What you should cover during training: As stated in previous sections, this article in not intended to cover every nuance of your training program. Regardless of how you mix and match your training methods and learning styles, GRCA has identified some broad concepts that should be included in your training process.

Organizational training – Your new employee will appreciate learning a little more about the organization as a whole. Human resource departments often conduct new employee orientations during which the employee is provided benefit information, a copy of the organization’s policy manual and code of conduct. Providing trainees with an organizational overview will help them envision their role within the larger company.

Departmental training – During the interview process, it’s likely you gave the employee a brief overview of your department but they will need additional information on how the office runs. Plan to provide background on the department including how the department got started and the debts the department is responsible for collecting. Set the expectations for behavior, communication with consumers and other departments, and rules for interacting with the team. Be clear about the department’s adherence to policy and provide a policy manual, specific to the department.

System training – Workplaces are overflowing with proprietary software packages and support systems that new employees will need to learn quickly and efficiently. At a minimum, your training should cover collection software, phone systems, credit card processing, credit bureau products, e-commerce products, and any third-party applications skiptracing or outsourcing vendors may use. Your employees may also be required to understand or interact with ancillary software in use by outlying departments or clients. Giving your new collector adequate time to practice using their new tools will increase their confidence once they begin taking calls.

Collection training – You may have chosen an employee with previous collection experience but in all likelihood, they have come from the private sector. Moving from private companies to government is an adjustment. Some modifications to their style will be required to perform the functions of their new job. Be sure to explain the differences between government and private sector collecting. For instance, government implements change more slowly than they are accustomed to and they may not have handled the same types of debt before. They may also be asked to deal with customers in person, something most collection agents do not have to do.

Find out what your collector already knows by asking questions during their training. Be clear about your expectations for behavior and conduct as well as performance standards. Explain what customer service looks like in your organization and what collection protocol is acceptable.

Additional training tips

Provide your new collector with a list of helpful internet sites like the local bankruptcy court, motor vehicles, county assessor, secretary of state, etc.

Introduce your new employee to key players outside the department to reinforce their role within the larger organization and help them assimilate into the team.