Information Technology

Know your employees: using biometric technology in people management

The fast-moving world of data exchange, coupled with increased migration, has made the business of people management increasingly complex and fraught with risk. This year alone, the news has been full of stories about businesses, from restaurant chains to car manufacturers, falling victim to employee fraud or being prosecuted for hiring illegal employees. As senior people in business, this is not the type of headline you want to see.

However, biometric technology, such as facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, voice-printing and iris scanning, is being increasingly used by companies around the world to save time, money, and to tighten up their people management processes to function more effectively.

Biometrics simplifying the hiring process
Organisations with seasonal trading often need to hire a lot of employees quickly, whereas those with high turnover need to hire consistently. Additionally, there are organisations where employees need to prove training or credentials in certain key areas. These processes can be time consuming and costly without the right systems in place.

We are aware of how complicated the screening process can be, from collecting someone’s correct documentation to dealing with people in different geographies. The introduction of biometric technology could make this process simple for both the employer and the employee. For example, right-to-work documents — the bane of many HR departments lives — could be accessed and verified using a biometric service, making the process simple and fast.

The technology also enables remote on-boarding. If a new employee is relocating, they will no longer be required to make an expensive and time-consuming trip to their new employer’s office for the sole purpose of bringing in documents to prove their identity.

Biometrics reducing fraud in the workplace
Biometric technology will also play a key role once employees have taken up their positions. If a biometric profile of an employee is created during the screening process and that employee is now in the workplace, their biometric profile can be checked against when the employee is undertaking any activity associated with risk, helping reduce fraud.

Additionally, one of the biggest security weaknesses in the workplace is used by people and companies worldwide: passwords. Replacing passwords with biometrics, especially multi-modal biometrics — such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition used together for optimum security — is a serious step forward countering fraudulent activity, such as phishing and social engineering.

The time is right
Recent research by IBM suggests 75% of millennials, who are soon to represent the largest percentage of the workforce, are comfortable using biometric technology. And there is also the benefit of employee perception changing for the better when they see the company they work for is forward-thinking and that ultimately, biometric technology can save them time and hassle.

Biometric authentication in the workplace and in people management will become a key strategic priority for many companies over the next few years, especially large ones with many employees.

About the author
Grant Crow is the CEO of SmilePass. SmilePass uses ground-breaking biometric solutions to manage identification and authentication across the customer journey – controlling the impact of fraud, social engineering and theft.

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