Talento | Employers

The Top Alternatives to Toptal

by Carlos A. Vázquez    |    May 26, 2021    |      12 min read


Toptal is a common solution for finding and hiring freelance software developers. Unfortunately, Toptal has many disadvantages that have led everyone to search for alternatives.

When hiring remote software engineers or developers, one of the first names that will pop up in your google search is Toptal. They’ve positioned themselves in the IT industry as a white-glove service for helping companies find the top 3 % of freelance developers across the globe to complete projects or work indefinitely for them. 

Unfortunately, Toptal price point or contract terms are not always the most affordable or easy to engage with. Furthermore, Toptal has several claims related to poor management and low morale in the company. 

If true, they’re a massive concern for CTOs and companies trying to accelerate their hiring process without too many obstacles. 

We won’t go into all the downsides of the Toptal platform. Since you are here, looking for Toptal alternatives, it is safe to assume that you have already read those disadvantages online.

Below is our list of Toptal alternatives for hiring software developers. We’ve analyzed companies like Toptal for you to make a decision on which suits your engineering hiring needs. 

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Build world-class teams that deliver game-changing custom software with Gigster's innovation management solution

The innovative platform boasts an array of specialists in different fields relevant to software development. Moreover, it offers help assembling multidisciplinary teams of engineers, product managers, and designers for clients. Through its top-tier tech, Gigster helps customers complete their projects swiftly and efficiently.


Gigster only offers project outsourcing services, where they take full ownership of a project’s development lifecycle from start to finish. They choose the talents employed in the project, manage it entirely and provide check-ins with the client to provide status updates. 


Gigster’s talent is focused on technology roles only: software developers, designers, and project managers. Their talent pool of more than 1,000 members is an invite-only network that goes through resume review, written screening, and phone screening before working on a project. 

Their pool includes talent from top schools like Caltech, Stanford, MIT, and developers with previous or current work experience at Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. In terms of location, 70% of their talent comes from the US, 15% from Western Europe, and 15% from other global locations. 


The revolutionary AI of Gigster helps clients match with candidates across the globe. They also have dedicated project managers who dive deep into your requirements to assemble the right team for your needs. As a company, you don’t get to pick and choose those who will compose your team directly, but you’re always in the driver’s seat when it comes to your project roadmap. 


Gigster charges a fixed fee per project, and the amount charged depends on your project requirements. However, the project’s minimum cost is $52,000. 


coderslink is better than toptal

CodersLink empowers companies to build, grow and manage remote tech teams in Latin America. They connect companies with their existing pool of over 15,000 vetted candidates to create nearshore teams or hire remote developers to work dedicatedly through staffing and recruiting solutions. The service is entirely focused on technology roles from software engineers, developers, designers, project managers, QA engineers, IT managers, tech support specialists, and more. 


Their offer two service levels: recruiting and staff augmentation. For the recruiting service, CodersLink helps with sourcing, vetting, and interview process management. Once a suitable candidate is found, they are hired directly by the company. On the other hand, if the company chooses staff augmentation,  CodersLink helps find and hire the developer and manage their payroll and benefits monthly. 


CodersLink’s advanced matching is based on soft skills, English, professional experience, technical skills, and behavioral evaluations. They manage every step of the sourcing process. 

Once candidates pass the vetting process, they’re shortlisted and sent to the partner company. The company then reviews the candidates’ list, selects who to interview, and hires. 

CodersLink adapts to the interview and hiring process of their partner companies. 


Talent comes only from Latin American countries. Their existing talent pool is over 15,000 vetted candidates in all aspects of technology: UX/UI designers, software engineers, mobile engineers, development operations engineers, system administrators, project managers, quality assurance specialists, and data scientists. 

All prospective candidates must go through an initial evaluation before being able to get matched with companies.


CodersLink charges a finder’s fee for its recruiting service and a monthly service fee for its staffing service. 


