Talent Frequently Asked Questions
Toptal connects the world’s best developers, designers, product managers, project managers, and finance experts to career-defining projects with top companies – from Fortune 500 enterprises to Silicon Valley startups.
What is Toptal?What sets Toptal apart from other freelance networks?What are the benefits of joining the Toptal network? How do I join?
How do I become a successful Toptal freelancer?What should I expect from the screening process?Why is the screening process important? Can I start the screening process while I am working on other projects?How long does the screening process take? What happens if I don't pass the screening on my first try?How do I know if I’m experienced enough to join the Toptal network?I have already applied to the network and had some issues. What can I do?
Requirements For Joining
How do I get my first freelance job through Toptal?How does the matching process work?Where are Toptal clients located?How are Toptal clients vetted?Can I work on more than one Toptal job at a time?How many hours can I work?How much work can I expect to get through Toptal? Are all Toptal job opportunities remote?Will I work independently or as part of a team of Toptal freelancers?Will I have the opportunity to work with and learn from other Toptal freelancers?How can joining Toptal’s network help me grow my freelance career?
Clients and Jobs
How do I get paid?How much will I get paid? Does Toptal take a cut of my earnings?Does Toptal provide visa sponsorship?
What is Toptal?
Toptal is a curated, proprietary network of top freelancers from around the world, hired by Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley startups for their most important projects. Toptal is one of the fastest growing, fully remote freelance networks and empowers freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers worldwide to grow and excel in their freelance careers.
What sets Toptal apart from other freelance networks?
The name “Toptal'' comes from “Top Talent,” meaning we work with the best freelance talent from around the world. Passing our screening process makes you part of our trusted global network of experts. Clients rely on the qualifications of Toptal freelancers. No need to build up your reputation from scratch with endless reviews. Toptal handles 100% of the overhead for members of the talent network, so you can focus on career-defining work with top clients. You set your own rate and get paid on time, every time.
What are the benefits of joining the Toptal network?
First, you’ll gain access to jobs matching your skill set. As soon as you set your profile to currently available, matchers will be able to contact you with opportunities that fit your expertise. Toptal clients regularly re-engage freelancers they’ve worked with before, so repeat freelance engagements with individual clients are common. You’ll also enjoy networking opportunities and support from the Toptal community of expert freelancers around the world.
How do I join?
How do I become a successful Toptal freelancer?
Successful Toptal freelancers typically have at least 2-3 years of relevant experience, excellent communication skills, and are able to get up to speed on projects quickly. The strongest members of the Toptal network are also highly adaptable, proactive, reliable, and work well on teams and on their own. They are continually looking for opportunities to hone their skills. Visit our requirements page for more details.
What should I expect from the screening process?
Our screening process identifies Toptal talent by measuring subject matter expertise, professionalism, and communication skills. The full screening process typically takes a few weeks to complete.
Why is the screening process important?
Clients want the assurance that the freelancers they engage are skilled and reliable. The top-notch quality of the talent in our talent network is thus an important part of the Toptal value proposition for our clients. Top companies work with Toptal because they know they will find the top talent in our network. We thus must set the bar high. Our screening process is designed so that our freelance community comprises experienced experts in their field that we would feel comfortable putting in front of paying clients. Once you complete our screening process and become a member, you will have access to a wide range of interesting opportunities with top clients at the rate you set. We make sure first and foremost that you are prepared to thrive in your freelance career.
Can I start the screening process while I am working on other projects?
Yes! You can begin the screening process whenever you’re ready. As soon as you complete the screening process and are accepted into the network, you’ll gain access to active opportunities that align to your skill set. You can start working with Toptal clients whenever you’re available.
How long does the screening process take?
What happens if I don't pass the screening on my first try?
Applicants are encouraged to re-attempt the screening process if they did not pass on their first attempt. Typically, we require a waiting period between attempts. Keep in mind that in order to ensure high-caliber collaboration with our clients, Toptal expects applicants to conduct themselves professionally. We expect you to take the screening process seriously, as you would any other interview process.
How do I know if I’m experienced enough to join the Toptal network?
