruiting fee and 2 weeks zero-risk free trial!

However, one of the first things potential clients will undoubtedly notice about Toptal is its price tag. Freelancers on Toptal charge significantly more for their work than freelancers on most competitor sites, leaving many wondering whether it’s really worth the cost.

In this article, I’ll explore why Toptal is more expensive and make a case for why hiring freelancers on Toptal is absolutely worth it.

TL;DR: Is Toptal worth the price?

  • Thanks to its rigorous vetting process, Toptal is the best freelance marketplace for finding highly qualified experts in a wide variety of fields.
  • Although it’s pricier than many of the alternatives, the quality of talent and professionalism you’ll find on the platform makes Toptal absolutely worth the cost.

Reddit is a great place to learn more about Toptal. Here are a few Reddit posts that I think you’ll find interesting. Check them out and join the discussion!

Why Toptal?

To put it simply, Toptal is the best talent marketplace hiring experienced and vetted freelancers in fields such as project management, web design and development, finance, and more.

is toptal worth it and safe and legit?

Accordingly, there’s no denying that Toptal is much more expensive than non-vetted marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr,, and others.

The difference in cost is due to the fact that Toptal carefully vets all of its freelancers before allowing them to advertise their services on its platform.

This vetting process can last several weeks and includes an in-depth skill review, a personality and compatibility screening, a live interview, and a skills test.

Even though freelancers are, by definition, not employees, Toptal’s rigorous screening and vetting process is the same as what any employer would do when evaluating potential employees.

When you want to hire a freelancer through Toptal, the platform requires you to sign up and create a profile that includes a clear outline of the project or job you need to get done.

Once your project (and your legitimacy as a company or hiring entity) has been established, Toptal’s sophisticated algorithm and its expert team members will help you find the right freelancer for your needs.

The saying “buy it nice or buy it twice” refers to clothing, but the same is true of freelance work as well: Toptal promises that its freelancers represent “the top 3%” of talent in their given fields, and the quality of work you find on the platform speaks for itself. 

toptal top 3%

It may be tempting to pay less for a freelancer on a different platform, but given that cheaper platforms generally don’t vet their freelancers, it’s a much bigger gamble.

If you want to learn more about what Toptal has to offer, check out my full Toptal review.


Hire the top 3% of freelancers for your project - $0 recruiting fee and 2 weeks zero-risk free trial!

Between $60-$200+ per hour

Toptal Cost & Fees

Toptal Cost & Fees

So, we’ve established that Toptal is absolutely worth the cost when it comes to hiring freelancers. But exactly how much money are we talking about?

Although the exact cost of hiring a freelancer on Toptal will vary based on the nature of the project or job you need completed, let’s take a look at what you can generally expect.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Freelancer on Toptal?

Because Toptal’s freelancers are carefully vetted and guaranteed experts in their field, it stands to reason that they charge more for their labor than freelancers on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.

The cost of hiring a freelancer varies widely based on factors, such as their profession, the nature and specificities of your project, and whether you’ve made a contract agreement to pay hourly, daily, part-time, full-time, or with a flat fee (Toptal allows all of these options).

If you’re paying a freelancer hourly, the cost can range anywhere from $60 – $250 per hour. If you’ve hired part-time, it could be from $1,000 – $4,000 per week, and full-time work could be anywhere from $2,000 – $8,000. 

As for paying a single flat fee, it’s difficult to estimate the cost as it will depend entirely on your project and on the freelancers’ specifications.

Additionally, it’s important to know that Toptal’s fee comes out of the client’s side, not the freelancers’. 

Once your job is complete, you’ll be quoted a single fee that includes Toptal’s service charge (i.e., their cut). This won’t be listed as an extra charge but rather included in the overall fee.

Does Toptal Charge an Initial Deposit?

In short, yes. Toptal requires all of its clients to pay an initial deposit of $500, regardless of the scale or nature of your project.

