Debt collection isn’t for everyone. In fact, we don’t know of a single person whose original career goal was to be a debt collector. Most of us seem to stumble into the profession and find, unexpectedly, that we’re good at it.
A friend once said that good collectors are born, not made. It’s tempting to look for the nearest warm body when there are collection tasks to be handled, but collectors truly are a different breed. Good collectors are generally assertive, goal-oriented, competitive types who like challenge and don’t shy away from confrontation. They are persistent, can problem solve, and adhere to the rules. A good collector is a multi-tasker who is intrinsically motivated and can manage their time well. They analyze situations quickly and have strong communication skills. Above all, they can deliver customer service under difficult circumstances and without generating complaints.
It’s easy to see why even the best employee might not be cut out for collections. Unfortunately, many governments thrust debt collection duties on staffers who do not have the desire, temperament or skills to adequately perform the job.
By some accounts, replacing a bad hire costs an organization one and a half times that salary, or more. We spend valuable time and resources hiring, training, evaluating performance, coaching, and eventually firing our poor performers. We’d like to help you hire and retain collection professionals who excel at a job most agree is unpleasant. In this section we’ll cover the following topics: