Identity Verification at Job Sites [Why it’s important and how to do it]
Different options to ensure verified employees are on-site at distributed locations.
By nature, a distributed workforce is challenging to manage. For multi-region employers, it can be even more difficult to ensure the right workers are at the right location for any given shift. By ensuring employee identity verification at the job site with integrated timekeeping, you can circumvent some of the challenges that come along with a distributed workforce, like time theft and buddy punching.
Why is identity verification important at distributed job sites?
There are five primary reasons why it’s crucial to ensure only the correct employees are on site at each of your contracts.
- Safety assurance. You need workers in the field with the correct qualifications, training and certifications to match with the SLAs outlined in your contract. Not only does this keep your business in compliance with the requirements of the job and any associated health and safety measures built into your agreement, this keeps your employees safe, too. You don’t want an employee to be exposed to an environment they haven’t been trained for, and risk their safety or the safety of others on site. Job site identification ensures employees with appropriate qualifications are reporting for work.
- Access control. Some contracts, especially government or highly regulated sites, like healthcare facilities or data centers, require more strict control of who they are giving access to. For security reasons, it’s necessary to require identity checkpoints before giving access to anyone on-site – even contracted cleaners or officers.
- Risk control. Hand in hand with access control, identity verification reduces risk and liability for your company. Your clients need to ensure the risk of a security breach is kept low to prevent costly insider threats. As your field workers’ employer, you need to safeguard against other risks, like identity fraud and time theft.
- Time and attendance tracking. With high labour costs already burdening your business, it’s critical that you keep accurate records of time and attendance. Ensuring not only that the right employees are on site, but when they are there, their time and attendance data is supporting accuracy for payroll and customer billing.
- Client assurance. At the end of the day, your clients demand peace of mind that their job sites are safe and secure. Ensuring field worker identity protocols are in place means you are able to provide an audit of assurance proving who is on site.
What are the authentication options for cleaning and security companies?
There are many tactics you can employ to ensure employee identity at distributed job sites.
Paper time sheets.
These are antiquated, manual systems that record when a person signs in to a job site or uses a manual time punch operating system. These are very easy for field workers to use, but can also easily be used for buddy punching. Manual tracking requires a human element – without a paired employee onsite to visually confirm identity, there is no way to ensure the correct employee is paired with a paper time sheet. It also results in more administrative work to reconcile punches with time on site and service delivery, often resulting in inaccuracies in timekeeping, accounting, payroll and billing.
ID cards / badges.
Physical ID cards or badges are a staple among many job sites. They are relatively easy to issue to a large workforce, easy to eliminate access to in the case of offboarding employees, and checked manually or digitally if combined with embedded chips or magnetic bars. This type of identification can be prone to theft, duplication, or buddy punching.
Physical security checkpoints.
Physical security checkpoints typically employ one of the timekeeping methods on this blog (ID cards, badges, etc.) combined with a visual check by designated personnel on site before clearance is given. The risk of buddy punching or time theft is lessened as identity is double checked before clearance is given, however, this method still requires manual work (and added overhead) to get the job done.
Typically, telephone timekeeping works as an interactive voice response (IVR) system, where a worker is required to submit a combination of voice verification (via telephone) and keypad sequences (typically a unique employee ID) before entering a job site and beginning work. This system is usually fast and easy-to-use for workers in the field, and requires less equipment costs for the employer as the telephone can be at a centralised location. All timekeeping information can be reconciled with your scheduling and time and attendance tracking software for added accuracy and accountability. You can also use this type of system to verify that an employee is calling from an approved number (like a phone on the site where they’re working.
Proximity technology is a secure method to ensure continuous authentication at a job site. Typically, this type of verification occurs by automatically registering an employee as onsite when a mobile application on a device is within the proximity boundaries of a job site. It is less manual, sometimes only requiring an employee to sign in to the mobile app in order to enable location tracking before automatically registering their presence on site. Common ways to use this method include radio-frequency identification and near-field communication tracking, bluetooth beacons for short-range authentication, WiFi device connectivity, or geofencing. Based on predefined permission configurations, your employee can gain access to their designated worksite when their location is triggered in each of these systems, while those without proper permissions cannot.
Biometrics are typically used at high-security locations, events and job sites, as it measures the unique physical identity characteristics of a person before allowing entry. Some common methodologies include retinal, voice, fingerprint or entire face scanning. It’s highly secure, as every human is unique, and is a quick way to process employees on site as there is no manual step.
Ensure secure job sites.
You may be wondering which type of identity verification tool is right for you. Every business is unique, and the variables at each of your contract locations must be considered. It could be that your client requires a certain methodology already, or you may want to employ more than one tactic (multi-factor authentication) to increase security and customer assurance even more.
Use this blog as a guide to start evaluating your options. When you’re ready, we’d be happy to talk you through what makes the most sense for your company and clients.