4 Skills to Look for When Hiring a Data Entry Clerk

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By Lisa Hutchinson

Topics: Hiring

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4-Skills-to-Look-for-When-Hiring-a-Data-Entry-Clerk---compressor.jpgUnemployment is at a 40-year low and the economy is booming. It’s a perfect storm of many jobs and relatively few job seekers! As a result, you may notice you’re receiving fewer applications for your open roles, even for starting roles such as Data Entry Clerks. 

If this describes your situation, you may be tempted to hire whoever happens across your door. You already know that’s a bad plan. Time and time again, you’ve seen the problems associated with “bad hires,” whether within your own company or someone else’s. 

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While it could be tempting to hire whoever happens to apply, it’s worth your time to sort through the applications you receive and find the best candidate. If you look for these four skills, you won’t go wrong.

1. Words Per Minute

In an age when everyone seems to write text-speak and chat lingo, asking about typing speeds may seem a little old-fashioned. There was a time when not everyone had touched a keyboard, and only the best typists could get up to the speeds you needed. 

Words per minute is still important if you’re hiring a Data Entry Clerk. In fact, it’s often one of the basic requirements for the position. You want someone who’s going to be efficient at entering data, which means they need to have quick fingers on the keyboard. 

You’ll also want to check for accuracy. Yes, some people can type relatively quickly, but how accurate is their input? If your Data Entry Clerk is routinely making mistakes, you’ll need to spend a lot of time on clean up when they’re done.

2. Attention to Detail

Your Data Entry Clerk should also be highly attuned to the fine details. They might be able to type a mile a minute, but it’s useless if they’re making mistakes. Their accuracy needs to be just as high as their typing speed.

Attention to detail plays a role in accuracy. Is this person reading the input correctly or skimming and entering errors as a result? If they do make a typo or an error, can they quickly spot it and correct it? 

Someone who pays attention to the little things will also notice inconsistencies in the data. It may not seem like a big deal now, but uniform data in your database makes it much easier to mine the information later.

3. Technological Skills

You’ve already determined your new Data Entry Clerks know their way around a keyboard fairly well. They’ve also got a great eye for detail. How are the rest of their computer skills?

Today, most companies are using enterprise database and data management systems. Different database management tools are available. Even something like a customer referral management system could require data entry, especially if you’re moving over from an older program or a paper-based system.

Your new clerks will need to know their way around these programs. They may need to know how to operate more than one program as well. Understanding the basic programming behind a database and some of the programs you use is an excellent skill to have. While it may not be necessary in all cases, a clerk with these skills could help you truly perfect your use of your new system and get the most out of your investment in it.

4. Teamwork Skills

Your Data Entry Clerk likely isn’t working alone. Depending on how much data there is to enter, you could have two or three people working in a team. The clerk will also report to a manager or supervisor. The project may belong to a particular department. Your new CRM, for example, may be a sales initiative.

Teamwork skills will serve any Data Entry Clerk well. Be sure to consider it a requirement when you hire someone for this role with your company.

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Lisa Hutchinson

I started with Liberty Staffing in 2004 as the Regional Business Manager of the London office. I have over 20 years of experience in the customer service and retail sectors, as well as leadership experience including Store Management, People Development and Recruiting. In 2016, our London location moved to a larger office in order to accommodate growth of our business, which included adding a Clerical Division.

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