Instructional Designer

Instructional Designer

About Toptal

Toptal is a global network of top talent in business, design, and technology that enables companies to scale their teams, on-demand. With $200+ million in annual revenue and over 40% year-over-year 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.

Position Description

Toptal is a hyper-growth organization, which means that we are constantly onboarding new team members and working with our existing team to build new skills. We are looking for an Instructional Designer to help us build an industry-leading function within our People team! This team member will work with leads and individual contributors to identify areas for improvement and build the learning plans and materials necessary to realize those improvements. This person will create a strategy for new, high-quality training materials, build knowledge validation exercises, design engaging learning paths, and will think critically about innovative ways to elevate the abilities of our team members!

This is a remote position that can be done from anywhere. Due to the remote nature of this role, we are unable to provide visa sponsorship. Resumes and communication must be submitted in English.


This is an opportunity to work with functional specialists across our organization to design, develop, and deliver high quality blended learning solutions to improve operational efficiency, drive performance, and promote leadership excellence. Interested in creating learning programs to support team development, new hire onboarding, role development, and go-to-market content? This role will evaluate the efficacy of our learning initiatives and build new strategies based on feedback and analysis.

A few example skills that courses will be designed for:

  • Educating our teams about new products and services.
  • Technical role-specific training for teams including Engineering, Product, etc.
  • Manager training for all levels of leaders.
  • Onboarding materials for multiple departments.
  • Delivering Toptal’s sales pitch.

In the first week, expect to:

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

In the first month, expect to:

  • Partner with the L&D team to understand priorities, history and how we work.
  • Work with the People 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 authorities to design training plans and create real training material that will be used by newcomers and current team members.
  • Build launch plans for the first learning modules, including effective feedback and incentive systems, and execute the launches.

In the first three months, expect to:

  • Develop a strategic plan for initiatives that will ensure Toptal offers best-in-class learning, and adapt modules based on learner feedback to ensure they are highly effective.
  • Work with domain specialists to build the next wave of learning modules, prioritizing by influence and focusing both on onboarding modules and skill development modules for existing team members.
  • Build review systems to ensure that all created material stays up-to-date over time.

In the first six months, expect to:

  • Create a strong base of L&D courses targeted both to onboarding newcomers and to developing the existing team’s skills, covering the major technical, cultural, soft and procedural skills needed to be successful at Toptal.
  • Build deep relationships with domain experts across the company, establishing a solid knowledge of who at Toptal is extraordinary in key skills and calling upon them as needed to spread their expertise.

In the first year, expect to:

  • Assist in creating a L&D 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.


  • 7+ years of experience designing and developing training curriculum in a fast-paced tech start-up environment experiencing exponential growth.
  • Experience working cross-functionally with Subject Matter Authorities; partnering across an international organization to support training needs; Sales, Engineering, etc.
  • Experience as a Blended Learning Architect - Instructor-Led Training (ILT), Computer Based Training (CBT), and Webinar Training, using course design tools (Lessonly, Articulate, Storyline, etc.)
  • Critical thinking. It’s imperative to understand the end goal of a learning module and design courses that get learners to completion as quickly and optimally as possible, focusing on retention and adoption of first principles.
  • Creativity. We need to use out-of-the-box thinking to create learning plans that are effective and scalable, while not requiring unsustainable amounts of time from learners or partners.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and shifting priorities, and capable of delivering value with minimal supervision.
  • 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.
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Who Will You Work With

Michelle Labbe

VP of People

As Toptal's VP of People, Michelle is accountable for our People and Recruiting teams, creating and maintaining a world-class experience for all Toptal team members through hiring, developing, and retaining our top talent. Previously, she served as Chief People Officer at ICR. Her 20+ year career has included senior Talent leadership roles across both the startup and agency world, spanning multiple industries. Michelle has a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Arizona.

Ismael Peinado

Chief Technology Officer

As Toptal's Chief Technology Officer, Ismael leads the company's engineering organization, driving process and culture to ensure top quality delivery from our team of world-class engineers. Ismael was formerly the CEO and Co-Founder of Blue4, a distributed media system used in the aerospace and entertainment industries. He leverages over twenty years’ experience in providing commercial, operational, and technical leadership for B2B, B2C, and government organizations from early-stage startup to large-high growth market leaders. Ismael has a BE and BS in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad de Málaga.

Christy Schumann

VP of Talent Operations

As Toptal's VP of Talent Operations, Christy is accountable for ensuring successful client outcomes by delivering the right talent from our global network, matched to client business needs and timeframe. Prior to Toptal, Christy spent more than a decade in management consulting at Bain & Company, and she later joined Rackspace as General Manager of their cybersecurity business. Christy earned a BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

View The Whole Team

Working at Toptal

We're changing the way the world works. Toptal is not only a place to progress your career and design your own lifestyle, but also a company where you'll learn how to develop innovations that push business and technology forward.
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Working at Toptal has been the best experience of my career. Every day I'm surrounded by intelligent, thoughtful, and hard-working colleagues that push me to be better.

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SEO Manager

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