Frequently Asked Questions

Finding quality talent is one of the most significant problems companies face today. Learn how Toptal’s unique solution addresses these problems by reading answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below.

Overview

Are there any upfront recruiting or contractual costs?

We require an initial deposit of $500 that will be applied as a credit to your first invoice once you make a hire. If you decide not to move forward, your deposit will be refunded completely.

How is the trial period no-risk?

We make sure to start each engagement with a trial period of up to two weeks. This means that you have time to help ensure the engagement will be successful. If you’re completely satisfied with the results, we’ll bill you for the time and continue the engagement for as long as you’d like. If you’re not completely satisfied, you won’t be billed. From there, we can either part ways, or we can provide you with another expert who may be a better fit and with whom we will begin a second, no-risk trial.

What happens if I’m not satisfied with a Toptal expert?

We allow our clients to begin a trial period with up to three experts from our network per position. While we rigorously screen all applicants to ensure talent and intelligence, we understand that not every person will be a perfect fit for every company. For this reason, we allow our clients to work with multiple experts for each position before they decide on a candidate with whom they are confident and comfortable.

How is Toptal different?

Many organizations are faced with the issue of finding reliable engineers, designers, and other specialized talent. At Toptal, we leverage smart infrastructure and a rigorous screening process to curate the best talent the world has to offer. In a typical Toptal engagement, in almost all cases we’ll introduce you to candidates within 24 hours, and 90% of our clients hire the first candidate we introduce.

These aren’t just any candidates either. At Toptal, we thoroughly screen our experts (please see “Testing & Screening” below) to ensure we only supply experts of the highest caliber. Of the more than 100,000 people who apply to join the Toptal network each year, we accept fewer than 3%. You’ll work with experts in design, development, or finance (never generalized recruiters or HR reps) who hand-select the right match for you from our network.

Testing & Screening

Are English skills ever an issue when working with a Toptal expert?

No. Each and every Toptal expert writes and speaks fluent English. In fact, before we invite candidates to tackle our rigorous domain-specific tests, we conduct lengthy interviews to ensure they have a high level of proficiency in English and have personalities well-suited to working with western technical teams.

How does your screening process ensure quality candidates that meet our requirements?

We screen for language skills, personality, domain-specific knowledge, and a high level of professionalism. Approximately 3% of applicants pass the screening process. For developers, we review sample code, algorithmic skills, and CS fundamentals; for designers, we conduct in-depth portfolio reviews, check design fundamentals, and test design skills in real-time; for finance experts, we review past project experience, sample outputs, business analysis skills, and consulting fundamentals. We match all candidates with senior Toptal domain experts for each and every interview, and all applicants complete a test project to demonstrate live proficiency with a project similar to what they would work on in a typical engagement.

Geography

Where are your experts located?

Currently, we have experts in over 100 countries, most being located in the Americas and Europe.

Where do Toptal experts work?

The vast majority work remotely from their home office or a co-working space.

Can I bring Toptal experts on-site?

In practice, there have only been a few instances where clients have felt it absolutely necessary to bring a Toptal expert physically on-site. If this truly is a requirement, we can work with you to coordinate relocating an individual or team to your location for a specified period of time.

Toptal’s Network & Services

If there isn’t any in-network resource currently available to fulfill the requirements of my request, how long could I expect to wait to work with a new candidate?

It takes us one to three weeks to locate, fully screen, and work with every expert before we feel confident enough to admit them to our network and introduce them to a client. We understand your need for expediency, but we also understand the even greater need for quality. At Toptal, even if we have an extremely promising prospective candidate, we will not place them until we are 100% confident in their ability. Toptal’s stringent screening process is the most important reason we’re able to maintain a network of the highest caliber talent.

What happens if a Toptal expert is unavailable for the days or times they are scheduled to work with me?

Toptal goes to every possible length to ensure that this doesn’t happen. At Toptal, we completely understand dependability is of the utmost importance. We take measures to ensure that availability and reliability is a top priority for our experts. However, in the extremely unlikely circumstance that such a situation arises, Toptal will credit back the time billed to the client.

Can I hire a full-time worker from Toptal and bring him/her into our company?

For the most part, yes. We will work with you to fully understand your specific requirements so that we can establish a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Do you offer services such as screening, vetting, and testing to help us hire employees outside of the Toptal network?

While we currently do not supply these services, we plan on offering them in the future.

Intellectual Property

The client. Toptal’s only business is connecting world-class experts to the clients who want to work with them - not intellectual property. Our contracts provide that all work created by a Toptal expert is the property of the client, not Toptal.

How do we ensure that our IP is protected?

Toptal enters into talent agreements with every member of the talent network. Through these agreements, Toptal obtains exclusive ownership of the work created by the Toptal talent that works with you. We then provide you with the intellectual property for the work that the Toptal talent creates for you under our client agreement. This clean, simple, pass-through arrangement has worked well for our clients for many years. However, if you would like the expert to enter into a direct agreement with you to effect the direct transfer of IP property, we can work with you to make ensure that your needs are met.

Pricing & Payment

How much does Toptal cost?

Because we have experts all over the world, pricing can vary across several factors. We will work with you to find the right price point for your project. Typically, engagement pricing falls into the following ranges:

Developer:

  • Hourly: $60-$95+/hour
  • Part-time: $1,000-$1,600+/week
  • Full-time: $2,000-$3,200+/week

Designer:

  • Hourly: $70-$150+/hour
  • Part-time: $1,200-$2,600+/week
  • Full-time: $2,400-$5,200+/week

Finance:

  • Hourly: $125-$200+/hour
  • Part-time: $2,000-$3,200+/week
  • Full-time: $4,000-$6,400+/week

How often will I be charged? How are payments and invoices handled?

We typically invoice our clients twice a month, though there is some flexibility here. Invoices are generated with Net 10 terms, so our clients have an opportunity to review the charges prior to processing.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We currently accept all major credit cards, ACH, bank wires, and PayPal.