Successful Toptal freelancers typically have at least 2-3 years of experience, excellent communication skills, and are able to get up to speed on projects quickly. The members of the Toptal network who thrive most prove themselves to be highly adaptable, proactive, reliable, and able to work well on teams and on their own. They are also continually looking for opportunities to hone their skills. If you’re a developer, you can take our quick Talent Assessment to determine if you have enough experience to begin your application process.
I have already applied to the network and had some issues. What can I do?
Our support team can help. If you need assistance, reach out to email@example.com.
How do I get my first freelance job through Toptal?
Once you complete your application and pass our screening process, you will be accepted as a member of the Toptal network. This gives you the opportunity to apply for jobs that interest you and to be matched with jobs that are the best fit for you based on your profile and availability. Get started by filling out this short form.
How does the matching process work?
First, our clients work closely with us to determine their talent needs. Our matching team, a group of technical experts, then reviews available talent profiles to identify a few ideal candidates for each job. This specialized attention to our clients’ individual needs is part of our secret sauce and a key differentiator for our talent and our clients. Members of the talent network can also search for available jobs they might be interested in. Keeping your profile up-to-date and detailed greatly assists to increase the probability and frequency of matching talent abilities with client needs. Our clients and our talent value the uniqueness and accuracy of our proprietary matching process. As Eirik Torheim, a member of our network, puts it: “What I love about working for Toptal is how they perfectly matched my client with my design profile. I quickly joined a project that seemed tailored to what I wanted and I have been working with the client ever since.”
Where are Toptal clients located?
Most of our clients are located in the U.S. and Western Europe, but we support companies all over the world. Toptal works with clients big and small, from Fortune 500 companies to startups.
How are Toptal clients vetted?
All clients are reviewed and only those that have the right expectations, skills, and intent to engage our talent members make the cut. We recognize that top companies come to work with Toptal because that’s where the top talent is. We likewise recognize that top talent come to Toptal because that’s where the top jobs with the top companies are. That’s one area that sets Toptal apart from other networks and one of the reasons why our NPS score (our satisfaction rating) among freelancers significantly exceeds industry benchmarks.
Can I work on more than one Toptal job at a time?
Yes, you can. Many clients prefer to work with Toptal Talent on a full-time schedule (40 hours per week), but we also have plenty of part-time (20 hours per week) and hourly opportunities available. Typically, members of our network will receive job interest requests for new opportunities when their current projects are nearing the end dates.
How many hours can I work?
There is no mandatory minimum of hours required of you to apply to join our network. After you pass our screening and are accepted to the network, you’ll have access to view all eligible jobs and set your availability between 0 and 50 hours per week. In this regard, you will be in control of the hours you choose to work. Some clients prefer to work with Talent members on a full-time schedule (40 hours per week) during an engagement, while others allow part-time engagements. You can choose full-time or part-time projects based on your preference (and you can switch between full-time and part-time engagements as you see fit).
How much work can I expect to get through Toptal?
We strive to achieve balance between the growing number of jobs and our talent base in each specialization. If you’re a developer and are curious about the level of demand for your skills, you can take our short assessment. The volume of work will vary based on client requirements and your availability. Top freelancers in our network typically enjoy a steady flow of projects and often are happy to work exclusively through Toptal.
Are all Toptal job opportunities remote?
The vast majority of jobs through Toptal are fully remote. As more people seek remote work opportunities, the need for a physical office is diminishing. Toptal embraces the remote work trend and is spearheading innovation in remote collaboration. Toptal freelancers around the world work on the schedules they set with our clients and enjoy the freedom of a freelance lifestyle.
Will I work independently or as part of a team of Toptal freelancers?
Every opportunity has a slightly different mix of individual work vs. team collaboration. You can accept engagements based on your preferences, which allows you to create your ideal work scenario.
Will I have the opportunity to work with and learn from other Toptal freelancers?
The Toptal community is unique because every member is at the top of their field. Our talent network consists of unique, highly experienced and motivated individuals who stand apart and have proven their professionalism and character. The Toptal community provides opportunities to network with and learn from other members. You can connect through skill- and location-specific Slack channels or attend in-person and virtual events where you can engage with other Toptal experts from around the world. Here’s what George Vashakidze, a member of our network, has to say: “I've met a lot of educated and highly experienced people and most importantly, I've gained a lot of experience… Toptal is the best way for any developer to demonstrate and sharpen their capabilities.”
