Learning and Development Specialist


Job Description

About Toptal

Toptal is a global network of top talent in business, design, and technology that enables companies to scale their teams, on-demand. With $200+ million in annual revenue and over 40% year-over-year growth, Toptal is the largest fully distributed workforce in the world.

We take the best elements of virtual teams and combine them with a support structure that encourages innovation, social interaction, and fun (see this video from The Huffington Post). We see no borders, move at a fast pace, and are never afraid to break the mold.

Position Description

Toptal is a hypergrowth organization, which means that we are constantly onboarding new team members and working with our existing team members to build new skills. As the Learning and Development Specialist at Toptal, you will help build a world-class Learning and Development function as part of the People team, working with team leads and individual contributors across the company to identify areas for improvement and build the learning plans and materials necessary to realize those improvements. You will create a strategy for new, high-quality training materials, build knowledge validation exercises, design engaging learning paths, and more. You will build deep institutional knowledge of the core skills needed for key positions across Toptal, thinking critically about innovative ways to elevate the abilities of team members across the organization.

This is a remote position that can be done from anywhere.


You will work with subject matter experts across the organization to design, develop, and deliver high quality blended learning solutions to improve operational efficiency, drive performance, and promote leadership excellence. You will create training programs to support team development, new hire onboarding, role specific training, and go-to-market content. You will work as a part of the People team to evaluate the efficacy of our learning initiatives, build new strategies based on feedback and analysis, and evolve.

A few example skills for which you will be designing courses:

  • Educating our teams about new products and services
  • Technical role specific training for teams including Engineering, Product, etc.
  • Manager training for all levels of leaders
  • Onboarding materials for multiple departments
  • Delivering Toptal’s sales pitch

In the first week you will:

  • Onboard and integrate into Toptal.
  • Learn about Toptal service by shadowing calls with clients and talent.
  • Learn about Toptal’s organizational structure, including each team’s focus and how they interact.

In the first month you will:

  • Work with the L&D team to understand priorities, history and how we work.
  • Work with the People team and relevant team leads to understand which areas of the organization most need instructional design support.
  • Prioritize by impact and begin working with domain experts to design training plans and create real training material that will be used by newcomers and existing team members.
  • Build launch plans for your first learning modules, including effective feedback and incentive systems, and execute the launches.

In the first three months you will:

  • Develop a strategy for initiatives that will ensure Toptal offers world-class learning.
  • Adapt modules based on learner feedback to ensure they are maximally effective.
  • Work with domain experts to build the next wave of learning modules, prioritizing by impact and focusing both on onboarding modules and skill development modules for existing team members.
  • Build review systems to ensure that all learning and development material you create stays up-to-date over time.

In the first six months you will:

  • Create a strong base of L&D courses targeted both to onboarding newcomers and to developing the skills of existing team members, covering the major technical, cultural, soft and procedural skills needed to be successful at Toptal.
  • Build deep relationships with domain experts across the company, establishing a strong knowledge of who at Toptal is world-class in key skills and calling upon them as needed to spread their expertise.

In the first year you will:

  • Assist in creating a L&D framework for learning, evaluation, incentivization, retention, and adoption at Toptal that is backed by academic research and internal data, is scalable, and delivers unparalleled results.
  • Scale learning & development at Toptal as the organization continues to grow, building a world-class instructional design team and discipline at Toptal that ensures our ability to develop top performers becomes a critical organizational competitive advantage.


  • 7+ years of experience designing and developing training curriculum in a fast-paced environment experiencing exponential growth.
  • Experience managing and leading a team required.
  • Experience working cross-functionally with Subject Matter Experts; partnering across an international organization to support training needs; Sales, Engineering, etc.
  • Experience as a Blended Learning Architect – Instructor Led Training (ILT), Computer Based Training (CBT), and Webinar Training.
  • Attention to detail. Quality matters at Toptal and this must come across in all training material. Courses must be intuitive, error-free, and extremely high-quality.
  • Critical thinking. You must understand the end goal of a learning module and design courses that get learners to the end goal as quickly and effectively as possible, focusing on retention and adoption of first principles.
  • Creativity. You will need to use non-incremental, out-of-the-box thinking to create learning plans that are effective and scalable, while not requiring unsustainable amounts of time from learners or stakeholders.
  • Resourcefulness. You must refuse to be impeded by anything standing in your way. You must push to get access to any resources you need, contribute unsustainable effort when the situation calls for it, and be creative in finding ways to remove blockers and deliver value.
  • Proactive. You must be passionate about the prospect of creating a world-class learning & development discipline at Toptal and proactive in reaching out to stakeholders to define priorities and deliver on needs.
  • Experience with course design tools used to create high-quality learning materials (Lessonly, Articulate, Storyline, etc.).
  • You must be comfortable with ambiguity and shifting priorities, and capable of delivering value with minimal supervision.
  • You must have excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • A plus if you’ve worked in a fast-paced tech start-up environment.

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