Data entry clerks work in many different sectors and industries. Their primary duties are accurately inputting data into relevant databases and ensuring the collected data is free from error before input.
The duties of a data entry clerk can range from numerical data to the input of transcripts gained from recorded conversations. As part of their role, they may also be required to type up written correspondence or reports for various purposes.
This article looks into the role of a data entry clerk, and the soft skills, technical abilities, and aptitudes required for the position.
We also review the types of pre-employment tests that you can use as part of your recruitment process, to help you determine which individuals in your candidate pool are the best fit for the role.
What should a data entry clerk be able to do?
A data entry clerk's primary responsibility is verifying data for accuracy before inputting it into the relevant databases.
The role also covers a variety of other duties, such as reviewing and organizing data into a usable format, and informing team members about any errors in the data.
Data entry clerks are also responsible for comparing data against reference or source documents, checking for errors, and updating any pre-entered data accordingly. Other people access the information in the database, so data entry clerks must ensure that data is entered and stored in the correct location to be easily accessible.
As part of their job, data entry clerks decide on suitable materials to perform their work, ensuring that any additional materials required for their tasks are sourced promptly. For example, any supplementary materials or source documents needed to decipher muddled data, before entering the correct information into the database.
To ensure that all data is entered correctly, with no duplications, data entry clerks need to maintain accurate work logs. This also ensures that other team members working on the input of large volumes of data can keep track of what has and has not been inputted.
Skills to look for in a data entry clerk
The role of a data entry clerk requires several skills. Screening candidates against these skills ensures that those you hire demonstrate the critical knowledge and abilities required to succeed in their role.
Reading comprehension skills: data entry clerks must be able to read and interpret written information such as instructions, data, or information in work-related documents. This enables them to carry out their work in an efficient manner.
Microsoft Office skills: an essential part of a data entry clerk's role is having a working knowledge of all functionalities available within Microsoft Office applications. This enables them to make sense of any muddled information before inputting it into relevant databases.
Written communication skills: using written words to communicate effectively and get their message across in an easy-to-understand way, enables data entry clerks to represent their data accurately.
Listening skills: data entry clerks need to listen and focus on what another person is saying, asking follow-up questions to ascertain whether the data they have is accurate before entering it into the database.
Error checking: having the skills to spot errors or discrepancies in data is essential for a data entry clerk to perform their role successfully. Accuracy in their work is of utmost importance, given that others use the data they input into the database.
Useful abilities for a data entry clerk
There are many abilities inherent to a successful data entry clerk. These abilities enable them to carry out their duties accurately and efficiently, considering the importance of their work to others who rely on the data they input.
Time management: an essential ability for a data entry clerk is prioritizing tasks and managing their time effectively to meet deadlines. The work of others is often determined by the work of a data entry clerk. Data entry clerks need to meet deadlines to enable others to carry out their roles using the data they have collected and inputted.
Problem-solving: data entry clerks are often faced with incomplete or muddled data which can lead to problems. Identifying trends and patterns or combining different pieces of information to build a complete picture of data before inputting is essential for all data entry clerks.
Oral comprehension: listening to what others are saying, asking questions, and understanding verbal communication enables data entry clerks to make sense of the data they are working with.
Attention to detail: this is an essential ability required of all data entry clerks in all aspects of their roles. Data entry clerks must be able to ensure the accuracy of the data they are working with and inputting into the database.
Logical thinking: data entry clerks need to use logical reasoning to solve problems, inferring the correct solution using their inductive reasoning.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a data entry clerk?
There are several soft skills tests that you can use as part of the recruitment process to determine whether the candidates in your application pool demonstrate the skills needed to be successful as a data entry clerk.
Accountability test: this scenario-based test gives you a better understanding of a candidate's integrity and ownership of the role. Using situations similar to those they would face at work, the test also indicates how aligned they are with the responsibilities of the role and whether they would be a good fit for the organization.
Time management: this test determines how well individuals can prioritize tasks, manage their time, and work effectively. This test also highlights a candidate's work style when dealing with deadlines and their skill in prioritizing tasks.
Problem-solving: a scenario-based test focusing on how candidates approach problem-solving. This test requires candidates to use their logical reasoning, critical reasoning, and prioritization skills to determine the best course of action with the information they have been given.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a data entry clerk?
To determine whether a candidate possesses the necessary technical skills and aptitudes required to be a data entry clerk, you can use several pre-employment tests.
Microsoft Excel test: a practical test that enables you to determine an individual's skill level in using Microsoft Excel and its many functions to manipulate data efficiently.
Error checking test: this test uses numerical and written data to measure an individual's attention to detail when dealing with data. The test-taker must use their selective focus to identify discrepancies and errors in the data and select which of the multiple-choice answers is correct.
Logical reasoning test: is a timed test, consisting of non-verbal information that requires candidates to use their logical reasoning abilities and their ability to think critically. Individuals need to identify patterns or relationships between data sets and use them to solve the problems that follow. They must determine which answer is correct, based on the information they are given.
Abstract reasoning test: a test that requires candidates to think laterally, using logical thinking and creativity. This timed assessment includes non-verbal information. Individuals must review sets of shapes or patterns to decide the relationship between them, then use what they have learned to determine the next set of shapes in the pattern.
Our recommended test battery for a data entry clerk
Our recommended test battery for inclusion in the recruitment process is outlined below. These recommendations are based on the soft skills, technical skills, and aptitudes required to be a successful data entry clerk.
Error checking test: an assessment of an individual's attention to detail and accuracy when reviewing numerical and written data.
Logical reasoning test: enables you to determine whether candidates can apply logical reasoning to solve problems when presented with non-verbal information. This test also provides insight into how well candidates can work under pressure.
Time management test: a test that requires candidates to prioritize tasks, and measures how well they can manage their time to meet deadlines.
Accountability test: enables you to get a deeper insight into how well a candidate is aligned to the role, team, and organization. This test provides information on a candidate's integrity and discipline in the role.
Microsoft Excel test: a practical test that determines individuals' proficiency in using Microsoft Excel and its functions needed to perform the role.
For more information on hiring a data entry clerk, check out Picked's page on data entry clerk tests.