Are Biometric CVs The Future?

Are Biometric CVs The Future?

13 March 2017



It sounds like something from a science fiction movie – wearing your CV on your wrist and expressing data about yourself in a biometric format.

But, hey, not that long ago it seemed crazy that we would all be wearing Apple watches and Fitbits – so are biometric CVs really that much of a stretch of the imagination?

A recent study from Goldsmiths’ Institute of Management Studies at the University of London hints that data generated from personal technology be gathered and analysed to understand employees’ performance and how well they might be suited to a role.

The study, conducted by Professor Chris Brauer, states that biometric CVs containing data about everything from sleep patterns to how you deal with stress will become just as ubiquitous as the aforementioned Fitbits.

In fact, Brauer claims that the “sociometric” data generated from wearable technology is already being used in some sectors to give individuals an edge in the job market.

Analysis of candidates’ digital footprints, which includes use of social media sites, is quite commonplace. Therefore, it could be argued that biometrics could almost be seen as the next natural step in the process of rooting out the wrong candidates.

Use of biometric CVs could also be used to challenge those who ‘embellish the truth’ on traditional paper CVs. Yes, your career to date might look great on paper – but does that all go out the window when you’re forced to deal with people face to face? You might state that you are calm under pressure, but does your wearable tech suggest otherwise?

It definitely sounds like an intriguing notion. But would the average employee be somewhat more reluctant to go down this route?

There may be, at the very least, trust issues as to how any sensitive data would be used. Candidates may feel a pressure to submit to wearable tech for fear of being seen as untrustworthy.

But could there also be candidates who knew how to manipulate their own data?

No doubt, there would also be concerns relating to the Human Rights Act, which stipulates that everyone has a right to have their private life and privacy respected. The Data Protection Act also states that all data must be lawfully and fairly processed.

These concerns make it unlikely that biometric CVs will come in to play any time soon.

But before we get carried away down an Orwellian vision of the future, biometric CVs may genuinely prove useful for practical interviews.

For instance, if you were asked to deliver a presentation or undertake a sample of work that you would carry out should you get the job, it would be useful for potential employers to see how you cope under pressure.

Really, is it any different to being asked a difficult ‘behavioural’ question at an interview?

Employers would also have to appreciate that nerves may also play a large part in any data they were able to pick up – nobody is truly at their best in an interview situation, no matter how confident they claim to be.

And perhaps they could even be put to good use regarding mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. For instance, if a current employee returned data that was displaying signs of stress or lack of sleep in an otherwise healthy person, it could prompt an employer to have a discussion to make sure everything was alright.

Biometric CVs definitely sound like something from a futuristic blockbuster. Would you feel comfortable wearing one? Comment below to let us know. 




Written By Mary Palmer


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