14 min read 12.07.2019

Toptal vs Upwork vs Hiremotely - What's The Difference?

Toptal vs Upwork vs Hiremotely - Let’s face it, choosing the best freelance platform can be difficult, so we’ve highlighted the pros & cons of each

Toptal vs Upwork vs Hiremotely 

When it comes to hiring developers posting on traditional online job boards or recruiting through employment agencies can be time-consuming and expensive. Thankfully, technology is changing the work environment and the way people interact.

Quick Overview of Toptal Vs Upwork Vs Hiremotely

Companies, as well as job-seeking freelancers, have been blessed with many alternatives and online freelance platforms like Upwork, Toptal, and Hiremotely that can connect the two sides locally, nationally, or across the globe. Let’s face it when searching for top freelance developers, choosing the best freelance platform can be difficult. Therefore, we’ve laid out the pros and cons of each platform based on user answers on quora, Reddit, and our research.

Hourly Rates of developers $60 - 150USD/hour starting at $3/hour $30 - $65/hour
Delivery of suitable developers Yes No (you review and test developers on your own) Yes
Time to deliver developers 0 - 21 working days Depends on your speed 0 - 3 working days
Quality assurance Multi-level tests of software developers No assurance Multi-level tests of software developers
Developers based All over the world All over the world All over the world
Risk-free trial Yes No Yes (8 hours)


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    How to Find a Freelance Developer on Upwork

    When it comes to hiring freelancers in virtually any industry, Upwork seems to be the most popular platform. However, popularity doesn’t guarantee quality, and using the platform has advantages as well as disadvantages.

    The Pros of Hiring on Upwork

    Being one of the most popular platforms for finding programmers out there, Upwork offers a wide range of statistics and rating metrics for screening potential hires. Not only can you filter freelance developers with experience in their field, but you can also see how they’ve been rated on past projects, as well as how many hours total they have spent working on Upwork projects alone.

    Upwork also offers a dispute resolution help center. If you ever find yourself in a disagreement over payments with your freelancer, Upwork offers a dispute mediation service to help you resolve the issue quickly and efficiently. You can learn more about Upwork’s payment protection plan here. This form of payment protection goes both ways. Both clients and freelancers are free to file disputes about one another, should issues with overpayments, or the terms of the contract arise.

    Finally, Upwork also makes it easy to find freelancers at the lowest rates by allowing them to bid on your project. After you decide on an hourly rate and publish your ad, freelancers can apply by submitting a proposal including a rate they desire. This allows you to not only screen your candidates according to your preferred rate, but you’re also able to choose the lowest bidder if you choose to do so. However, I would personally never recommend hiring the lowest bidder for your projects. 

    Remember that good work isn’t cheap, and cheap work isn’t good!

    Cons of Hiring Freelancers on Upwork

    A major downside of hiring via Upwork is the platform’s limit on how many jobs the freelancers can apply to. Each freelancer is given a limited number of so-called “connects” needed to apply for jobs. In the past, Upwork allocated 60 free “connects” to its freelancers every month. However, they’ve recently made changes to the platform, and freelancers are required to purchase the connects. Those who decide not to pay can only apply to job offers when they receive an invite from a particular client. This can mean the most suitable candidate for your job may be unable to even submit a proposal for your project unless they pay for it.

    Finally, Upwork doesn’t offer much in terms of quality guarantee. Of course, you can always submit a claim if you’re dissatisfied with the work submitted. However, if you based your project on milestones, not on hours of work, it is nearly impossible to monitor the quality of the work being produced by your freelancer(s) before submission. 

    At the same time, if a client refuses to pay for what the freelancer considers a completed milestone, the freelancers have the ability to file an “escrow dispute”.

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    Hiring Developers on Toptal? Here's what you need to know

    Founded in 2010, Toptal is another one of the leading freelance platforms. According to the website, over 100,000 freelancers join the platform every single year. With that said, Toptal certainly does not have a shortage of talent. However, that doesn’t mean Toptal is always going to be the best choice when choosing freelance software developers. So let’s dive in and take a look at the pros and cons of using the platform.

