How SimplrFlex Provides Equal Opportunity
SimplrFlex was founded to do things differently. We wanted to provide a radically new alternative to how customer service organizations are run. 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 opportunities 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 (your 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. In fact, 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 your capabilities, so it’s not information that we want or need to know. *We do require some of this information (namely date of birth) after you’ve been engaged for the background check process, but it is not used in our decision-making process so long as you 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 your name, email address, or other demographic information; they only have access to your 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 ignore a majority of 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 uses machine learning to complete the validations. It requires images of a valid identification card or passport and selfies to authenticate you. Thanks to machine learning, in 99.9% of cases, a human will never see this information. The data is only used to verify that you are who you said you are, and to verify that you’re eligible to become an Expert (meet the minimum age and location requirements.)
- We do not screen your credit history. Experts are not provided access to financial information or similarly sensitive information, so your financial history is irrelevant to us.
- Your physical location is considered only for the purpose of determining your eligibility to engage with SimplrFlex as an independent contractor. We do not consider the city or neighborhood in which you may be located, only your state since that is where independent contractor laws are set. Because you can work from wherever you want, your ability to secure transportation is not a factor.
For our Experts:
- Your standing on the platform, earning opportunities, and compensation are based strictly on your performance. Your performance is measured on a variety of factors, including Customer & Peer Reviews. Your age, race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, and any disabilities are not considered. All of your performance information is available to you on your Dashboard.
- Peer Reviews are conducted anonymously. To ensure no bias can enter the process, peers do not have access to your name, age, race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or any identifying information when conducting reviews.
- To ensure that Customer Reviews are fair and equal, the customer will never have access to your name, age, race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, etc. Customers may see a name and/or picture of the person who provided the service, but this information will remain consistent across all Experts to keep bias (unconscious or otherwise) from affecting your standings on the platform.
- While we encourage Experts to provide a profile photo for use on your 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 important. For those requiring accessibility tools, our platform is compatible with common accessibility tools. In the exercise of transparency, 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.