January 07, 2021 Published by Maria De La Peña

Toptal Alternatives to Use in Recruiting a Talent

Toptal alternatives provide several options for companies on the hunt for highly-skilled talents. A good alternative addresses clients’ needs effectively.

A foolproof freelance marketplace is what clients usually use in recruiting their talents. Most companies feel more secure in using platforms with a thorough vetting process. It prevents the rigorous task that always goes with recruitment. However, platforms like Toptal have limitations despite the features and benefits they offer. Clients can choose a few Toptal alternatives like Delesign to include in their list of platforms to use in hiring the right talent.

Toptal provides a network of developers and designers. Using this platform, clients can also search for financial experts, product managers, and project managers. Most companies use Toptal in hiring their employees due to its fastidious screening process. Due to this, companies can access only the most highly-skilled and experienced freelancers.

Most commonly used Toptal alternatives


Upwork is one of the world’s oldest freelance marketplaces. Several companies prefer using this platform due to its diverse collection of freelancers in various professions.

Clients can work with developers, designers, copywriters, marketers, and customer support representatives, among others.

Unlike Toptal, Upwork allows entry-level applicants to work with clients. It may be an advantage for clients due to the cheap rates offered by the freelancers. However, this may increase the risk of having issues in working with inexperienced freelancers.

Another downside of using Upwork as one of the several Toptal alternatives is its limitations on management help or tools. The recruitment process can be a hassle to clients as they are responsible for vetting, hiring, and managing the applicants.

Like on Toptal, freelancers on Upwork offer services paid on either an hourly or per-project basis.

A client can start connecting with freelancers by posting a job first. The job ad should indicate the description of the project and the skills required. Next, Upwork sends a recommendation of freelancers with matching skills. The client then conducts an interview and chooses the right candidate for the job.

Employers can also use the search option and filter the job categories according to their preference.


Lemon.io is a digital platform used by clients in hiring freelance developers. Like Toptal, Lemon.io als o vets its applicants thoroughly. Each developer goes through a five-stage screening process that includes portfolio evaluation, background check, language test, codility test, and live interview.

Pricing ranges from $35 up to $55/ per hour. Fees for the services of the developers are deducted from the client’s account.

Lemon.io, as one of several Toptal alternatives, also matches clients with vetted professionals one at a time. The platform ensures that only the most qualified developer gets to work with an employer. The minimum work experience requirement for applicants to join Lemon.io is 2.5 years.

The platform also processes the relocation of developers if needed, provided that the client covers all expenses.


On Fiverr, employers can search for services offered by freelancers. There are several categories and subcategories to choose from. These include graphic designing, digital marketing, writing, video editing, and programming, among others.

The buyers can view the seller’s information. It includes their location, seller level, package rates, delivery time, and reviews.

Clients can use the filter option for a more refined search.

Price at Fiverr starts at $5/job order. However, it can increase according to the seller’s level, skills, and performance reviews. Fiverr ensures that the payments made by the clients are secured. Once the clients approve the output, the payment releases to the freelancer.


Guru is a freelance platform with over 3 million users. It has a network of freelancers from various niches such as programming and development, writing, and designing. Clients can also request services for fields such as sales and marketing, business, engineering, and architecture, among others.

On Guru, clients create a job posting with a description of the required niche and skills. Next, they will receive and compare quotes from various freelancers. Clients can collaborate with hired professionals using WorkRooms as a tool. They can also choose among four payment terms-fixed price, hourly, project-based or recurring payment.

Guru, as one of the several Toptal alternatives, uses the SafePay payment protection. This feature assures the freelancers that they will receive payment for their work. Likewise, clients can review the output first before an invoice is paid.

This freelance platform offers a job fee for as low as 5%. It is the lowest among top freelance marketplaces.


Freelancer.com is the world’s largest freelancing marketplace. It has over 48 million users. Using this platform, companies can work with professionals of various niches in software development, writing, designing, and data entry. Other fields also include engineering, sales and marketing, and accounting.

This platform covers flexible working terms wherein freelancers are paid on either a fixed price or hourly basis.

On Freelancer.com, clients post a project with specific descriptions such as skill sets, cost, and time frame. The client then reviews proposals from applicants and selects the best one. Payments are made safely using the Milestone Payment system. By using this feature, clients have the option to release payments based on set goals or upon completion of projects.

Clients have access to a wide range of freelancers in various niches. However, this does not mean that all of the applicants can provide them with high-quality outputs. The usual disadvantage of using large platforms is the lack of quality control. Freelancer.com does not have a thorough screening process. Thus, there is a high risk of having issues in working with the applicants.

Other Toptal Alternatives


As a graphic designing service trusted by companies, Delesign ensures that its talents are exceptionally creative, innovative, and have the required skills.

Delesign offers a wide range of services. It includes animation, mockups, illustrations, video and photo editing, motion graphics, infographics, and more.

On this platform, clients can work with designers in just four steps.

First, a client matches with a designer who can efficiently address their specific needs, working with them on flexible schedules.

For effective communication and collaboration with the designers, the Go platform and the Slack workspace can be used by clients.

Second, a client submits a design request describing their vision of how they want the design to look. It allows the designers to have a great starting point and a clear understanding of the preferences of the client, thus allowing them to make the most effective design.

Unlimited design requests can be made, with an average of two hours per day of design allotment for one subscription. Clients can also purchase multiple subscriptions to provide them with more daily design allotment.

Third, the designers work on the design requests. Simple designs have a turnaround time of less than one business day. However, turnaround times for other projects vary according to their complexity. The designers will be providing daily updates regarding the project.

Finally, the designer sends the completed design to the client in the preferred file format. Full ownership of the design can be retained by the clients, also with unlimited revisions.

Clients are often skeptical about trying out new services, which is why Delesign decided to provide a 15-day money-back guarantee. It assures the clients that they can get a full refund for any unsatisfactory results.


Gun.io, as one of several Toptal alternatives, also has a vetting process for applicants. The screeners evaluate each freelancer’s English proficiency, technical skills, and work history. It ensures that only the most qualified applicants can join the network. Also, clients can work with talented designers and developers without the hassle of recruitment.

On Gun.io, clients can post jobs and interview candidates free of charge. They can also view the applicant’s profile.

Employers can use the trial period to work with the members. It allows them to assess if the applicants can address the client’s needs. The trial period lasts for a few hours.

On Gun.io, clients can view the freelancer’s working hours through weekly reports. It also allows them to monitor the progress of projects.


Gigster is a talent network composed of competent developers, project managers, architects, engineers, and designers. Like Toptal, Gigster matches the clients with vetted top talents. The freelancers undergo a screening process to assess skills and verify work experience.

Gigster’s innovation management differentiates it from other freelance marketplaces.

Gigster, as one of several Toptal alternatives, creates dynamic teams to increase work flexibility. Through this, the competence and skill level of the talents are evaluated.

One other unique feature of this platform as a Toptal alternative is the availability of a project manager who oversees the projects. However, this increases the cost of using the platform.

There are a few characteristics of a good alternative. It should be value-focused and can address the needs of the client. It should also be easy to use and cost-effective. Clients should consider all of these factors in choosing what platform to use in hiring a talent.

These Toptal alternatives only serve as options for clients and should be used according to their needs.

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Maria De La PeñaMaria is a Content Writer with keen interest in eCommerce and Internet Marketing. She is a Communications graduate and understands what it takes to write persuasive copy and blog posts. Outside of work, you can find her mini-blogging about her life on social media.