You’ve probably heard of TopTal as a popular platform for hiring freelancers. However, do you know what the term “TopTal” really means? It is short for “Top Talent”. The platform claims that it provides you with the world’s top 3% talent when you’re looking for creative artists, web developers or product managers.
The question is, do you actually get the best 3% of what is there in the market? Or, is it possible that you can find someone better outside this platform too?
To figure out how much this site is worth, let’s take a look at how it really works and what users have been saying about it.
What is TopTal?
To define it, TopTal is a virtual platform where you’ll find professionals who can finish your job. If you are looking for external help to complete a creative, technical or business project, you can log on to this site.
The company started in November 2010 and released the current platform in 2011. Ever since 2015, it has grown drastically to become the no. #1 remote company in the world as of 2020.
How Does it Work?
You can hire a freelancer for anything and for any given point of time. As an employer, you’ve probably gone through the tedious process of searching for the right candidate who can be an employee or service provider for your company.
Now, I am introducing you to TopTal – where the tedious task will be done by them. All you have to do is tell them what you need. Here’s what you need to mention in your requirements:
- Who you need – a graphic designer, a software developer or a financial consultant?
- The skills you need the professional to have
- The amount of experience you expect the professional to have
- How many freelancers do you need – one or a team of 10
Based on your requirements, TopTal will scan the its pool of professionals and provide you with the perfect match. We’ve elaborated how they find you the right professional in the section below.
Now, you can make your own review and analysis from the shortlisted candidates we provide and create your own team. You’re free to take a trial first. If you’re not 100% satisfied, they’re ready to start the process all over again for you.
Who are the Freelancers Available on TopTal?
TopTal has the most talented freelancers on its platform. Following are the categories you can look for here:
- Graphic Designers: Experts in Adobe Illustrator, Sketch and other software for branding and marketing
- Web Designers: Specializing in UI/UX, interactive design, mobile apps, GUI, Shopify, WordPress and SaaS
- Consultants: For business planning, data analysis, financial modelling, fundraising, M&A, restructuring, start-ups, product management and project management
- Managers: For agile project, IT project, virtual project and programs
How Do You Receive the Top 3%?
Now, we come to the main question in our mind – having such a huge network of professionals, how does TopTal manage to give you the top 3% professionals?
Here’s the answer to that – every freelancer in the network has gone through a screening process of 2-5 weeks before becoming a part of it. Not every individual who is into the business gets to be a member here. Here’s how TopTal chooses its set of freelancers:
Language & Personality Test: First, TopTal tests English language and communication skills of the individual, followed by a personality test. The latter determines the passion and dedication of the candidate. The best 26.4% are shortlisted from here for the next test.
Detailed Skill Review: All our screeners have expertise in some or the other field the candidates belong to. This helps them find the best 7.4% candidates who are fit for the 3rd phase of screening.
Live Screening: Here, candidates will be interviewed live by screeners having expertise in their respective fields. Here, all the abilities of a professional like problem solving, experience and communication are tested and the best 3.6% are shortlisted.
Test Projects: This phase is 1-3 weeks long, where the professionalism, integrity, competence and thoroughness of the candidates are tested. This is done by giving them practical situations. TopTal selects the best 3.2% from here.
Continued Excellence: This is the final phase, where the 3% maintaining their reputation with clients are screened for you. These are the ones you’ll find when you look for a professional on TopTal.
What are the Benefits of Using TopTal?
The main reason why TopTal is better than other platforms is that prospective candidates are screened for you. You will not find this level of screening in any other platform. This is the reason why it may take 3 weeks at the most to give you its final list.
Here’s why you can consider hiring from TopTal:
No TopTal Fees: Of course, you have to pay the freelancer, but TopTal does not take any additional charges of its own from you.
Quality Guaranteed: Given the thorough screening that TopTal does for you, there’s no doubt that you are getting the best 3% who applied on this platform. Not only do they know their job, but are experienced, professional and fluent in English.
