Biometric time clocks, which use a physical feature to identify employees, are quickly becoming the standard for efficient and accurate employee time tracking. They cut back on buddy punching, improve data accuracy and save money.

Fingerprint-based biometric clocks are one common type, and these can be a viable option in certain industries. When it comes to time tracking for construction workers, however, ExakTime’s FaceFront Biometric system reigns supreme.

Biometric Finger Clocks Often Fail with Dirty Hands

If you’re involved in the construction industry, you’re most likely working with your hands on a regular basis. To the surprise of nobody, those hands get dirty. That’s unfortunate if utilizing biometric finger clocks, because these rely on clean hands to be able to reliably read the fingerprint.

It’s true that not all construction workers will have dirty hands—some wear gloves. Unfortunately, this also undermines the fingerprint verification process. You’d have to rely on your workers removing their gloves each time they need to use the time clocks, and this isn’t practical or realistic.

Dirty hands don’t have to be an issue if you’re using our FaceFront feature. Each time a worker clocks in or out on our time clock app with a quick 4-digit PIN (not a long email like with some of our competitors), the worker’s camera on their smartphone or tablet will snap a photo. These photos are then automatically attached to their timestamps within our web-based time clock software, ExakTime Connect.

Some Employees Will Resist Having Their Fingerprint on Record

While most finger clocks have protection measures in place that keep fingerprint data from being retrieved and recreated by unauthorized sources, privacy and data security concerns still exist. For this reason, some employees may be uncomfortable having their fingerprint taken, causing unnecessary conflict.

Photo identification, on the other hand, is so commonplace, crew members won’t have a second thought about having their picture snapped. You already have their employee photo. That said, it’s important to communicate to your employees that this is not facial recognition software. The contours and unique characteristics of their face are not being analyzed here, like they are with fingerprint time clocks. This is simply a photo that accompanies their time stamps to be referenced by payroll if the need arises.

False Acceptances/Rejections with Fingerprinting

False acceptances and rejections can be all too common with fingerprint-based biometric systems.

When the system fails to validate an employee, or worse yet, validates an unauthorized person, it most often is the result of a software error which can be costly and time consuming to correct. Anything but the most expensive fingerprint biometrics software will produce errors, and errors in your time and attendance data takes money out of your own pocket.

Improving the accuracy and efficiency of your payroll management system is why you’re considering biometric time clocks in the first place.

Finger Clocks Are More Difficult/Time Consuming

Using a finger clock us simply more time consuming for a construction worker.

Fingerprint technology reads a certain portion of the finger, not the entire print. An employee may position their finger wrong and spend several tries attempting to position it correctly with little or no guidance from the machine.

With our biometric FaceFront time clock, punching in and out is designed to be completed in a matter of seconds. The only requirements are a tablet or smartphone with a front-facing camera running Android or iOS. This ease is helpful in any industry—and when we’re talking about time tracking in the construction industry, there’s no superior option.