Freelance services. On demand

Fiver is an online marketplace for freelancers. It allows individuals to offer their services to customers worldwide. Freelancers can perform various tasks in different areas like design, digital marketing, writing, video editing, music, programming, data, business, and lifestyle. 

Compared to other marketplaces, Fiverr works as a ‘yellow book’ or a database where customers can see portfolios and message freelancers directly to contract them. They offer Fiverr business,  a solution with enhanced matching, additional details on freelancers, and more business services. 


On-demand freelancers. It’s a pay-to-play service where freelancers set their prices. The contracting company or customer has to agree to those terms before engaging. Alternatively, they have a Fiverr Business solution at an annual membership that provides a curated catalog, a success manager (that matches you with the best talent), and team management tools. 


For its standard service, there is no matchmaking; each customer or company does this. On its business solution, a business success manager supports the search for talent with enhanced matchmaking that considers work experience, online presence, skills, and previous project behavior. 


There’s a wide range of skilled professionals from creative services, development services, marketing, sales, etc. In a nutshell, any freelancer can join the platform and list their services. There is no restriction. 


The freelancer sets the price. They usually create specific packages or offer certain services for which they charge a fee. These services are generally one-off’s and are not thought about for longer-term engagements, even though you can still make those happen. 


The world’s work marketplace.

The largest freelancing site, Upwork, is a popular Toptal alternative that helps clients easily connect with adept freelancers, companies, and business professionals. No matter the skill your business is missing. You can count on Upwork to provide you with professionals well-versed in that field. 


They offer access to on-demand freelancers of all types. In Upwork, a company can either look for specific freelancers to hire them directly or publish an opportunity where freelancers can apply for them to review and select one they like. 

Talent specialists are assigned to a specific job for paid tiers. That provides screening and matching services based on your job description and any additional requirements you give them. 


For any of its services, matchmaking can be done by each customer and company. They can access the vast array of freelancers available and message them directly. There is the added benefit of the talent specialist for paid tiers, who look at your requirements and provides you with pre-screened candidates on an ad hoc basis – usually once or twice.  


The vast majority of talent in Upwork is not screened for skills. Anyone can create an account and join the platform. However, this is a rating and evaluation system for previously completed work. This allows future employers to identify freelancers who have successfully completed tasks and evaluate public reviews of other assignments. 

On the other hand, there’s y select group of freelancers dubbed as “expert-vetted” talent, an invite-only program by Upwork where they evaluate talent on both hard and soft skills. This program is only available for web, mobile software development, design, sales, and marketing. 

The evaluations include screening for reliable execution, excellent communication, personal interview, amongst others. They are vetted by talent managers and similar experts in their specific domains. 


Upwork allows clients to hire employees on flexible payment and project methods, including a one-off fee for a short-term project. Or you can pay them hourly for a long-term project. From app development to customer service, you can connect with industry experts and quickly interview them to finalize the hiring process. 


Terminal is the world’s first tech-enabled platform for remote engineering teams.

Terminal helps companies build engineering teams across Mexico, the US, and Canada. They identify emerging tech hubs and support companies in building offices in those places by providing complete operations and services. They specialize in building technology teams and offer talent sourcing services and HR management once engineers are hired. 


Terminal has two parts to its service: talent sourcing and talent HR management.

Their sourcing and recruiting service called “Terminal Talent Platform” provides you with sourcing, vetting, matchmaking capabilities, and their remote engineering hiring process recommendations. They charge a monthly flat fee and a success fee per hire.

On the other hand, they have their service called “Terminal Remote Management Platform” for payroll, benefits, and overall HR management.” They offer HR & payroll, benefits, community access, career coaching, access to offices, and more services for hired talent. If need be, they can set up an exclusively dedicated workspace, but that comes at a premium. 


Customized matching is made for every position opened with Terminal. Their team of recruiters source, evaluate and submit candidates to their clients with recruiter notes and video interviews. The hiring company decides who to interview and who to hire. 


They specialize in helping companies hire talent in Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and the United States. 


