Best 11 Toptal Alternatives Vetted by IT Recruiters
Evaluating Remote Tech Candidates / Job Seeker Advice

What are the Best Toptal Alternatives in 2024 for Remote Developer Hiring?

Costanza Tagliaferri
Researcher and technical writer - - - 3 min. to read

While Toptal is recognized for its high-quality pool of freelancers and efficient hiring process, it might not always be the most cost-effective or flexible option for your business needs, especially when considering budget constraints or the nature of the project. Exploring alternatives could provide more diverse choices in terms of cost, talent variety, and project suitability.

It’s essential to evaluate what your specific project requires. Factors such as the complexity of the project, the duration of the assignment, and the level of expertise needed are critical in determining the right platform.

For instance, if you’re looking for niche skills or a more flexible hiring model, other platforms might offer more tailored solutions. On the other hand, if cost is a major concern, exploring platforms that offer competitive rates without compromising on quality might be a wise decision.

Traditional platforms like Toptal or even Upwork tend to foster transactional relationships, focusing on short-duration contracts. So, what can be other alternatives that are equally cost-effective but allow you to engage in other types of contracts? 

In the next section, we’ll introduce 11 of the top alternatives to Toptal in 2024, highlighting their key features and how they compare in terms of cost, flexibility, and the range of talent available.

Exploring Beyond Toptal: Why Consider Other Hiring Options?

While Toptal has made a name for itself as a solid remote freelance hiring platform, helping businesses effectively hire for the roles of developers, designers, project managers, product managers, and finance experts, and its no-recruitment fee policy, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Here are a few reasons why Toptal might not be your ideal platform:

  • It’s expensive – Even though Toptal does not charge a recruitment fee, developers tend to ask for elevated rates starting from $60 to $150 per hour. 
  • You need a long-term developer – Transactional platforms like Toptal are ideal for businesses looking for freelancers but not for those looking to hire full-time developers. 
  • It doesn’t take into account cultural fit – Toptal is not ideal for businesses that value cultural fit and personalized matching during their hiring process.
  • You’re looking for other types of hiring models – Other platforms may offer varying engagement models such as contract-to-hire, part-time or project-based arrangements that fit best with your needs.

11 Best Toptal Alternatives in 2024

What hiring methods are better than Toptal? The truth is that it depends on your needs. Let’s explore the best Toptal alternatives and how these can benefit your company. 

1. DistantJob

DistantJob

DistantJob is a remote recruitment agency that specializes in IT talent. Their goal is to help companies find the right talent that, besides fitting their technical requirements, also matches their company’s core values and culture. 

Hiring process: DistantJob has a 3-tier vetting process. First, their headhunting team analyzes candidates seeking the exact profiles you need. Then, the evaluation process begins with the recruitment team conducting technical tests (as well as evaluating soft skills and culture fit and background checks). Finally, candidates are validated by an account manager who will send you the best options for you to choose from (80% of clients hire from this first batch).

Key features:

  • DistantJob’s employment model is centered around assisting businesses in hiring full-time developers and fostering long-term commitments. 
  • Beyond the initial hiring process, DistantJob goes the extra mile by offering ongoing HR services. This includes support and assistance after the developer is hired. 
  • DistantJob offers a unique guarantee instead of a traditional trial period, allowing clients to terminate contracts at any time. If a replacement isn’t found, the platform ensures financial fairness by refunding for unworked time.

Pricing: DistantJob employs a transparent pricing model centered on a recruitment fee, encompassing thorough headhunting and vetting processes. This approach also offers you the flexibility to engage in direct salary negotiations with the chosen developer.

2. Arc

Arc

Arc.dev is an AI-powered remote jobs marketplace that connects companies with remote developers. Companies gain access to pre-vetted freelance or full-time developers from anywhere in the world, including the U.S. 

Hiring process: The hiring process varies depending if you want to hire full-time or freelance developers. To find freelance developers, Arc will present you with a list of pre-vetted candidates to hire within 24 to 72 hours. For full-time developers, Arc will consult you to determine your needs. You’ll then interview matched candidates and select who to hire. 

Key features:

  • Arc is suitable for different hiring needs, offering both freelance developers and fully remote developers.
  • The platform offers trial periods. For full-time developers,  Arc offers a three-month trial period. For freelancers, a two-week trial period. 
  • Arc.dev employs a data-driven approach to match companies with suitable developers quickly and efficiently. 

Pricing: You are required to make a $300 deposit to initiate the process. The platform allows developers to set their own rates. 

💡Interesting read: Upwork vs Arc.Dev vs. DistantJob: Where to Hire Remote Developers? 

3. BairesDev

BairesDev

BairesDev is a global technology consulting and outsourcing company that specializes in providing end-to-end delivery for companies of all sizes. They offer different hiring models, including staff augmentation, software outsourcing and dedicated teams. 