    Pros of Hiring on Toptal

    If you’re looking for software freelancers for your company, Toptal might be one of the choices for your software development project. As suggested by their name, Toptal consists of top talent, which of course includes software developers. Freelancers on Toptal are vetted by an expert-driven screening process. During the screening process, Toptal experts use some coding tests, portfolio examinations, ongoing market research, and assessments on their problem-solving capabilities to determine the individual’s qualities.

    Cons of Hiring Developers on Toptal

    When hiring the world’s top-rated freelancers and agencies, it’s expected you’re going to run into some higher costs. Before you even hire a freelance software developer for your project(s), Toptal requires a deposit of a minimum of $500. This hiring cost will be added to your first invoice after the hiring process has been completed and the work has begun. And since Toptal plays for you as a high-quality matchmaker with extensively curated talent, there are no “cheap” or “lowballing” freelancers there to keep your project budget-friendly. On Toptal, hourly rates can start as high as $95.

    Hiring freelance developers through Hiremotely and why it makes sense

    Although Hiremotely is a much newer freelancer platform than either Upwork or Toptal, there are many advantages to using it when hiring freelance software developers. Below, we’ll take a look at both the pros and cons of using our freelance platform.

    Pros of Hiring on Hiremotely

    For starters, Hiremotely offers a variety of developer-specific screenings and filters. And because the platform was created especially for global software developers, and the clients who need them, Hiremotely puts freelancers through a solid vetting process consisting of three areas of testing: technology and coding skills, math and logic, and on-time reliability. The whole 5-step testing process is described here.

    Hiremotely also offers an extremely convenient matchmaker mobile app. So rather than spending your precious time going through profile after profile of potential hires, Hiremotely requests your specifications and then provides you with 2 or 3 of the most fitting and qualified matches, all of that in 48 hours or less. These can either be top-quality individuals or even talented pre-assembled teams of freelancers. Lastly, when compared to Upwork and Toptal, you’ll find significant value when hiring developers through Hiremotely. To ensure a fair wage for both their freelancers and your company budget, Hiremotely provides software developers at an hourly rate starting at $30 with no additional hiring fees. Here you will find currently available developers.

    Cons of Hiring on Hiremotely

    As with anything in life, there are, of course, a few downsides to using Hiremotely. For example, our platform doesn’t offer any type of bidding process. So when matches are made for you, what you see is what you get. This means there is less rate negotiation and you will not be able to find the lowest bidder in your pool of prospects.  On freelance platforms such as Upwork, once you find a developer and have their workload ready, you can typically start working with them on the same day. However, it can take Hiremotely up to two days to provide you with matches for your company’s needs. And this is in addition to the time it takes to select and onboard your desired freelancer.

    Why Hiremotely?

    In the end, when hiring freelance software developers, it’s always in the best interest of both parties to have a quality guarantee, as well as a fair pay rate. With that said, when it comes to quality and affordability, Hiremotely offers the best of both worlds. With our software-specific vetting process, customized expert matchmaking, and equitable pay rates, Hiremotely is the best choice for your next software development project. Not only does Hiremotely aim to keep your company budget afloat, but it also works to keep hard-working software developers motivated and satisfied with their work. 

    What happens next?

    We suggest you give it a shot. Fill out a simple form, wait for 48 hours, and we’ll provide you with a single developer or an entire team that is a perfect match for your project and mission. You have nothing to lose and everything to win - fill in the hire freelance developer form and get the first profiles within a few hours.

    Our clients say

    Client logo

    With senior resources from Hiremotely, we are able to drive our digital harmonization agenda: Migration of different reporting platforms to QlikSense analytics and Harmonization of different digital detailing systems into Veeva CLM.

    Jiri Matousek, Head of CRM at Hexal AG Jiri Matousek, Head of CRM at Hexal AG
    Client logo

    Hiremotely provided us with a top PHP developer who has been working for us for more than 4 years. Jan became indispensable part of our team within few weeks.

    Dave Etchells, CEO at Imaging-resource.com Dave Etchells, CEO at Imaging-resource.com
    Client logo

    Each time we are in a need of new software developer, we just contact the guys from Hiremotely. Their network is huge so they provide us with demanded sources very quickly.

    Martin Svach, CEO at Starkys club Martin Svach, CEO at Starkys club

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