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Ethical Outsourcing: HigherRing's Employee-Centric Approach

At HigherRing, our approach to outsourcing sets us apart in an industry that often faces ethical challenges. We prioritize fair treatment of employees, transparent business practices, and community engagement. In an industry that often promotes exploitation over basic fairness, we’re happy to stand out separate from the rest.

In the outsourcing landscape, many of our competitors, both onshore here in the U.S. and offshore in places like the Philippines, Jamaica, and India, opt for practices that prioritize short-term gains at the expense of their employees and clients. This bombshell expose from ProPublica shows how companies we all use every day, partner with outsourcers who are mobilizing elaborate legal constructs to get around labor laws. In these situations, workers are encouraged to set up their own businesses to become independent contractors where they have to “invest in their business by paying for their own hardware and training.” These same outsourcers then only pay for talk time leaving many employees paid well below minimum wage.

Other unethical outsourcing companies treat people as disposable, paying below a living wage, offering minimal training, and cycling through people quickly. At HigherRing, we prioritize living wage compensation, benefits, paid training and cultivate an environment that fosters growth and opportunity. We also provide hardware to ensure that client data is segmented and protected from employee personal data and online activity. We hire our entire team as employees, and everyone is eligible for health care, company ownership, and other benefits such as paid time off. This includes our part-time employees.

Lobbying for a Better Future

While many of our competitors double down on their harm by lobbying government officials to keep wages low, we firmly believe in advocating for policies that prioritize ethical employment practices. We know living wage jobs contribute to a healthier, more sustainable workforce that can economically support their communities, leading to a happy cycle of prosperity. We advocate within the states where we hire for a sustainable living wage as well as other government policies that support workers and their communities. Our CEO, Michelle Hirons, is active in groups like Business for Democracy that believe a strong democracy is an essential path to a vibrant entrepreneurial economy.

Transparency and Trust

Honesty and transparency form the backbone of our operations. By avoiding exploitative practices and maintaining clear lines of communication, we aim to build trust with not only our employees but also our clients and vendors. We hold regular weekly meetings with both clients and team members to ensure excellent performance and alignment with client and employee goals.

Empowering Growth and Development Beyond Compliance

Upholding all relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards is a non-negotiable part of our commitment to ethical outsourcing. It's not just about following the rules; it's about setting a higher standard. We’ve learned crucial communication lessons in our seven+ years as a service provider, and we engage with business culture and employee best practice groups to keep these learnings current so that we are able to cultivate the type of culture that we know leads to excellent collaboration and performance.

We celebrate that a satisfied, motivated, and well-trained team leads to exceptional service. We’ve spent the past two years building an internal digital training platform to easily onboard our new employees and provide learning journeys for team members jumping into new roles. Our training starts with digital training, but then to facilitate success, we match our newbies with more senior, experienced people for shadowing and mentoring before diving into client-specific training. We’ve found that providing easily accessible (and fun) supportive training allows our team to consistently apply the newest, most modern learnings to each of their clients. Most of our team members work with more than one client and therefore have the opportunity to bring experiences from all of their clients to work each day. Clients have given feedback that they appreciate when their HigherRing employee is able to learn new skills from other clients especially when the benefits of those new skills carry over.

Community Engagement and Responsibility

HigherRing is a member of 1% for the Planet, a proud B Corp, and a certified Climate Neutral company. We actively contribute to local causes in our communities, support environmental nonprofits, and take steps to minimize and offset our environmental impact. We are a certified California Public Benefit Corporation which holds us to a higher legal standard when it comes to how we treat our stakeholders. By giving back, we're not only doing what's right, we're also building a stronger, more connected world.

HigherRing is proud to lead the way in ethical outsourcing. By prioritizing fair treatment of employees, upholding transparent and fair practices, and actively engaging with our community, we're setting a new standard for what it means to outsource ethically. Join us in shaping a future where ethical values and business success go hand in hand.

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