How to hire data entry specialists

Don't think that all data entry specialists are the same and that price should be the only thing you look at. With the help of the following tips, you'll be more likely to find the best talent for your needs:

1. Think about what kind of data you need to enter.

Different tasks require slightly different skill sets. For example, suppose the project involves entering a long list of numbers. In that case, you'll need a clerk with experience in 10-key data entry, which means working with the number keys to the right of standard keyboards or on a separate keyboard attachment. Ten-key data entry is a unique skill. Someone who can type 70 words per minute might not be the best at entering strings of numbers.

But 10-key typing may not be necessary when putting information from sources like questionnaires and documents into a spreadsheet. A strong command of the language and the ability to quickly and accurately scan documents to find the right information would be crucial. If the specialist needs to get the information from websites or social media, they also need to know how to use the web.

2. Check whether the candidate has previously worked in your field or market sector.

This can be helpful if you work in a specialized field, like insurance or banking. A specialist who already knows how to use the forms or spreadsheets you use will probably need less time to get up to speed.

3. Make sure the applicants know how to use the software and other tools like optical scanners.

Make sure they have a reliable way to connect to the Internet.

4. If privacy laws are essential in your field, ask candidates what steps they take to ensure they follow the rules.

Please don't assume, for example, that a professional's computer has encryption software or that their office door is locked. Make sure the professional can meet HIPAA, PCI, or any other standards set by the government.

5. Ask the candidates how they make sure their work is right.

Speed is important, but not if it means sacrificing accuracy.

6. Say what you expect ahead of time.

This is important for any good working relationship, but it's worth saying again. Before you hire someone, let them know how long the job will take to finish, how much work there will be, what the task requires, and how you want to communicate.

How to shortlist data entry freelancers

As you look at different freelance data entry consultants, it is helpful to make a short list of the ones you want to talk to. You can look at profiles based on things like:

  • Software. Do you like working with data tables in Microsoft Access or in Google Sheets? You'll need a specialist in data entry who can fit right into the way you already work.
  • Expertise. You know you need help with data entry, but do you also need basic data science skills (like data mining) to finish the project?
  • Feedback. Check client reviews to see if there are any glowing comments or warning signs that can tell you what it's like to work with a certain data entry specialist.

How to write an effective data entry job post

Different people can enter data. Some have experience in a certain industry, work with niche systems, or are good at putting together information from different places. By being clearer about what you want, you can get better proposals and speed up your search.

Before you post a job, you should ask:

  1. Does this person work with private information? Think about what proof points you need to see before you can work with them based on the situation's sensitivity. Online talent solutions like Upwork give you job success scores, reviews of past projects, and other information to help you do a good job of vetting.
  2. Do I need someone skilled in a certain area? Some data can be hard to enter correctly if the person doesn't know many of the industry's terms and acronyms. Like when putting medical information from audio files into written form.
  3. How will we talk to each other? There are skilled data entry specialists all over the world. It's important to plan how you'll communicate and share documents. Will you use cloud-based programs for most of your communication? Will they need access to a VPN?
  4. Will they use anything out of the ordinary? You can get a project up and running faster if you hire people who know how to use the programs they'll be using, like Zendesk or Salesforce.
  5. What are they going to do? When you give more details, finding the right person for a project is easier. If they're going to look for mistakes in financial data, would someone with a background in bookkeeping be helpful? Will they be entering numbers quickly from several sources, requiring a 10-key speed of 10,000 keystrokes per hour (KPH) with 98% accuracy?

Sample data entry project description

Remember that many people use the term "job description," but only employees need a full job description. Usually, all you need to hire a freelancer as an independent contractor is a statement of work, a job post, or some other document that describes the work.

Your job ad needs to answer three questions clearly:

  • What do you want to happen?
  • When will you want it?
  • When does your project start, and when does it end?

If you answer these questions, you'll not only be able to find better candidates, but you'll also get more accurate proposals.

Here's what it could look like:


The content management system needs to be organized and kept up-to-date by a data entry specialist.


Every week, our content team writes 25 original industry articles that get more than 1.5 million views each month. We have content from the past three years that needs to be put into the right categories and subcategories for SEO. You'll also make a process for our writers to follow so that everything stays in order. You'll talk to writers and the content manager to determine what the workflow needs. You could also find information about content management systems (CMS) and put data into the new system.


  • Sort over 2,500 articles into the right categories and get rid of tags that have already been used.
  • Set up a way for writers to keep track of requests for and submissions of articles.
  • Give weekly reports on the performance of your content based on how Google Analytics measures it.
  • Setting up the new CMS and putting in data.


  • Available 25 hours a week for as long as eight weeks
  • Google Analytics and Excel are things you know.
  • In the first line of your cover letter, write "glass table."

Please send in your proposal by [month], [date], [year].

Did you notice that the cover letter asked you to write "glass table"? Adding something like this isn't required, but if you need someone to pay attention and follow instructions well, it's a good way to test them. It's also a fast way to sort through a lot of ideas.


What does a data entry specialist do?

By hand, data entry workers type information into spreadsheets, tables, and databases. A data entry expert can help with things like researching possible sales leads to add to a company's spreadsheet or putting information from paper records into a digital database.

Here is a quick list of the skills you should look for in freelancers who do data entry:

  • Typing
  • Research
  • Organization

Data entry consultants help businesses take the first step in processing data. They are quick, reliable, and pay attention to details.

Why hire people to enter data?

To find the best people to enter data, you need to realize what you want. Is it easy to do web research and enter data into a spreadsheet for this project? Or will they be able to read scanned documents from afar and type the information into your digital database? The cost of your data entry project will depend a lot on how much work you need to be done and what skills you need to get it done.

How much does hiring a person who is good at entering data cost?

Rates can change based on many things, such as expertise and experience, location, and the state of the market.

  • An experienced data entry specialist may charge more, but they work faster, have more specialized knowledge, and do better work.
  • If contractors are still trying to get clients, they might price their data entry services more competitively.

The particulars of your undertaking will determine which option is most suitable for your needs.