Hiring process: The process will depend on the solution you’re after. But in general lines, their hiring structure focuses on 3 steps. You’ll first have an exploration call where you’ll discuss more in-depth your team structure, approach, budget and skill sets. Next, they’ll work on your project specification, offering you a solution, and selecting and onboarding your team. Finally, they’ll track performance, making sure you meet your desired milestones.

Key features:

  • Companies can choose the model that suits their needs best, whether it’s staff augmentation, dedicated teams or outsourcing. 
  • Baires dev creates custom solutions for businesses across different sectors, including cloud computing and machine learning. 
  • Hire bilingual remote developers from Latin America. 

Pricing: There’s no available information about BairesDev pricing. For further information, contact them through their website. 

4. CloudDevs

CloudDevs

CloudDevs is a tech freelancing platform that offers senior developers from Latin America. They have over 8,000 tech professionals in their network that specialize in front-end development, back-end development, mobile app development and web design. 

Hiring process: When hiring developers through CloudDevs, the first step is to place an order and schedule a call with a CloudDevs team member. This call will allow them to know more about your project details and arrangement options. Then, you’ll choose who to hire, and you’ll sign a letter of engagement and receive onboarding materials. 

Key features:

  • CloudDev’s vetting process includes a coding exam followed by a live exam and technical interview with a senior software engineer. 
  • You can hire Latin American developers in less than 24 hours.
  • CloudDevs offer a 7-day risk-free guarantee.

Pricing: CloudDevs developers’ rates start at $40 per hour. Their most expensive hourly rate is $75 per hour. After choosing a candidate, you’ll need to pay a $500 deposit that will serve as credit for the first invoice. 

5. Gigster

Gigster

Gigster is a platform that connects businesses with freelance software developers, designers and project managers for technology-related projects. The platform provides a marketplace for on-demand talent that allows companies to quickly assemble teams without the need for traditional hiring processes.. 

Hiring process: You’ll first tell Gigster through their website more about your project (initiatives, goals, budget, how soon you need a team, etc). You’ll then create a more specific plan with a Gigster representative to meet your needs so they can assemble a team that matches your requirements.

Key features:

  • Suitable if you are looking for different types of experts like software engineers, project managers and designers.
  • You can find talent for specific requirements with the flexibility to scale your team up or down as your project requirements evolve. 
  • Gigster offers supervisor-level reporting that monitors the progress and health of your project based on milestones achieved, bugs, blockers, and more. 

Pricing: Gigster doesn’t charge a recruitment fee. In terms of the cost of their service, the website does not provide any information.

6. Lemon.io

Lemon.io

Lemon.io is a freelance platform useful for startups looking to hire software developers on-demand. The platform looks to simplify the hiring process for short-term or project-based work with a wide database of developers ready to start working. 

Hiring process: Lemon.io’s hiring process involves 3 steps. First, they’ll ask you project questions. Next, they’ll source potential candidates until they have a shortlist for you to choose from. The last step is to fund your account so the project can start after arrangements are finalized. 

Key features:

  • This Toptal alternative matches developers with your startup in 48 hours. 
  • Lemon.io offers weekly reports that include detailed project updates and time-tracking. 
  • The platform has a quality guarantee where if a developer doesn’t match your expectations they’ll match you with a new developer, without shifting your project schedule or costs. 

Pricing: Lemon.io developers charge rates that range from $55 per hour to $95 per hour (depending on the skills and level of expertise). 

7. Unicorn.dev

Unicorn.Dev

Unicorn.dev is a global tech-talent powerhouse and a subsidiary of CloudDevs.The company focuses on providing globally sourced tech talent that matches companies’ requirements in less than 48 hours. 

Hiring process: To hire developers with Unicorn.dev you have to follow three steps. You’ll start by having a call with a consultant who will focus on understanding your needs. Next, you’ll be presented with a list of candidates within 24 to 48 hours. Once you made a choice, you can get to work via a dedicated Slack workspace.

Key features:

  • Unicorn.Dev offers a 7-day no-risk trial for each hire.
  • They make a thorough vetting process evaluating not only the candidate’s technical skills but also background checks.
  • Unicorn.Dev provides continuous monitoring & assessments.

Pricing: Unicorn.dev’s developers have a flat rate of $40 per hour. 

8. X-Team

X-team

X-Team is a platform that provides a community of on-demand remote software engineers for businesses and organizations. They focus on assembling teams of developers to work on different projects, providing a solution to companies that are in need of professionals for their software development needs. 

Hiring process: X-Team does not provide details on their hiring process. They briefly highlight their holistic hiring approach that focuses on going beyond technical skills, to also evaluating cultural fit and other soft skills. To hire a team, you need to visit their website and fill out the form. 

Key features:

  • You can hire developers with X-Team for the amount of time you need. This means for short-term projects as well as for years.
  • They source software engineers from all over the world, so you can get the talent you need that adapts to your time zone seamlessly. 
  • X-Team offers a guarantee that consists of replacing a developer if they are underperforming or not adapting to your needs without a cost.

Pricing: There are no details of X-Team’s pricing. For further information, you can contact them through their website. 

