Although data entry might not sound interesting, there exists a job market of those who, for various reasons, are more than willing to take it on. Seeking out certain types of candidates for data entry work makes smart business sense, as long as you’ve got your priorities straight.
Professional Typists/Data Entry Clerks
Mundane as it may be, data entry is a task sought by many a specially trained typist. Think court stenographers, transcriptionists, and others who are called upon to input large quantities of data quickly and cleanly.
If you’re hiring someone to do data entry, try first to find someone versed in it as a skill. This way, the speed with which they do their job will result in lower expenses for your business, as qualified parties will minimize the amount of time a data entry project takes.
In terms of expense, this is likely to be the costliest of your data entry propositions. Given that these people are trained for just this kind of work, whether through previous experience or a range of relevant coursework and specialization, you’re likely to spend the most retaining these types of workers. Best to rely on them only for those high-value data entry projects that absolutely must be error free.
All those business articles on employment and staffing trends can’t be wrong: The American office culture currently boasts a broad swath of those who make temping a full-time career. Whether they’re would-be artists or musicians trying to make the rent while pursuing another dream, or individuals who gravitate toward the flexibility and freedom of temp work, there is a slew of workers angling for part-time appointments, and these days they’re more qualified than ever.
To reach these types of hires, craft a job description emphasizing the short-term nature of the work, as well as any flexibility inherent within the role (perhaps you’re willing to schedule workers in half-day increments, or only certain days of the week). Just be sure to recognize that these types of staffers generally have other things going on, so you’ll only get the barest minimum of their energy and effort needed to get the particular job done.
Temp workers represent the mid-range when it comes to affordability. While they’re typically not as pricey as data entry specialists, many temp workers have gleaned through jumping from job to job what their hourly worth to a company might actually be. Prepare to negotiate rates with them. As far as proficiency, though, you’re in for a relatively smooth sail, since holding a variety of different jobs leads to the development of a range of useful skills. A roving temp may gather little moss, but he or she is likely to be a quick study.
Be sure to check out Ten Ways to the Get the Most from Temporary Workers for some good pointers.
Students Seeking Stepping-Stones
The shoo-ins for the data entry “eager beaver awards” are likely to be college students in between school semesters. If your data entry needs happen to coincide with the summertime, the holiday season, or anytime in March or April, you might be able to recruit local students to do the data entry work for you.
Educated and likely to be more interested in giving even the most rudimentary work their all, college students stand to be the strongest option to fulfill your data entry needs. They’ll more than likely be interested in learning more about your business and be eager to please, meaning they’ll presumably be punctual and generate good work.
In fact, many colleges and universities require students to perform some kind of internship. A long-term data entry project augmented by some additional tasks (look around — every office has them) along with a little face time with company leaders ends up being quite a solid internship for a student on break. Guidelines for Hiring and Managing Interns has some good tips.
Take advantage of students’ eagerness to situate themselves in the professional world by targeting them for your data entry projects. Notifying the career development offices of local universities about your internship opening will surely net you some candidates whose work you can really count on.
Happily, if the bottom line is your chief concern, college students can be extremely reasonable salarywise. As most internships and short-term work they’re used to are either unpaid or low-wage prospects, you have the upper hand in determining how much to compensate them. Oftentimes, students are so grateful for any kind of on-the-job experience that they’ll work on the cheap. Given, however, that their training is minimal to nonexistent, rely on them only if you’ve got someone in authority checking their work for errors.