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Toptal is a freelance recruitment platform that connects design, business and technology freelancers with (mostly large) companies.

What is Toptal?

Don’t want to get lost in a sea of freelancers? Toptal focuses on matching top talent with the right opportunities quickly and cost effectively. They pride themselves on their rigorous screening process that ensures they only work with the most passionate and driven experts, meaning a quality network that can charge higher rates. The average match time is under 24 hours.

Who is Toptal suitable for?

This platform is designed for freelance experts with proven abilities, able to ‘hit the ground running’ with new clients. Typically this means you will be at the top end of individual contributor or leading small teams. To their hiring clients, Toptal actively promotes their talent pool of software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers and project managers who are interested in:

  • Healthcare and life sciences
  • Consumer products and services
  • Financial service
  • Industrials
  • Technology
  • Automotive and communications
  • Media and entertainment

The Pros

  • There’s a wide range of opportunities listed on Toptal to suit your availability – from short, quick projects, to longer term, full time engagements.
  • Freelancers can search the platform for available work, as well as being directly approached about relevant projects

The Cons

  • The full screening process for freelancers to join the platform takes between 2-5 weeks to complete and includes an online test, a live problem-solving session and completion of a project.
  • You must have at least 2-3 years of professional experience in your field in order to be able to submit your application and be open to treating your freelance roles as a main source of income.

What’s it like for applicants?

The sign up process is slick and allows you some creative input around your motivators and interests. You must provide a picture and resume along with the other custom fields required.

What makes this site unique is the fact that (they say) only the top 3% of applicants get accepted to the database, so there’s a multilevel application process and a massive sense of exclusivity when you make it through – you’re part of an elite chosen few.

If you’ve applied and your skillset doesn’t match any available projects, you’ll be notified and encouraged to apply again in future.

Trustpilot Score:

Typical Trustpilot reviews:

  • Although majority of the reviews are written from the clients’ perspective, it’s clear that Toptal candidates are considered high calibre and there is plenty of great support when it comes to troubleshooting

How to apply for roles with Toptal

To begin the application and screening process, you can apply to join their network – either by signing in through LinkedIn or creating a profile.

Here at The Portfolio Collective, we also have plenty of consultative roles listed on our opportunities page and shared through our community. If you’re interested in getting matched with relevant roles when they come up, we also encourage you to complete your TPC profile to ensure you’re found and tagged for those opportunities.

If you have additional insights on this platform, please email [email protected].

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