Zelp - A Toptal alternative

December 4, 2021

Introduction: What is Toptal?

Toptal is a network of freelance developers that connects companies with top software developers, designers, and data scientists.

Toptal was started in 2013 by three ex-Googlers: Benjamin Mitchell, Raoul Bhatia, and David Wadhwani. The idea for the company came about after the three founders were frustrated with their talent search to build their startup. They had more than five years of recruiting and hiring experience at Google and they knew there had to be a better way to find talent.

Need For Toptal Alternatives

Toptal has been known for its high-quality developers, but the cost of hiring them is way too much. The company charges a fixed fee of 100$ per hour which includes the time spent by the candidate interviewing for your project, resume review, and so on. This makes it difficult for businesses to find candidates who are the perfect fit. Different companies need different levels of work. Every company needs the expertise of a range of professionals, but not all companies can afford to invest in them. The rates at Toptal are often too high for many companies, and the recruitment process is too rigid. The company has been facing several complaints from customers about the quality of customer service. Even though it is still professional and polite, people are not happy with delays or mistakes in communication.

There are many other alternatives to Toptal available online where you can hire freelancers at an hourly rate that suits you. These platforms offer a more flexible hiring structure and give you better control over who you want to work with.

How to Find the Best Toptal Alternative in the Market Today

Toptal is one of the world's popular online marketplaces where companies find the best top technical talents for their projects. With that said, likely, you are already aware of this platform. However, I would like to mention that with the growing competition in the freelance market, it's not very likely that you will get all your needs met by just one platform.

This is why I am introducing you to some of the best freelance marketplace comparisons out there - so you can find more options and compare them before deciding on one. All in all, what matters most is finding a good service for your needs - be it Toptal or another alternative.

Keys to choosing the best platform

There are many platforms out there, but it can be hard to decide which one is best for your needs. That's why it's important to find a platform that has everything you need. If you do your research and find this platform early on in your project, then you can avoid all of these hassles later on in production.

Should have a pool of elite pre-vetted talents

The freelancing platform should have a pool of elite talents with a great skill set who can get the required job done for the client. Talents with great skills will be on-demand always and people from the entire globe will be looking for them. The platform should have access to these talents who are capable of exceeding the expectations of the project demands with high accuracy.

Should provide Free Trial

Free trial is a very popular way to get the feel of the work of the candidate you hire. You can see if the candidate you selected on the platform can work and how it suits your needs. There are many freelancing websites out there and they all have different features, but a lot of them do not offer a free trial and you cannot see what they have to offer without any strings attached.

The cost of hiring should be economical

Start-ups with a limited budget cannot afford expensive developers. Freelancing platforms should provide candidates at the lowest possible price to make it economical and feasible for all.

The hiring process should be requirement specific and flexible

Freelancing platforms should be able to provide engineers as per the requirement and should have flexible processes in choosing the right engineer for the project. The rigid processes in hiring make the selection of a good candidate difficult and sometimes the client will be averse to the platform.

Excellent customer support

Good customer support is the key to any customer satisfaction with the service the platform provides. The freelancing service provided should have 24/7 support to resolve issues that arise during and after the contract such as onboarding problems, payment failures, incorrect work deliveries, etc.

Zelp - A Toptal Alternative

Zelp is a cloud-based platform that enables easy and cost-effective access to top engineering talent. The mission of Zelp is to make it easier for companies of any size to get the best engineers they need.

The Zelp platform provides an easy-to-use solution for small to large-sized businesses to find a pre-vetted engineer, and work with them. The Zelp platform is extremely cost-effective and provides access to freelance developers at $30-40 per hour. With Zelp, you no longer have to worry about the cost of freelancers. You can find the perfect developer for your project at an affordable price. It helps you save time and money by connecting you with pre-screened engineers while providing 24×7 customer support. It also includes a free 7-day trial period where you can test the service for free before getting started. We at Zelp have already helped hundreds of companies including companies backed by YC, 500 Startups, Accel, Sequoia, etc.

Why Zelp stands-out when compared to Toptal and other platforms

When it comes to finding a freelance engineer for your project, it can be time-consuming and difficult. Zelp is a platform that helps companies find the right engineers for their needs. Zelp Engineers are pre-vetted. Of all the developers who apply to join our network each year, fewer than 1% make the cut. The result is - you get expert vetted developers from our network. This allows companies to quickly find the right engineer with the right skillset. It also means that they can focus on what they are best at - the actual engineering work. This also means that you don't have to be an "engineer" to find one! Finally, Zelp offers 24/7 customer support which ensures that clients don't need to wait long periods for a response from customer service or assistance.

Some Other Alternatives.


Many freelancers and small businesses use Upwork for their developer's needs. Another great thing about Upwork is that it doesn't charge based on the number of hours worked as many other freelancing sites do. The cost varies from 8-200$ per hour and it's up to the employer to decide what they are willing to pay. If you have time to search through their profiles and video interviews, then Upwork might be the right choice for you! This is a great platform for those looking for someone with a specific skill set, but it can be a little more difficult to find help for a short-term project.


Arc.dev is a forum for developers to solve their problems and improve their skills. It’s a place where developers can meet each other and help each other out. But the community needs a lot of work to make it better for start-ups with low budgets, as there are many expensive services on Arc.dev that are not suitable for them. Arc.dev is an efficient platform for developers to build their skill sets and solve problems that they encounter in their day-to-day work with other people who share their interests and goals. Arc.dev saves time and money by connecting companies with vetted developers with good skill sets but it might be too expensive for some startups and SMEs.

Hubstaff Talent

Hubstaff Talent is an online service that connects companies with freelance developers. This platform helps businesses to find the right developer for their project, by providing a pool of developers who are not employed by Hubstaff. This way, businesses can get in touch with freelancers without having to pay for the service. Hubstaff Talent is a free service that allows you to search and connect with developers. No charges will be applied to your account. You can browse through the different categories such as languages, locations, skill sets, and work availability until you find the perfect fit for your project.


Gun.io is a community of expert developers that will find you the best developer for your project. You can filter by skill set, price, payment method, and any other criteria you define to get the desired fit. The service charges 75-200$ per hour depending on the skill set of the developer or agency you are looking for. Gun.io is a platform for developers to find projects and be available on-demand to complete the project in return for a fee. This platform was created to serve as an intermediary between developers and project managers that are looking for development help. Gun.io offers the advantages of working with an agency but at a fraction of the cost, which can provide significant savings to companies that require detailed design work or development assistance from developers.


Gigster is a platform where you can find or request teams to work on your projects. It is suitable for selecting the teams, suitable for enterprises, and they charge per project. Gigster allows its clients to hire from developers to project managers through one platform which makes it easier to select what they are looking for. It also allows clients to have more control over who they are using on their projects because these people are working for them not Gigster. Gigster is an online marketplace for skilled professionals. It has more than 1,000 industry-leading experts in various fields. You can select the team members, the duration of the project, and the price you are willing to pay. On this site, you can find not only developers but also project managers, designers, product managers, and more.


This is perfect for people looking to do small projects or short-term contracts without having to invest too much time or money. Fiverr does not offer a free trial but has an excellent refund policy if you are not satisfied with the service provided by the freelancer. Freelancing on Fiverr is a great way for beginners to get their first taste of freelancing and to test whether they like it. For those who want to experiment with freelancing, the platform allows them to start small and scale up as they gain more experience. Fiverr is a freelance platform that offers services at $5 rates. It is more suited to short-term tasks and jobs such as logo design, content creation, and translation services.

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