How can joining Toptal’s network help me grow my freelance career?
Toptal matches our members with the best jobs that align with their personal career goals. Doing what you love and are good at with a company that wants and needs your expertise sets you up for success. You can accelerate your freelance career by working with a variety of clients, from enterprise organizations and big tech companies to Silicon Valley startups and famed universities. Through experience, you’ll be able to learn which types of clients and projects you enjoy most so you can search for and apply to engagements to drive your career growth. Additionally, you can work side-by-side with teams of experts on innovative projects using some of the most advanced technologies, and engage with a diverse, world-class community of experts who serve as mentors and peers. Toptal also offers training programs with Profile Editors and Talent Coaches who help talent in our network showcase their expertise.
How do I get paid?
The payment process is fully automated, and we don’t ask you to manage it yourself. We work directly with clients on billing and invoicing so you can focus on the engagement and get paid on time, every time. The fact that we handle those aspects of the freelancing experience is something that our talent value and appreciate. Payment is in USD.
How much will I get paid?
All members of the Toptal network set their own hourly rate and are paid based on the type of engagement – full-time (40 hours per week), part-time (20 hours per week), or hourly (hours are tracked manually). If you need help determining your rate, the Toptal support team can help guide you to identify a competitive rate, but the final decision is yours.
Does Toptal take a cut of my earnings?
No. Talent members set their own rates and Toptal does not take a cut from that.
Does Toptal provide visa sponsorship?
Freelancers in the Toptal network are not Toptal employees, and therefore not eligible for visa sponsorship.
What makes the Toptal talent community unique?
Toptal has built a premier talent community of thousands of expert freelancers with diverse backgrounds and experiences from over 100 countries. As Toptal freelancer Juliano Fredriksson says: “Toptal allows me to be part of a community of high-level professionals that encourages you to keep evolving and taking your career to the next level.” We’ve championed the future of work and are innovators in remote freelance opportunities. We’ve established industry best practices for client and freelancer collaboration. We host online and in-person events, conferences, meetups, and encourage online networking through the Toptal blog, Slack channels, and volunteer opportunities. Toptal has laid the foundation for members of our network to feel part of a team that is making an impact with each and every client. You can enjoy all that Toptal offers by becoming a part of our growing community.
How do I meet other Toptalers?
Toptal has freelance communities in more than 100 countries all over the world - our talent community is unique, diverse, dynamic and experienced. Once you are accepted into the network, you will gain access to exclusive events (in-person and virtual) where you can network with other community members. You’ll gain access to our ever-growing Slack community, as well as other online opportunities like skill-building workshops, academies, and more.
What opportunities does Toptal provide for education and professional development?
Freelancers in our network have exclusive opportunities for education and professional development. As a member of our talent community, you’ll have access to Technical Academies for in-demand skills; financial support to earn top technical certifications (Google, AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Salesforce); coaching programs to support your professional development; and volunteer opportunities through TopVolunteer. You can develop new skills as a Toptal Community Leader; connect with top global experts like you as part of our in-person and online community; or network with top on-demand talent virtually in your region through our global events, such as speakers series, workshops, and social competitions. And, of course, the opportunity to work with world-class clients is itself a career boost and drives education and professional development.
Why is Toptal so popular among remote freelancers?
Toptal members genuinely feel comfortable and excited to be part of our network. In fact, 95% of Toptal network members say they’d recommend Toptal to their friends (based on Nov 2020-Oct 2021 NPS data), which is significantly higher than the industry average. There are hundreds of success stories about the positive impact Toptal has in freelancers' lives. “Joining Toptal has changed my career and my life. As a freelance developer, I work on my own schedule and at any place I decide. Plus working with top clients on their projects has allowed me to learn far more than when I was employed,” says Chris Caldera, a member of our network. Read more testimonials from members of our network here.
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Skills in High-Demand by Toptal’s Clients
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