The Best Data Collection Methods for Your Employee Records

46696746_s.jpgIt should come as no surprise that the backbone of a quality recruitment program is an efficient suite of data collection methods. This, of course, also depends on the amount of resources that you want to devote to attaining the necessary information. In the following, you’ll see what methods some of the most successful SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) use to bolster their workforce management, employee records and other attributes related to employment.


Probably the simplest of the data collection methods out there, the utility of surveys varies with the relevance of the questions – they must be well-targeted and unambiguous. You can choose the delivery method that works best for your collection team: email, snail-mail or telephone. Indeed; some businesses even conduct these in person for better results – although this last is, of course, more resource-intensive. The easiest methods of mail (email or snail-mail) often lead to low response rates, which can make it difficult to derive general, wide-ranging results from the ones you do get back.

A rule of thumb for this data collection method is, whatever you do to increase the response rates, you can expect the survey method to be more expensive. Use what’s worked before – see other companies in the healthcare, government, hospitality or manufacturing verticals for reference – to maximize the cost-benefit.


This is the next step up from in-person surveys, and can produce some really robust results. Of course, interviews can also be conducted over the phone or via Skype/Google Hangouts to reduce the costs drastically. More than any other of the data collection methods, this technique allows you to get elaboration on questions that surveys cannot provide. Of course, the drawback is that you cannot expect to interview nearly as many people as you would receive respondents to surveys.

Records Reviews

This is one of the most efficient data collection methods out there; especially in the case of employee records compilation and review. After all, the data to be reviewed already exists; so you don’t need to factor in the cost of collection methods. There are some cases, of course, in which you might need to update the records; but the ubiquity of electronic records these days makes that a relatively painless process.

Furthermore, records review compels you to streamline your preexisting data management system to keep up with the times. Afterwards, it will be quite easy to maintain databases and keep internal records on a variety of measurement work. Another aspect of the inherent efficiency of records review is the relatively low amount of training required, as well as the much lower number of staff necessary to carry out the process.

Lastly, to bolster the overall efficiency, you can implement feedback forms that help you make amendments to the process.

Quality Assurance Should Be a Feature in All Data Collection Methods

As you’ve seen, some methods have a better in-built quality assurance mechanism than others; but you should strive to maximize this metric in any of them. First of all, by ensuring that your response rates as high as possible/feasible for a chosen data collection method, you reduce statistical errors right off the bat. Things such as using double entry to collect and compare data for errors, spot checking, automation and sorting facilitate proper collection and data storage.

It’s always best to have multiple collection methods to compare and contrast the viability of both the data and the very method, itself. The integrity of your records depends on these.