“Initial” in this case means when you first sign up and create a project profile with Toptal, not when you first hire a freelancer. In other words, you’ll have to put down a $500 deposit in order to have your project considered by Toptal’s team and be matched with a freelancer.

This may seem a bit steep, but don’t worry: the deposit will be put towards your first invoice and will be fully refunded if you don’t end up hiring a freelancer through Toptal.


Is Toptal safe and legit for companies to use?

Yes, Toptal is a safe and legitimate freelance marketplace with a solid reputation for customer satisfaction.
Its strict vetting process and stringent requirements for the expertise of its freelancers make Toptal a great option for companies looking to hire the best available talent.

They accept most major credit cards and process/send payments through safe, industry-standard gateways such as PayPal and Payoneer, meaning your company won’t have to worry about security during financial transactions.

Toptal customer service members are always on call if you encounter any problems, and a team member will work with you throughout the entire process to make sure things go smoothly.

In short, Toptal is a credible and legit freelancer marketplace for companies.

How long does it take to find a freelancer on Toptal?

Generally speaking, it doesn’t take long to find and/or get matched with a freelancer on Toptal. It can happen in under a week, or take up to three weeks, depending on the specificities of your project and what you’re looking for.

This may be slightly longer than it would take on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, but once again, this is because Toptal goes the extra mile to ensure that the freelancer you’re matched with is genuinely the best fit for you.

And even though it may take a few extra days, it’s undoubtedly better to be matched with the right person than to choose the wrong person and lose time and money trying to find someone else.

How does the trial period work?

To make sure you’re satisfied, Toptal offers a 2-week trial period, during which time you can “test out” the freelancer you’ve been matched with.

The freelancer will begin working on your project, and if you’re happy with how it’s progressing after 2 weeks, you’ll be billed for the time and/or work they’ve done.

If you’re unsatisfied, then Toptal will not bill you for the time spent. They’ll match you with a new freelancer, and you’ll begin another 2-week trial period.

However, it’s worth noting that Toptal boasts a 93% satisfaction rate upon the first match, meaning it’s unlikely that you’ll need to take advantage of the trial period.

What type of talent can I hire on Toptal?

Toptal offers an impressively wide range of talent on its platform, encompassing most freelance work types that can be done remotely. Some popular categories include:

Web developers
Graphic and web designers
Art direction experts
Finance experts
Project managers
Product managers

Within these large umbrella categories, you’ll find thousands of qualified experts in more specific niches, such as blockchain consultants, Asana experts, artificial intelligence product managers, and much, much more.

In short, if a job can be done remotely, chances are you’ll find an expert who can do it on Toptal.

What if I don’t like a Toptal freelancer?

As I mentioned earlier, Toptal gives all of its clients a 2-week trial period to ensure that the freelancer you’ve been matched with is a good fit for you.

If you don’t like the freelancer you’ve been matched with, you can simply inform Toptal’s customer support team that things aren’t working out, and they’ll find a new freelancer for you without charging you for the two weeks.

If you’re unsatisfied with the final product (or with anything that happens after the initial 2-week trial period), simply reach out to the Toptal customer support team member who has been working with you and they’ll work to find a solution for the problem.

Summary – Is Toptal Worth It, and Safe & Legit to Hire Talent From?

It’s common sense that you have to pay for quality, and freelance labor is no different. 

Sure, you can absolutely find qualified freelancers at potentially lower price points on other freelance marketplace platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, but the fact that you’ll have to vet and evaluate the qualifications of freelancers yourself means you could potentially lose time and money in the process. 

Unlike most of its competitors, Toptal’s hands-on approach to matching you with the best talent from around the globe means that you’re almost guaranteed to be satisfied with the work you’ve paid for.

This means both satisfaction and peace of mind, which (in my opinion) is definitely worth paying a bit extra for.


Hire the top 3% of freelancers for your project - $0 recruiting fee and 2 weeks zero-risk free trial!

Between $60-$200+ per hour


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