9. Turing

Turing

Turing is a tech talent marketplace that connects companies with remote software developers. The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms to match companies with developers who have specific skills.

Hiring process: To hire remote developers with Turing, you’ll first need to schedule a call with them to discuss more in detail your needs and project specifications. Then, they’ll start their search and provide you with a list of pre-vetted candidates. After selecting the candidates you’re most interested in, you’ll schedule interviews with them. Finally, you hire the best candidate. 

Key features:

  • Turing offers a no-risk 2-week trial.
  • The platform ensures that developers match your time zone and overlap a minimum of 4 hours with your workday. 
  • Turing’s workspace tracks your remote developer’s time and facilitates virtual daily stand-ups, providing increased visibility into their work.

Pricing: Turing does not charge upfront costs. However, when it comes to their pricing, they don’t specify on their website. 

10. Upwork

Upwork

Upwork is a popular online platform that connects businesses and individuals with freelancers and remote professionals. The platform allows companies to post job listings or projects, and freelancers can bid on those opportunities. It covers a wide range of categories, including programming, graphic design, writing, and more. 

Hiring process: Hiring developers from Upwork works on a bidding system. You start by creating a job post with all the detailed descriptions of the type of developer you’re looking for. Upwork then notified potential candidates, and if they are interested, they’ll reach out to you, providing samples of their work. You’ll then negotiate the contract and rate. 

Key features:

  • You can post job offers in Upwork for free.
  • Upon contract activation, Upwork provides project management tools, including a to-do list, activities tracker, work diary, and time tracker.
  • The platform includes a payment system that allows clients to pay freelancers for their work, with Upwork serving as an intermediary for secure transactions.

Pricing: There are 3 memberships you can choose from. The Basic plan is free and allows you to send unlimited proposals and check the freelancer’s work history. The Plus plan costs $49.99 a month and includes tailored search results and other tools (including project tracking tools). The Enterprise plan includes features of the first two plans and also has onboarding tools. This one has to be negotiated with the platform first. 

11. Gun.io

Gun.io

Gun.io is a platform that focuses on connecting businesses with experienced freelance software developers. They emphasize on the quality and expertise of the professionals available on their platform for project-based work. 

Hiring process: The process starts when you sign up on their platform and start building your ideal candidate being specific on your project’s needs. Next, book a call with the Gun.io team to discuss your main goals and timeline. Within 3-5 business days, you’ll receive potential candidates that match your requirements. And finally, hire the right candidate. 

Key features:

  • You won’t pay anything until you and your contractor get to work. 
  • Gun.io offers flexible engagements. From 20 hours a month to 40 hours a week, you can scale up or down as your business changes. 
  • Gun.io conducts algorithm screening, work history and background checks, and a live technical interview with a senior engineer. 

Pricing: There are no standard prices on Gun.io. The platform offers flexible retainers based on your needs, the project and the developer’s salary expectations. These retainers start at $5,000 (including Gun.io’s fee). For full-time placements, Gun.io charges a fee of 20% of their negotiated first-year salary at your company. 

Which Toptal Alternatives Are Best For You?

Alternatives to Toptal are great for hiring remote developers at a lower cost without compromising quality. From recruitment agencies that focus on long-term commitments like DistantJob to platforms that are suitable for short-term projects like Upwork, many potential options are perfect for your business needs. Here’s a short recap of all the alternatives: 

Alternative Best ForPricing 
DistantJob Full-time remote developers and specialized roles.Companies directly negotiate salaries with candidates. 
ArcFreelance software developers.Rates vary between $60-100+ per hour. 
BairesDevStaff augmentation and project outsourcing.Project-based.
CloudDevsFreelance developers from Europe and Latin America.Rates vary between $40 to $70 per hour. 
GigsterOn-demand, cloud-assembled teams. Custom quotes based on project details.
Lemon.ioFreelance developers.Rates vary from $45 to $80 per hour. 
Unicorn.devTech talent sourcing platform. $40 per hour. 
X-TeamOn-demand teams of engineers. Custom pricing based on project’s requirements. 
TuringAI-driven algorithm for tech roles. Developers set their own rates. 
UpworkFreelancing platform. Variable, project-based or hourly rates.
Gun.ioFreelance network of remote developers. Rates vary from $75 to $150 per hour. 

If you’re looking for specialized remote developers, partner with us. Our recruitment model focuses on covering all your requirements, from vetting and sourcing to onboarding and helping you with all the HR hassle (including taxes, morale reports, and more). Our expertise lies in meticulously fulfilling your specific requirements. Ready to elevate your team with the right talent? Let’s talk. 

Costanza Tagliaferri

Costanza Tagliaferri, a researcher located in Italy, brings a unique blend of continental philosophy and art & visual culture from Radboud University to her role as a content writer at our IT staffing agency, DistantJob. Specializing in digital art and creative coding, she explores technology beyond its commodification, focusing on playfulness in digital techniques. At DistantJob, she specializes in articulating complex tech concepts, particularly in IT recruitment and programming languages.

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