Navigating Data Entry Assessments: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers
Business leaders know that employees, from data entry clerks to senior executives, must organize and manage data. At the very least, they need a basic understanding of spreadsheets. This includes entering information accurately, formatting cells (e.g., changing fonts or changing alignments and borders), using formulas and math functions, and creating reports.
This is why we say “Yes” when HR leaders worldwide ask, Should I use data entry tests for hiring? and then answer their next question, which is normally, “What is the best data entry assessment test to use?” with “It depends.”
More jobs are being automated, but some, such as data entry, must be done manually. Data entry operators must enter information quickly, organize data, and verify it is correct. It is challenging for HR professionals to determine whether applicants have these abilities. So, many are turning to leading assessment solution providers like eSkill and implementing data entry assessment tests.
How Can a Data Entry Typing Test Improve Business Performance?
If you wonder how data entry assessment tests can improve business performance, put yourself in your HR manager’s shoes. When your HR team posts a data entry job, they might receive hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of responses. Some are from highly qualified candidates, but most are from applicants who do not have the required skills.
Imagine how much time you would spend reviewing all the applicants to identify the candidates who deserve further consideration. You would also waste hours weeding out applicants who lack the proper skills and experience.
If you ask applicants to complete data entry and typing tests, you can sort and review the results and instantly see which applicants you should focus your time on.
Why Customization is Important
Your company may be organized similarly to peer companies in your industry. However, skills and experience that are needed often differ by company and even by department or division within the same company. In fact, we frequently hear some questions: “Are There Industry-Specific Data Entry Tests Available?” and “What are Different Data Entry Skill Levels?” and ask how they can effectively test for them.
Standardized data entry tests may not be a good solution because of these variances. This is why leading assessment solutions like the eSkill Talent Assessment PlatformTM allow you to tailor assessments for each job. For example, if you work at a hospital and need to hire a team of data entry operators, you can create an assessment using questions from the Data Entry Operator, Medical Typing, and Medical Terminology tests and add MS Office® questions.
Which Industries Should Use Data Entry Speed Tests for Hiring?
Organizations in virtually every industry use Excel and data entry assessment tests to identify and hire top candidates. These are some examples of clients that decreased time-to-hire and reduced turnover once they implemented the eSkill Talent Assessment PlatformTM.
- An auto warranty company offers automotive claims administration and vehicle service contract expertise. By using basic office and data entry skills tests, it can now fill positions in four to six days and has reduced employee turnover from 40% to 23%.
- Houdini, Incorporated provides wholesale gift baskets to warehouse clubs, mass merchandisers, liquor purveyors, and specialty stores. It implemented Microsoft® Excel skills assessments and was able to instantly select 30 top candidates for seasonal work from a pool of 458 candidates.
- Chemonics, a multinational consulting and solution development company, implemented basic Excel and data entry skills tests and other pre-employment assessments. It has reduced time-to-hire to 55 days and is working to reduce it to 45 days from the initial interview to a job offer being accepted. It has also reduced turnover by 43%.
- AJM Packaging Corporation is a family-owned business that has grown from a small paper cup manufacturer to a national leader in the disposable tableware industry. It implemented eSkill’s clerical skills and data entry tests to assess candidates’ typing speed and accuracy. Comprehensive skills testing immediately paid off because its HR team could make hiring decisions with confidence, and the company significantly reduced hiring errors.
- Texas811 is a non-profit organization that notifies utility companies and city and county governments, which are members of its network, about planned excavations near their underground lines. It used to take hiring teams six to eight weeks to fill entry-level call center positions. Using typing and data entry assessments has enabled them to make hiring decisions in one to two weeks—a 75% decrease in time-to-hire.
What Happens When You Make a Hiring Mistake
The hiring process used to be much easier. You reviewed resumes, created a shortlist, invited top candidates for an interview, and hired the best person. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible because over 70% of applicants lie on their resumes and during interviews. So, if you hire the “perfect” candidate, you may find they cannot do the job, as illustrated in the following scenario.
Maureen T, an HR leader for a large industrial electronics distributor, needed to fill a recently vacated data operator position. She posted the job, reviewed resumes, and identified several promising applicants.
When she interviewed the shortlisted candidates, Justin H stood out as the leading contender. His resume looked perfect and listed the right skills and experience. He said he wanted new challenges and more training and development opportunities. This was music to Maureen’s ears.
Justin passed through interviews with Bryan F., the hiring manager, and prospective team members with flying colors. His references from a former manager and colleague were also excellent. Maureen and Bryan were convinced they had found the perfect hire and rushed to extend an offer to Justin. Then, their problems started.
It was soon obvious that Justin had lied about his skills and experience on his resume and during interviews. He could not perform basic data entry tasks and made many errors that required extensive rework. He also worked slowly, which meant his work piled up, resulting in missed deadlines and frustrated customers.
