The Best Toptal Alternatives (Dec 2021): Top Solutions Reviewed

Which is Your Favorite?

Are you looking for the best Toptal alternatives? If so, you're in the right place – we're revealing exactly that here in this round-up.

For the initiated, Toptal is a unique online freelance platform that provides clients access to the ‘top 3% of freelancers’.

If that sounds exclusive, it’s because it is. The platform rigorously vets freelancers using a five-step process to assess their:

  1. Language and personality
  2. Skills
  3. Experience
  4. How they handle test projects
  5. How they maintain ongoing excellence

On Toptal, clients can find:

  • Finance experts
  • Product and project managers
  • Graphic design
  • Software development
  • Programmers

…To name a few!

Toptal provides everything you need to hire a team of experts on-demand, so you can hit the ground running with your latest project.

That said, depending on the kind of help you need (or the services you provide), Toptal might not be the best choice.

After all, Toptal’s freelance talent isn't cheap to hire, and if you're only looking to complete a small project, you may not require the experience and expertise garnered by Toptal's freelancers.

In light of that, we’re reviewing some of Toptal’s best alternatives for freelancers and clientele alike. More specifically, we're taking a look at:

  • MarketerHire
  • Upwork
  • ProBlogger Jobs
  • Freelancer.com
  • Flexiple
  • Remotefit

Hopefully, by the end of this round-up, you’ll have found the right platform to either hire or get hired on!

There's lots to cover, so let’s dive in!

Best Toptal Alternatives: MarketerHire

marketerhire - best toptal alternatives

As its name suggests, MarketerHire‘s the place to be if you're a freelancer looking to sell your marketing services. Or, on the flip side, someone wanting to hire top talent. If you're the latter – you're in good company using this platform: Netflix, HelloFresh, and Buzzfeed are just some of the heavy hitters on MarketerHire's client roster!

Here’s how the hiring process works for clients:

  1. First off, you describe your project.
  2. Then, MarketerHire’s technology identifies and matches you with a marketing professional that's suitable for your needs within 48 hours.
  3. MarketerHire checks in with you and the marketer regularly to ensure everything's running smoothly.

Simple, right?

On the freelancing side of things, all types of marketing expertise are welcome, including content, social media, Amazon, branding, paid search marketing, etc. In addition, freelancers can expect to be vetted based on their professional experience, client feedback, and work samples.

Pricing

MarketerHire requires a commitment of at least $1,500 per month to work with a marketer in their network. However, there are no recruitment fees, no termination fees, and you cancel anytime, and it’s completely free to be-rematched to a marketer in the case something isn’t working out. All of this makes MarketerHire a low-risk option for those looking to hire marketing talent.

Marketers set their own rates, with hourly rates commonly falling between $80-$160 per hour. This isn't a platform where freelancers compete to offer the lowest prices, making it a viable forum for professionals to find fair renomination for their hard work.

MarketerHire's Pros:

  • MarketerHire doesn't charge clients recruitment or termination fees.
  • Clients don't have to commit to long-term contracts.
  • Once a marketer and freelancer are matched, the platform sets up a free 30-minute intro call.
  • It's a viable place for professional marketers to request fair and competitive salaries.
  • The diligent vetting and matching process makes MarketerHire great for corporate projects.
  • Clients benefit from ongoing support and quality assurance checkups.
  • Clients and freelancers are matched quickly, for free –– typically in under 48 hours.

MarketerHire's Cons:

  • Clients have to make a soft monthly commitment of $1,500 per month to ensure marketers are paid a fair salary. As such, MarketerHire isn't great if you're a small business looking to outsource simple, non-marketing related projects.
  • There are occasional reports where clients are teamed up with professionals who don't have the skills to do the job justice. In these instances, rematching is necessary (and a free feature of MarketerHire). However, from what we can tell, this seems to be a rarity although encouraged by MarketerHire to ensure best fit.

Who's MarketerHire Best for?

MarketerHire is best suited to professional freelancers with expertise in specific areas of marketing – especially those wanting to work with companies on long-term marketing projects, marketing audits, channel expansion, and more.

It's not suited to clients looking for a marketer that can quickly help with a small project.

Best Toptal Alternatives: Upwork

upwork - best toptal alternatives

When you start researching freelancing platforms, Upwork‘s almost always one of the first names to appear. It's famous for connecting talent and clients quickly and simply to work together on smaller projects.

Some of their more notable clients include Microsoft, Airbnb, and GoDaddy. This tells us that even though Upwork serves solopreneurs, startups, and more casual clients, it can also facilitate corporate-level projects.

Unlike Toptal and MarketerHire, Upwork allows clients to browse their freelancer directory at their leisure. Here, clients can filter freelancers based on their rating and directly compare their prices. There are tons of different freelancers on this marketplace – from web designers and software engineers to freelance writers and web developers, you're bound to find someone offering the services you're looking for.

Alternatively, clients can post a job, and freelancers can bid on it.