Terminal charges a monthly subscription fee of $5,000 for access to their Terminal Talent Platform, as well as a 20% of the annual salary per hired engineer as a success fee. 

For ongoing HR, benefits, and payroll management, they charge 5% of employment costs and set fee per member-managed for ongoing HR, benefits, and payroll management. 

Finally, there are two plans for any access to office space for 2 days a week; there’s an $850/month cost per member, and for unlimited access, it’s an additional $1,200/month. 


World's first marketplace for rapid engineering staff augmentation - youteam.io

YouTeam helps tech companies extend or supplement their engineering teams by using a network of 20,000 contractors from development agencies worldwide. Companies looking to hire a single engineer for a short period of time or a team for a quick development project are best matched with YouTeam members. They tap into global development agencies for talent that’s looking for additional work. 


In a nutshell, YouTeam provides a marketplace for companies looking to hire dedicated developers or dedicated teams. Customers upload projects, receive matches for their requests, and hire developers or software development houses right from the tool. 

When hired, the customer engages directly with the software development house, and YouTeam acts only as the billing/payment agent between them, charging a commission. 


They provide a customer success manager that helps customers with the hiring process. They use proprietary software to match projects with developers and development teams. Those are presented to the customer via resumes and portfolios, and the company can choose to interview them before engaging with the software development houses that employ them. 


YouTeam’s talent specialists are all middle and senior developers full-time employed at software development shops across South America and Eastern Europe. It currently boasts an existing base of over 20,000 members. They tap into complete agencies when adding more members. 

The talent in their base goes through a vetting process that involves reviewing the company’s track record, 3rd party references, legal review, and staff interviews.  Individual programmers also go through technical and HR interviews.


There are two payment schemes: the time and material model, and the fixed-price model. The time and material model asks for an advance payment of work to be done on a bi-weekly basis. While the fixed-price model uses an initial deposit and an installment schedule for milestones met. The software development houses set these prices. 


Information Technology & Services

They specialize in the end-to-end delivery of highly customized technology solutions designed by the top 1% software engineering teams. They offer companies to extend their technical capacity, add a dedicated team or completely outsource a software development project. BairesDev focuses on the IT industry and has talent across North America, Europe, and Latin America. 


Their company offers three solutions: Extended Team, Delivery Team, and Software Outsourcing. Each of these solutions tackles different problems using their pre-vetted tech talent. They work with companies big and small from regions in the Americas and Europe. 

The extended team model is an IT staffing solution that allows any company to add hands to their current team and processes. These folks work as part of the company’s internal team and report directly to company managers. 

The delivery team model is a step further from staffing, where you have a dedicated team, chosen by BairesDev, who continuously tackle projects for a client company. They function as an IT team assembled and paid by BairesDev but work dedicatedly under the direction of the client company. 

Finally, the software outsourcing model is very straightforward, where they receive requirements and provide end-to-end solutions. 


For the delivery team and software outsourcing models, BairesDev decides which people will form part of which project and present those teams for final review to the client. 

BairesDev provides customized sourcing and matching for any open positions on top of their existing talent vetting process for the extended team. 


BairesDev has over 1500 bilingual IT professionals specializing in more than 50 software and programming languages. They are located in North America, Europe, and Latin America. Not everyone can join the Bairesdev talent pool; they have a 6-step selection process that involves online tests, written tests, HR interviews, technical interviews, and an internal evaluation. 


They have different models for each of their services:

  • For Delivery Team, they have a fixed-price model or a monthly fixed-price
  • For Extended Team or Staffing, they have a monthly management fee
  • For Software Outsourcing, they have a fixed-price model. 

Final Words 

Above were some of the top alternatives to Toptal that you and your business can choose to outsource your project. Moreover, the plethora of available choices may make it difficult for you to pick one tool. 

An excellent way to select the ideal solution is by defining your business needs and finding platforms that cater to those requirements. Plus, decide if you require only one developer or a whole team for your development project. You may also factor in cultural and time zone differences and your budget to ensure you choose the best Toptal alternative.   

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