How to Hire Talented Collections Specialists

A business needs many qualified people to run properly. Administrators, IT specialists, office workers, executives, accountants… the list goes on. But one essential job across many industries is one we don’t often think of: collections specialists. 

Collections specialists ensure debts are resolved on behalf of an employer or business. They’re responsible for resolving overdue bills and collecting payments from those who owe businesses money. They’re also responsible for keeping their employer’s assets safe. Financial institutions like banks, credit unions, and financial services companies are known for using collections specialists since these industries often need to settle past-due accounts, but collections agents are used in a variety of other fields, too, including the medical field for example.  

Does your company need skilled collections specialists to keep accounts from becoming overdue and make sure your finances stay on track? Finding these individuals on your own can be time-consuming and difficult, and you might not be getting the best bang for your buck. That’s why trusting a financial services staffing agency like Workway to take care of it makes so much sense. 

Below, our accounting and finance recruiters offer tips on what to look for when hiring collections specialists and how to find the cream of the crop for your organization.  

Skills to Look for When Recruiting Collections Specialists 

There is a popular perception of collections specialists or debt collectors as cold, calculating, unfeeling people who have no problem ruining someone’s day if the job calls for it. This is fiction. The truth is that many of the opposite qualities are what prove useful in this kind of job.  

In addition to the financial, accounting, and administrative abilities that make up the core of the collection specialist’s profession, a variety of interpersonal skills are equally important for this career field. After all, collections specialists will often be working face-to-face with individual debtors themselves, or people representing other individuals or organizations who have fallen behind on payments. 

Financial institutions and other businesses looking to hire collections specialists should look for these qualities:  

Exceptional Customer Service 

You might not think of customer service as a leading quality to look for in a collections specialist. But it’s true – the best collections specialists have substantial customer service experience and know how to be amenable and friendly with the people they interact with. In a field dealing with sensitive topics like debt, thinking of the debtor as a customer rather than an adversary goes a long way. The collections specialist can approach the situation as if they’re serving a customer – because that’s exactly what they’re doing. 

Listening Skills/Empathy 

In tandem with customer service skills comes the ability to actively listen and empathize with the debtor. Plenty of debtors have had an event of some kind that has caused them to be delinquent on a payment; divorce, death, or job loss are just a few examples. Part of the collection specialist’s job is to avoid judgment and instead practice empathy. The best people in the field know how to redirect the debtor’s focus on the peace of mind they’ll have after their debt is resolved.  

Problem-Solving Skills 

Being a creative problem solver is a great quality to have as a collections specialist. These individuals can help recommend options for debtors, such as paying in installments or enrolling in a program to help them manage their debt. That ability to think on one’s feet and come up with multiple solutions to an issue is very helpful in the field, both to the debtors and your company.  

The Ability to Overcome Objections 

It’s only natural that some debtors will have objections when it comes to paying what they owe. And some debtors might disagree entirely and become frustrated, potentially taking it out on the collections specialist themselves. Great collections specialists know how to deal with these obstacles and respond to objections in a way that calms the situation down, rather than escalating it.  

Competitive Nature 

While it’s not a required job skill, you’ll often find that the best collections agents have a competitive streak to them. They don’t like to lose; they want to find a way to overcome objections and be successful even in the face of difficult or sensitive situations. This competitive nature helps many collections specialists be better at their jobs – and that means your overdue invoices get paid and your finances at large are kept in order at every step.  

3 Recruiting Tips to Find Talent in Debt Collections 

We’ve learned what collections specialists are and what they do, and what qualities to look for when hiring for this kind of position. The question remains: How do you go about finding the best people for the job? What can you do to ensure you’re getting the top talent for your business? 

Here are three tips from our financial services staffing team:  

#1: Leverage Social Media to Recruit Collections Specialists 

Today, job seekers in a variety of fields, the collections industry included, find open jobs through social media. If you’re looking to hire collections specialists, be sure to meet them where they are: on social media platforms. LinkedIn is, of course, the leading platform where you can connect with candidates and post your job openings, but don’t leave out Facebook or Twitter, too.  

Another way to use social media to recruit collections specialists for your open roles is to let your company culture shine through via the above platforms. Post rich, dynamic content that is relevant for the job seekers visiting your profiles. Highlight company events or individual employees to showcase your office culture and environment. Remember: When a job seeker finds an open role, one of the first things they’re going to do is research your company on social media. Make sure you’re making a good first impression.  

#2: Hire Collections Specialists With Job Boards 

Just because social media plays a larger role in today’s recruiting market doesn’t mean that job boards are out of the picture. Plenty of candidates are still scouring the big sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter to find openings – make sure you can be found there so that you’re getting the benefit of these sites’ wide reach. You should also consider posting your openings on smaller job board sites, perhaps niche-market sites or boards that focus on recent graduates, for example.  

Speaking of job postings – make sure your collections specialist job descriptions are firing on all cylinders. Make it clear what kind of skills, education, and experience you’re looking for. Define if the collections specialist will become part of a larger accounting or accounts receivable team, or if they’ll be a department of one. If you can, include a salary range so job seekers are aware up front what they can expect.  

#3: Simplify Application Process for Debt Collections Job Seekers 

Did you know that one of the leading reasons job candidates “ghost” a business or recruiter is because of a complex or confusing application process? If a job application is too long or complicated, a job seeker is more likely to simply give up and move on, rather than sticking it out. Do what you can to simplify your application process for your open collections specialist jobs – keep the application as short as possible (one page is ideal!) and avoid asking confusing or repetitive questions that could be better answered during an interview. Your candidates will appreciate it, and you’ll find better talent filtering through in no time.  

Work with Banking Recruiters From a Finance Staffing Agency 

Another way to make sure you’re sourcing and hiring the very best collections specialists in your region? Working with a financial services staffing agency that has experience in this area. Skilled accounting and finance recruiters make it their business to know the market and the collections industry at large. That means you’re getting the experience and practical know-how of people who live and breathe this every day.  

Working with professional financial recruiters gives you benefits like: 

  • A faster hiring process. Get access to top talent faster, rather than taking weeks or months to find the people you need. Recruiters have a pool of qualified candidates to source from, so the entire process is much faster.  
  • Better job descriptions. A recruiter can help you polish your collections specialist job descriptions, giving you maximum ROI and helping you to source better talent.  
  • Reduced costs. Allowing a recruiter to handle the recruiting process end-to-end is a much more cost-effective method than going about it yourself.  

Looking to hire collections specialists? Turn to the financial recruiters at Workway. 

Hire Collections Specialists with the Banking Recruiters at Workway 

Workway is the financial services staffing agency to trust when you need qualified collections talent. We specialize in title, escrow, mortgage, and foreclosure and have offices from coast to coast – that means we can find you the collections specialists you need regardless of where you are located. 

Contact Workway’s accounting and finance recruitment team to learn more about our services and how we can help you find the talent you need. We’re here to help.