This created a difficult situation for Bryan because he was forced to delegate Justin’s work to other team members. Justin’s co-workers became irritated and resentful, and a few met with Bryan privately and asked him to consider letting Justin go.
Bryan and Maureen tried to make things work with Justin. They had numerous meetings and counseling sessions and provided training, but nothing worked. Things were building up to a boiling point, and the situation finally came to a head when Bryan received feedback from his manager and senior managers in other departments that Justin’s work was “marginal at best.” After a three-month probationary period, Bryan had no choice but to terminate Justin.
Maureen and Bryan learned the hard way that resumes, interviews, and even references do not always indicate which candidates are best qualified for a job.
How to Ensure Candidates Really Are Qualified
So, how can you be sure candidates really are qualified for a job? Your best bet is to assign them tasks they will complete on the job and observe their performance. Top data entry assessment test solutions like the eSkill Talent Assessment PlatformTM include simulations that help you measure computer proficiency, multitasking abilities, and other skills.
Assume you need a data entry operator with excellent Excel skills and good multitasking and time management abilities. In this case, you can build an assessment using the Data Entry Operator and Typing Tests, including MS Office® and Multitasking simulations.
Clients and prospects often ask, “How Can a 5-Minute Data Entry Typing Test Assess a Candidate’s Skills Effectively?” and “How is a Keystrokes Per Hour Test Related to Data Entry Success?” If Maureen and Bryan’s company used a data entry test to evaluate candidates, they would have eliminated Justin from consideration because his assessment results would have indicated he did not have the skill and experience level required for the job and his typing speed was too slow.
This would have saved them hours of frustration, lost productivity, and staff disruption. They would also have avoided wasting thousands of dollars on hiring, onboarding, and training only to incur the same hiring expenses three months later.
What Important Skills Do Data Entry Tests Assess?
A data entry operator’s tasks differ by organization and industry sector. If a job primarily entails entering numbers, clients ask, “How Is A 10-Key Data Entry Test Different from Other Data Entry Tests?” Accuracy and attention to detail are essential skills because mistakes can result in lost productivity and staff disruption. This is an example of what could happen if a data entry operator is not good at checking and verifying details.
Jenna L. was a newly hired data entry operator at a company that owned and managed 17 apartment and commercial properties in seven states. She was hired because her resume indicated she was detail-oriented and had accurate typing and data entry skills.
The people who worked at remote locations received their paychecks by overnight mail every other Friday because direct deposit was not yet commonplace.
On Thursday before payday, Roger S., the Accounting Manager, showed Jenna how to package the checks for each property and prepare the labels for the overnight packages. She followed his instructions and sent the paychecks that afternoon.
Several property managers called the corporate office in a panic the next afternoon. Some hadn’t received their paychecks, and others had received paychecks for another property. This was critical because many of the employees lived paycheck to paycheck.
Roger and Marie W., the Payroll Clerk, dropped everything they were doing and called each property to find out which ones were missing checks or received the wrong ones. Then, they stopped payment on the existing checks, cut new checks, and shipped them priority overnight.
The entire accounting and payroll department and many external locations experienced disruption because an employee who allegedly had accurate typing and data-checking skills should never have been hired. If the company had required applicants to complete data entry tests during hiring, HR and hiring managers would have seen that attention to detail was not one of Jenna’s strong points, and she would not have been offered the job.
Inaccuracy and lack of attention to detail can also affect a business’s relations with customers or patients, as in this case.
Marissa P. called her doctor’s office to schedule an annual physical. She had recently changed jobs and had a new work phone number. So, the receptionist sent her a form to provide the updated phone number and note other necessary changes.
When Marissa arrived for her appointment, the staff found no record of it. The office manager checked and found that a data entry operator had overwritten her home phone number with her previous work phone number and had not entered the new phone number. So, when the staff contacted Marissa to confirm the appointment, they did not receive a reply because she never received the message. So, the office staff canceled the appointment.
Marissa was irritated because she had taken time off work for the appointment, had wasted time driving to the office, and now had to reschedule. Since it was the doctor’s office staff’s mistake, she demanded an appointment at a time when she did not need to miss work and that the staff apply her co-pay to the rescheduled appointment.
The same thing happened with other patients because the data entry operator entered information incorrectly. If the office staff used data entry and typing tests while hiring, they could have prevented these problems because assessment results would have shown them which candidates had accurate typing and data entry skills and good attention to detail.
Get Started with Date Entry Assessment Tests
As a business leader, you want your HR team to identify top candidates who can help you facilitate operations and ensure maximum productivity. Using data entry tests and data entry typing tests will help them gather the measurable data they need to evaluate applicants quickly, accurately, and impartially and improve hiring across your organization.
Do you want to learn how data entry tests and data entry typing tests can help you recruit top candidates and improve hiring outcomes? Contact us to request a demo.