The downside for freelancers is that you need to offer low prices and fast turn-around times to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Some hourly rates are as low as $5!

On the flip side, clients are sometimes hard-pressed to find skilled talent amongst the low bids. Consequently, you'll have to spend time carefully vetting who you work with.

Pricing

On the client-side of things, Upwork takes a 3% processing fee. On top of that, there are two packages you can opt into: The free basic plan. Or the Plus plan, which will set you back $49.99 per month. The latter unlocks premium customer support, team reporting, and more freelance posts per job.

Where freelancers are concerned, it's free to create a profile. However, a percentage of your rates is taken by Upwork:

  • 20% on the first $500
  • 10% on total billings up to $10,000
  • 5% for total billings above $10,000

Upwork's Pros:

  • It's quick to find a freelancer for any project size.
  • Clients can peruse the freelance marketplace via the project board, and freelancers can find and bid on jobs. This gives users the freedom to conduct their own searching and screening process.
  • Upwork's well-suited to smaller creative projects like logo or font creation

Upwork's Cons:

  • Freelancers often find it difficult to find fair rates.
  • As most of Upwork's jobs are smaller, they often fall under the $500 category, incurring a high 20% service fee.
  • Upwork doesn't really vet their freelancers, so clients should be careful who they hire.
  • Upwork's freelancers are based all over the world, so double-check your freelancer operates in the same timezone as you before committing to work with them. This isn't necessarily a drawback – just something to be aware of.

Who's Upwork Best for?

Upwork might be suited to freelancers just starting out or those wanting to make a little money on the side.

On the client-side of things, it's best for those with low budgets who are commissioning smaller projects. It's not great for anyone looking for high levels of expertise.

Best Toptal Alternatives: ProBlogger Jobs

problogger jobs - best toptal alternatives

ProBlogger is ideal if you're looking for writing work or need content written for you. It resembles and acts like a traditional job board – much more than the other Toptal alternatives on this list.

Here, people post jobs for influencer posts, blog administration, SEO consultation, content marketing, editing, blog writing, and more.

Freelancers can scour potential gigs and narrow their search by content type. I.e., contracts, freelance, full-time, and part-time work.

When freelancers find a gig they like the look of, they can apply. Then, once clients find a suitable match, interactions and payment continue off-site.

Pricing

To post a standard listing that lasts 15 days will cost you $75. In contrast, a featured listing (one that appears at the top of the job board) costs $150. If you're posting multiple jobs, there are packages where you could benefit from a volume discount.

For freelancers, there aren't any fees.

Problogger Pros:

  • Problogger is a popular writer's job board, so clients will quickly find freelancers.
  • The site (usually) attracts professional writers who are serious about their craft.
  • It's suitable for larger content projects and long-term job roles.

Problogger's Cons:

  • Problogger only hosts job postings- they don't vet the advertiser or the writers that apply.
  • There's no further support or quality assurance for either party. After the application, all negotiations continue off-site.
  • For smaller jobs, the listing fee might be too high to justify.

Who's Problogger Best for?

ProBlogger is an excellent platform for anyone looking to hire professional writers on a long-term and regular basis. Likewise, it’s an excellent resource for writers trying to find work.

Best Toptal Alternatives: Freelancer.com

freelancer com - best toptal alternatives

Freelancer.com is another freelance platform boasting millions of users. Its client pool includes the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Deloitte, and many other big names.

Here’s how the process works for the client:

  • Clients post a job for free. This includes a title, description, and budget for their project.
  • Then, they’ll receive competitive bids from freelancers across over 1,800 skill disciplines.
  • Clients can then choose the best match for themselves.
  • Payment occurs via a milestone system that ensures clients are 100% satisfied with the quality of the work before they pay.

Alternatively, Freelancer has a team of recruiters that can help you find a good match or even manage the collaboration.

Also, like with Upwork, you can browse the portfolios of over 50 million freelancers.

Pricing

It's free to sign up and post a project. However, there's a small introduction fee once the client picks a freelancer. This is a fixed price of 3% or $3, whichever is greater. Hourly projects also demand a 3% fee whenever a payment is made to the freelancer.

For freelancers, the fee for fixed-priced projects is 10% or $5, whichever is greater. For hourly projects, it's 10%.

Freelancer.com's Pros:

  • It's easy to post a job.
  • Clients receive vast numbers of bids in a short timeframe, making it an excellent option for those looking to hire freelancers to fulfill pressing needs.
  • It’s easy to communicate via the platform using the on-page chat.
  • The Freelancer.com website is easy to navigate.
  • The secure milestone payments system protects clients from committing to work they're not happy with

Freelancer.com's Cons:

  • Like Upwork, the bidding model and public profiles encourage low bids.
  • There's no vetting process outside of clients reviewing portfolios.
  • Freelancers face relatively high service feeS on their projects, which means they’ll have to increase their prices to make up for the margin.

Who's Freelancer.com Best for?

