How SimplrFlex Provides Equal Opportunity
SimplrFlex was founded to do things differently. We wanted to provide a radically new alternative to the traditional customer service organization. In the midst of a society that’s still struggling with inequality, I wanted to take a moment to discuss how SimplrFlex works to provide equal opportunity to all of our applicants/Experts and reaffirm our commitment to continuing these practices.
For our applicants:
- We offer access to the platform based on skill (the ability to connect with and help a customer)… not on education level, resumes, interviews, or many of the traditional screening and hiring practices. This provides everyone a fair chance to showcase their abilities and land a position as an Expert.
- Our screening process does not consider race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability. We don’t ask any of these questions before engaging an applicant, and most of them will never be asked. These attributes aren’t indicative of a person’s capabilities, so it’s not information that we want or need to know. *We require some of this information (namely date of birth) for the background check process, but it is not used in our decision-making process so long as applicants meet our minimum age requirements.
- Our screening process is mostly automated, which lowers the chance of bias playing into hiring decisions. Neither the machine learning nor humans used to screen candidates can see an applicant’s name, email address, or other demographic information; they only have access to the applicant’s responses to the sample customer service questions.
- We’re proponents of Ban the Box initiatives. We do not ask about criminal records before engaging an applicant. To take this one step further, we’ve worked closely with our background screening partner, Checkr, to hide non-relevant offenses from our background checks. For the offenses that we do consider (due to the sensitivity of the work we do), we ignore older crimes automatically. If an offense would prohibit a candidate from continuing in the process, we provide them an opportunity to submit an explanation of the situation to assist in our decision-making process.
- Our identity verification service, Berbix, uses machine learning to complete the validations. It requires images of a valid identification card or passport and selfies to authenticate an applicant. Thanks to machine learning, in 99.9% of cases, a human will never see this information. The data is only used to verify that an applicant is whom they said they were and to confirm that they’re eligible to become an Expert (meet the minimum age and location requirements.)
- We do not review an applicant’s credit history. Experts are not provided access to financial information or similarly sensitive information, so their financial history is irrelevant to us.
- An applicant’s physical location is considered only to determine their eligibility to engage with SimplrFlex as an independent contractor. Because Experts can work from wherever they want, the ability to secure transportation is not a factor.
For our Experts:
- An Expert’s standing on the platform, earning opportunities, and compensation are based strictly on their performance. Expert performance is measured on a variety of factors, including Customer & Peer Reviews. An Expert’s age, race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, and disabilities are not considered. All of an Expert’s performance information is available to them on their Dashboard.
- Peer Reviews are conducted anonymously. Peers do not have access to names, ages, race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or any identifying information to ensure that no bias can enter the process.
- To ensure that Customer Reviews are fair and equal, the customer will never have access to an Expert’s name, age, race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, etc. If shown at all, customers will see the name and/or picture of a pseudonym that is shared across all Experts to keep bias (unconscious or otherwise) from affecting standings on the platform.
- While we encourage Experts to provide a profile photo for use on their Dashboard, in our Expert Community, and for our Leaderboards, it’s not required. When a profile photo is provided, it is not exposed to customers or displayed in situations where performance is being evaluated.
- We’re committed to building a platform that is more widely accessible to those who may have disabilities. Where possible, audio/video content is provided with closed captions and/or text equivalents. Because we only service digital channels, auditory and speech abilities are not relevant. For those requiring accessibility tools, our platform is compatible with standard accessibility tools. Our platform is not great for those with visual impairments, but we’re committed to working with Experts experiencing visual impairments to provide them with options.
With all of this in mind, we continually challenge ourselves to make our platform fair and rewarding for all. If you have suggestions or comments on how we can improve, we want to hear from you.
We’re also happy to share our learnings and experiences to help other organizations in their pursuits to provide equality and reduce bias. Reach out to us if we can help in any way.