The Freelancer

Toptal not so Top after all?

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I did the initial interview with Toptal in December last year, after a friend tipped me about the site. The interview went very well, but the interviewer warned me that the full screening process would be demanding and take about 3 weeks. I decided that spending a nice X-mas with my girlfriend was more important right then, and postponed the screening process. At that point I only knew Toptal from their own presentations.

This morning I noticed a thread on Reddit about Toptal.

The story My experience with Toptal interview process, argues that the the hiring process is rigged, that they ask some candidates to solve impossible tasks just to kick them out. The comments also claim that the company acts unprofessional, and both the OP and replies suggests that Toptal themselves use cheap labor for the screening process. Toptal market themselves as a place where 97% of the applicants fail. Picking out the top 3 percent of the applicants, will require skilled an expensive interviews. My intuitive speculation after reading this that they may use such tactics to get rid of applicants without doing a thorough screening. If that's the case, they are nothing but a scam.

Another complaint in the replies is that Toptal want people to work for less money then they initially ask for. That looks weird to me, as Toptal is probably better off bidding for high value projects with decent pay, at least if they really believe in the top 3% business idea that they promote. If they are competing in the cheap Indian / Philippine outsourcing market, at those rates, there is no way they could hold on to top developers.

I think I will continue postponing Toptal until I know more.