Like Upwork, Freelancer.com is also suitable for those looking to hire freelancers to work on short-term, cheaper projects. Freelancers looking for higher-paying work may also find the platform difficult.

Best Toptal Alternatives: Flexiple

flexiple - best toptal alternatives

Flexiple appeals to highly corporate and professional clients and tech talent. However, whereas Toptal claims to feature the top 3% of talent, Flexiple goes that one step further by claiming the top 1%.

Flexiple focuses on matching companies with high-quality freelance developers, web designers, software developers, WordPress developers, etc. with average rates ranging from $30 to $100 an hour and projects lasting from a few weeks to a few months.

Flexiple uses an extensive vetting process to approve its freelancers, of which the first step only has a 45.4% pass rate. Over one or more face-to-face interviews, Flexiple reviews freelancers for experience, checks for good communication skills, and assesses their technical abilities. Freelancers then have to undertake skill-specific trials and acquire various references for Flexiple to verify. From there on, freelancers must continue to provide an excellent standard of service to their clients.

Pricing

Flexiple doesn’t charge its freelancers for its service. Therefore, there's no commission or fee involved. In contrast, clients have to pay the freelancer's advertised fees.

Flexiple's Pros:

  • Clients get access to rigorously vetted talent. Each Flexiple freelancer is an expert in their discipline, boasting relevant work experience.
  • Clients enjoy a free trial week where they can assess whether the freelancer's a good fit – if it’s not, you won’t be charged
  • There are no recruiting fees or termination costs
  • Hiring a freelancer takes less than a week (on average)

Flexiple's Cons

  • Flexiple isn't suitable for clients looking to hire a freelancer to undertake a quick and easy job at a low cost.
  • For freelancers, becoming part of the talent pool is difficult. Only top talent is admitted onto the platform.

Who's Flexiple Best for?

Like Toptal, Flexiple is best for corporations looking for experienced professionals to join their teams on essential projects. A competitive budget is required. Beyond this, the platform focuses exclusively on the development and design services. So if that's what's you're looking for, Flexiple's well worth considering.

Best Toptal Alternatives: Remotefit

remotefit - best toptal alternatives

Remotefit is a bit of a different Toptal alternative. Its focus is on connecting talent with companies that have the right cultural fit for them. This means as a talent, you’re prompted to take a quick quiz. From there, you'll be shown job openings from listed companies.

When companies list their job opportunities on Remotefit, they have to choose from various culture tags that indicate what matters to them. This can include qualities like conscious communication, independence, collaboration, diversity, passion-driven, and more.

As the name implies, the focus is on remote jobs, making the platform perfect for skilled talent who can’t relocate but want to explore work opportunities with more prominent brands.

The website consists very simply of a list of companies and jobs, as well as some resources. Clients get to advertise on the site for a yearly fee but don’t interact with applicants on the website in any other way.

Pricing

It costs $1,999 a year for companies to list their profile on Remotefit. But, candidates don't have to spend a dime!

Flexiple's Pros:

  • It's a great job board for remote job seekers that care about culture
  • Flexiple provides an excellent opportunity for companies to highlight what matters to them within a more culture-driven jobseeker market
  • It's free for freelancers to use

Flexiple's Cons:

  • The steep listing price makes it exclusive to large corporations
  • Perhaps due to this price, there are currently only 20 companies listed on Remotefit

Who's Flexiple Best for?

Remotefit is an excellent resource for job seekers explicitly looking for remote work with a major corporation. On the flip side, it's a terrific platform for enterprises looking for freelancers who will complement their organizational culture.

Have You Found The Best Toptal Alternatives for You?

So, there you have it, our best Toptal alternatives!

For both freelancers and clients looking for professional assistance, there are many Toptal alternatives on the market. Outsourcing work has never been so easy – there are tons of options out there.

If Toptal isn’t the right fit because the pricing's too high or the entry requirements for freelancers are too strict, you might have more luck with Upwork or Freelancer. The same goes for clients that want quicker and simpler jobs completed in a short time frame.

However, there are other highly professional freelance platforms like Toptal, including MarketerHire and Flexiple. Here, freelancers won't have to compromise on their rates, and brands can outsource larger, more specialized projects. The critical difference between these two is what roles you're hiring for/offering as a service. I.e., MarketerHire is an ideal resource for the marketing industry, and Flexiple is the place to be if you're in the web design and development sector.

Currently, freelance platforms seem polarized towards either highly professional almost corporate-like setups. Or, on the flip side, they're volume-bidding war for the cheapest labor. That said, Freelancer and Upwork (who are usually associated with the latter) occasionally offer up more substantial projects.

Your third and final option is to browse online job boards and find individual freelancers independently to suit your price range/ apply for work.

Let us know in the comments box below where you like to look for clients or freelancers. Is it one of the options mentioned above, or other Toptal competitors we haven't mentioned like Fiverr, gun.io, lemon.io, Guru.com, Clouddevs, or Gigster? Either way, tell us all about it!

Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to e-commerce platforms, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, G2, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.

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