Risk Free: This is another great thing about TopTal – you don’t have to worry about taking free trials and not getting satisfied. TopTal realizes that you’re looking for value for money and guarantees that it will work for you till you’re 100% satisfied.
Smooth Communication and Workflow: All the professionals present on TopTal are well-versed with using its tools. The platform has been designed in a manner that remote work becomes extremely simple.
What About the Pricing Structure?
Every freelancer present on TopTal has a fixed pricing policy. Here’s a segregation of the average rates charged by various professionals:
Software & Web Developers
Hourly Rates: $60-$150 per hour
Part-time Work: $1,000-$2,400 per week
Full-time Work: $2,000-$4,800 per week
Graphic & Web Designers
Hourly Rates: $70-$150 per hour
Part-time Work: $1,200-$2,400 per week
Full-time Work: $2,400-$4,800 per week
Financial Consultants & Managers
Hourly Rates: $90-$250 per hour
Part-time Work: $1,500-$4,000 per week
Full-time Work: $3,000-$8,000 per week
Hourly Rates: $90-$180 per hour
Part-time Work: $1,500-$2,900 per week
Full-time Work: $3,000-$5,800 per week
Hourly Rates: $90-$200 per hour
Part-time Work: $1,500-$3,000 per week
Full-time Work: $3,000-$6,000 per week
Given that these are the best professionals you can possibly get, these rates are standard. Every freelancer of the TopTal network sticks to the price he or she has mentioned in the profile. Depending on how you hire them, you’ll get your invoice accordingly.
Pros and Cons
Now that we know in detail how TopTal really works, we can figure out the various pros and cons of the platform. While listing them, I’ve kept its policies in mind and compared them with other virtual platforms for finding freelancers.
Following are the plus points or pros of TopTal:
- Thorough screening of candidates
- High standards set for professional freelancers
- Completely risk-free
- Guarantees professionals who can fluently communicate in English
- Does not charge additional fees from the employer
You’ll find plenty of platforms where freelancers have listed themselves. At the same time, there are many other HR agencies who look for candidates for you too.
Freelance platforms do not charge anything from the employer, but none of them screen their candidates as well as TopTal does. On the other hand, recruiting agencies do their screening for you, but charge you for their services.
Now, coming to TopTal – it gives you the benefits of both combined. Then what can possibly be the negative side to this platform? Here’s why I would say that don’t be completely dependent on this platform:
- They charge a huge percentage of commission from the freelancer, thus making their rates expensive.
- If you have a really small project, believe me the rates here are not feasible.
- Given that it does the screening for you, it is not suitable if you want a freelancer immediately.
- According to the no-risk policy, if you’re not satisfied, you either leave the platform or restart the process and wait for another 0-3 weeks.
- The screening is way too strict and can give a terrible score to someone who is actually good. Now that’s misleading, isn’t it?
Even though you’re getting the top 3%, you still could be losing out on some good options. After all, your requirements may not be as hi-fi as their screening is. You could be OK with having a designer who is a complete fresher, as far as his creativity matches your taste. That could actually be even more reasonable for you.
While most employers do enjoy working with TopTal, the freelancers listed there do not. This is mainly because they give away 10-30% of their earnings to this website. Now who would like that?
Are There Any Alternatives?
There is no company in the world that does not have competitors. Of course, every company has one unique selling point or that reason to be chosen over the rest. If you’re simply looking for the best, then TopTal is no doubt the right platform for you.
On the other hand, if there are other factors like timing or price range that are more important to you, there are many websites you can go for. Some other good freelance platforms on the web include:
In fact, you can also go for crowdsourcing platforms, if plenty of options and reasonable pricing is what you’re looking for.
Final Review – Should I Use TopTal to Hire Freelancers?
I would say that TopTal is a great platform that deserves a shot from your end. Just scroll through and take a look at the price chart and portfolio of the professionals. If you are impressed, you’ll put in your request. If quality work is all you want, then TopTal will give you the best candidates at the earliest. However, if your standards of screening differ from TopTal, there’s no harm in being open to other platforms. Given that TopTal is free for you, don’t miss out on an opportunity that excellent.