Due to automation, the pace of clerical jobs has increased over the last few years. Many employers as for “clerical speed and accuracy” in job postings.
“Clerical speed and accuracy” refer to a worker’s proficiency in skills needed to perform office work. The tasks involved include reading, typing, vocabulary, analyzing sets of information, and making simple decisions to finish the job.
We will explain what is considered excellent clerical speed and accuracy, which jobs require clerical speed and accuracy, and how to improve clerical skills.
What Is Considered a Good Clerical Speed and Accuracy for Employers?
Ensuring good clerical speed and accuracy during potential employees’ screening process can contribute to a business’s success.
Employers assess applicants during the pre-employment process via a battery of tests for clerical speed and accuracy to see if they fit the job. The general passing rate for this type of screening is 70% and above, but businesses can require a higher rate depending on their specific needs.
These tests, called clerical skills aptitude tests, are usually taken in pen and paper or online. It typically contains the following categories:
- Verbal reasoning
- Numerical reasoning
- Typing tests
- Error checking
- Personality testing
- Situational judgment
Apart from these factors, clerical skills aptitude tests also assess an applicant regarding time management, organization, motivation, efficiency, and interpersonal skills.
Which Jobs Require Clerical Speed and Accuracy?
Clerical speed and accuracy are required in jobs that deal with data entry and transcription. Although clerical jobs are available in every sector, the industries that commonly require these office skills include remote jobs, entry-level law jobs, logistics, entry-level medical jobs, government jobs, and accounting jobs.
High-demand positions that require clerical speed and accuracy are:
- Office clerks
- Administrative assistants
- Inventory control personnel
- Bank tellers
- Accountants and bookkeepers
- Finance clerks
- Call center agents
- Court clerks
4 Tips to Improve Your Clerical Skills
Job applicants, and even regular employees, usually ask about things they can improve, including their clerical skills. It usually happens after an assessment or interview or when feedback is given during an appraisal.
1. Improve Your Typing Speed
You must type quickly and accurately if you intend to work as a data entry personnel, a transcriptionist, or work in any other job requiring heavy typing on the computer.
You should also familiarize yourself with the proper position on the keyboard and posture while typing. Good posture will keep you comfortable and contribute to your typing skills. Also, try not to look at the keyboard when you type. Doing so will only slow your typing down. Another important tip is to proofread your work as you type.
It is also essential to constantly practice to get the hang of typing quickly. There are several websites that provide free typing tests, including:
You may also want to set a goal of increasing your words per minute (WPM) rate when using these websites.
2. Pass Specialized Certifications
Most clerical work requires software such as Microsoft Office or Google Suite to get the job done. Some businesses also use proprietary software for their clerical tasks. To help you improve your clerical speed and accuracy, you must upskill by attending training sessions and seminars relating to the latest software functionality updates.
You can also take advantage of refresher courses online to keep yourself updated from time to time.
Attending training sessions and seminars isn’t only limited to learning software or other forms of technology. You can also participate in lectures and workshops about your soft skills, such as:
- critical thinking
- Interpersonal skills
- time management
- organizational skills
These soft skills also contribute to the completion of clerical work, as we’ll discuss below.
3. Improve Your Communication Skills
Communication can go a long way to completing your tasks, and expressing yourself confidently when answering an email message or a telephone call is crucial to a clerical job. So there is always a need to brush up on your communication skills.
Here are some tips to improve your communication skills:
- Practice active listening and ask questions or clarifications to improve your understanding.
- Practice speaking in front of a group.
- Observe open body language and maintain eye contact during face-to-face meetings or video calls.
- Check your email messages before hitting the send button to ensure it is not misunderstood and there are no spelling and grammar errors.
- Take notes.
- Ask for feedback from other people about how you communicate.
4. Check Your Time Management Skills
Clerical jobs also involve finishing multiple tasks efficiently and effectively. Here are some tips that you can apply to improve your time management skills:
- Organize your workspace so you don’t spend too much time looking for the material you need for work.
- Focus on one task at a time. Try to steer away from multitasking as much as you can. Delegate work that you cannot accommodate.
- Set limits to the tasks that you can work on. Politely decline a request from others that you cannot accommodate.
- Take your breaks. Breaks help boost your productivity.
Knowing what clerical speed and accuracy mean in a job description is essential. For employers to discern if an applicant is suitable for a clerical position, they must score at least 70% and above on a clerical skills aptitude test.
Clerical work is present across every sector, and clerical speed and accuracy are required for jobs that deal with data entry, transcription, and copy editing.
Practicing typing speed, attending seminars and training, and improving communication and time management skills can help improve a person’s clerical skills.