Instructional Designer at Toptal
We created Toptal to solve an extremely difficult, real-world problem: the talent shortage.
Learn more about us and how to join our core team today.

Job Description

About Toptal

Toptal is a network of the world’s top 3% of software engineering, design, and finance talent – available on demand to help companies accelerate, adapt, and scale. With $100+ million in annual revenue and triple-digit growth, Toptal is the largest fully distributed workforce in the world.

We take the best elements of virtual teams and combine them with a support structure that encourages innovation, social interaction, and fun [see this video from The Huffington Post]. We see no borders, move at a fast pace, and are never afraid to break the mold.

If you’re not in the job market, you’re exactly the type of person we’re looking for.

Position Description

Toptal is a hypergrowth organization, which means that we are constantly onboarding new team members and working with our existing team members to build new skills. As the Instructional Designer at Toptal, you will build a world-class learning & development function as part of the People Operations team, working with team leads and individual contributors across the company to identify areas for improvement and build the learning plans and materials necessary to realize those improvements. You will create new, high-quality training materials, build knowledge validation exercises, design engaging learning paths, and more. You will build deep institutional knowledge of the core skills needed for key positions across Toptal, thinking critically about innovative ways to elevate the abilities of team members across the organization.

This is a remote position that can be done from anywhere.


You will work with team leads to review their onboarding plans and team performance, identify skill gaps, and create any training materials and strategies necessary to fill those gaps. You will build an understanding of the way in which people across Toptal successfully learn, and create thoughtful, high-quality, learner-centric courses designed to help them learn most effectively. You will work with team leads to create the launch strategies and incentives necessary to ensure focus, validation, retention, and adoption. You will build robust learning paths in Litmos, Toptal’s LMS, for all major skills across the organization, ensuring that learning & development can scale reliably. You will work with the People Operations team to evaluate the efficacy of our learning initiatives, build new strategies based on feedback and analysis, and evolve.

A few example skills for which you will be designing courses:

  • Proper usage of Toptal’s platform.
  • Proper usage of Toptal’s analytics infrastructure.
  • Delivering Toptal’s sales pitch.
  • Toptal remote communication best practices.
  • Toptal leadership principles.

In the first week you will:

  • Onboard and integrate into Toptal.
  • Learn about the core of the Toptal service by shadowing calls with clients and talent.
  • Learn about Toptal’s organizational structure, including each team’s focus and how they interact.

In the first month you will:

  • Complete a full audit of existing training materials and onboarding plans.
  • Work with the People Operations team and relevant team leads to understand which areas of the organization most need instructional design support.
  • Prioritize by impact and begin working with domain experts to design training plans and create real training material that will be used by newcomers and existing team members.
  • Build launch plans for your first learning modules, including effective feedback and incentive systems, and execute the launches.

In the first three months you will:

  • Begin collecting feedback and assessing the extent of skill adoption from learning modules you’ve created as learners go through them.
  • Adapt modules based on learner feedback to ensure they are maximally effective.
  • Work with domain experts to build the next wave of learning modules, prioritizing by impact and focusing both on onboarding modules and skill development modules for existing team members.
  • Review quarterly performance feedback with the People Operations team to maintain a consistent pulse of the most important areas of training need across the organization.
  • Build review systems to ensure that all learning and development material you create stays up-to-date over time.

In the first six months you will:

  • Create a strong base of learning and development courses targeted both to onboarding newcomers and to developing the skills of existing team members, covering the major technical, cultural, and procedural skills needed to be successful at Toptal.
  • Build deep relationships with domain experts across the company, establishing strong knowledge of who at Toptal is world-class in key skills and calling upon them as needed to spread their expertise.
  • Build a framework for rigorously testing a variety of different approaches for evaluation and incentivization of learners, with the ultimate goal of maximizing retention and adoption.

In the first year you will:

  • Create a learning & development framework for learning, evaluation, incentivization, retention, and adoption at Toptal that is backed by academic research and internal data, is scalable, and delivers unparalleled results.
  • Scale learning & development at Toptal as the organization continues to grow, building a world-class instructional design team and discipline at Toptal that ensures our ability to develop top performers becomes a critical organizational competitive advantage.


  • Attention to detail. Quality matters at Toptal, and this must come across in all training material. Courses must be intuitive, error-free, and extremely high-quality.
  • Empathy. You must be capable of viewing everything from the learner’s perspective and must be able to empathize with people who have different learning styles.
  • Critical thinking. You must understand the end goal of a learning module and design courses that get learners to the end goal as quickly and effectively as possible, focusing on retention and adoption of first principles.
  • Creativity. You will need to use non-incremental, out-of-the-box thinking to create learning plans that are effective and scalable, while not requiring unsustainable amounts of time from learners or stakeholders.
  • Resourcefulness. You must refuse to be impeded by anything standing in your way. You must push to get access to any resources you need, contribute unsustainable effort when the situation calls for it, and be creative in finding ways to remove blockers and deliver value.
  • Proactive. You must be passionate about the prospect of creating a world-class learning & development discipline at Toptal and proactive in reaching out to stakeholders to define priorities and deliver on needs.
  • BA/BS degree, preferably with experience in a quantitative field. Degrees from top schools are preferred.
  • Graduate degrees in education or technology education are preferred.
  • 2+ years of experience designing and developing training curriculum at growing companies with many new hires.
  • Work or educational experience with analytical concepts.
  • Experience with course design tools used to create high-quality learning materials (PowerPoint, Photoshop/Illustrator, Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, etc.).
  • Experience with the Litmos learning management system is preferred.
  • You must be comfortable with ambiguity and shifting priorities, capable of delivering value with minimal supervision.
  • You must have excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • You must be a world-class individual contributor to thrive at Toptal. You will not be here just to tell other people what to do.
← View all open positions

Required skills




Full Time

View the whole team →WHO YOU WILL WORK WITH

  • Dror Liebenthal
    As Toptal’s Director of Operations, Dror works with teams across the company to build their strategic direction, execution frameworks, KPIs/analytics, and team structures, helping Toptal teams evolve to support and drive Toptal’s continued growth. Dror leverages in-depth experience working within a range of Toptal’s operational teams to ensure best practices are surfaced, adopted, and evolved across the company. Dror has a BSE in Chemical and Biological Engineering and a minor in Computer Science from Princeton University.
View whole team →

Think you’re a fit? Apply below:

Upload a resume
Our team reviews every candidate, and you will be contacted to interview if we feel you are a great fit.
Thank you for your application.
We will be in touch very soon. In the meantime, explore the Toptal community.