Solvate is a technology company which is based in New York. Founders Michael Paolucci and Rick Lamb aim to improve the efficiency of America’s labor economy. Unlike other freelancing websites, Solvate only hires elite contractors, promising to deliver only the finest quality work for employers who use the site. On their website, www.solvate.com, the company claims that only 20% of applicants are accepted. This appears to make good on their promise of utilizing the skills of only the most talented freelancers in America.
What Is Solvate All About?
It is estimated that 25% of Americans who are employed work on a contract basis. There are more than 2,000 contractors on the site at present with the company promising many more, especially since the opening of its new branch in Austin, Texas. The site is not for the casual freelancer, that much is clear. Solvate take great pride in thoroughly vetting applicants whom they handpick and present to grateful companies.
Employers can quickly go through the Solvate contractors on offer with the each employee’s rate emblazoned on the screen. Naturally, Solvate follows the tried and trusted method of taking a cut of the proceeds. There are three main joining options: Self-Serve, Ambassador and Enterprise. Self-Serve is free and is a good option for small businesses. Ambassador offers a 30 day free trial and is $100 a month thereafter while Enterprise is the most expensive option.
There is no doubt that this is an innovative project, one which benefits high quality freelancers who can expect to receive high rates of pay from their new employers. Solvate takes care of all the irritating administration work, payments, billing and provides guarantees for employers. Solvate offers employers a specific five hour guarantee. If an employee they have hand-picked does not perform to the employer’s satisfaction after five hours of work, Solvate automatically cancels the project, covers the cost and provides the employers with five hour’s worth of credit with which they can find a new employee.
Although employees benefit too, they receive nowhere near the same level of rewards as employers. Between 20-30% of their fee is taken by Solvate which is far too much. Solvate may be an elite organization but if they are so confident in their own ability, they would take less of a cut because their ‘elite’ status will surely invite employers with deep pockets, wouldn’t it? There is also a lack of information on their Enterprise package. The price is not published because you have to contact Solvate. This seems to suggest a rather large sum of money is required.
For all its bells and whistles, Solvate’s noble ambition of improving efficiency in the American labor economy seems to ignore the pleas of the workers. This is undoubtedly a good deal for employing companies but employees seem to be cast aside. They are mercilessly dropped at the behest of an employer if they fail to match the company’s standards after a mere five hours. It is not clear if circumstances are taken into account. For example, the employer could be very unreasonable. Solvate may be the answer to employers’ prayers but freelancers may be better off steering clear.