Updated: Apr 30, 2021
On my latest episode of Training Bytes with AccountsRecovery.net, I talked with Tracy Montour of Arbeit about hiring trends in the industry. We focused on how challenging it can be to find long-term talent to work as a collector.
The truth is, we often brush over the fantastic opportunities that come with being a debt collector when we talk about hiring. Instead, what if we started to market our open positions using the numerous benefits attached to being a debt collector so we could attract top talent who is passionate about the job to the industry?
As we situate ourselves in the new normal, we can begin to hone in on the areas of the career that top talent is looking for. Let's dive into the top 5 benefits of being a debt collector. Stick with me, and you'll be ready to highlight these items in your next collector job ad so you can find the best fit for an open position.
1. No Experience Required
Most corporate jobs require at least some relevant experience or a college degree. Debt collection, on the other hand, is one of the only corporate jobs that doesn’t require any experience or education whatsoever.
In other words, whether someone has a high school diploma or an advanced degree, they can get a job as a debt collector.
Because my agency is in a college town, I’ve worked with many college students over the years, and I've noticed that debt collection is also a great job for college students. They always love the flexible schedule and on-the-job education and training they receive. The best part is that I get to watch them develop into amazing business professionals during their time with the company.
Ultimately, the tagline “No experience required” is a great way to market a collector job to attract people looking for their next career move because it gives them the confidence that they can excel in the position, despite lacking industry experience.
That said, debt collection isn’t just a great “starter” job; it can also be a great long-term career path. Let me explain how in the next benefit...
2. Plenty of Room for Growth
As an agency owner, I always make sure to focus on my collectors’ strengths. After all, many of them will go on to be leaders at my agency, and I want to make sure they promote into positions where they’ll really shine.
There are also so many types of jobs in a debt collection agency. Someone can start as a collector and then eventually move into a role they’re passionate about, such as technology, data entry, customer service, marketing, sales, middle management, executive management, training, or even legal services.
One of my favorite things about the debt collection industry is that it’s one of the only industries I’m aware of where you can start in an entry-level position and eventually move up the ladder into a CEO role.
I’ve also spoken to many people in the industry who started as frontline collectors and then worked in several different roles, which gave them more job experience than they ever imagined when they accepted the initial collector position.
We can use these success stories to market open positions to attract the best talent!
Room for growth is one of the best possible ways to market a debt collector position, especially in the millennial era. People today want jobs that can help them move up the corporate ladder, and debt collection is a fast pass to do just that.
3. Priceless Financial Education
I wholeheartedly believe that debt collectors get an outstanding, on-the-job financial education that will stick with them for life.
For example, one of my Collection Advantage clients hired an 18-year-old from a fast-food drive-through. For the first time in his life, he’s on the phone talking about people’s finances every day. He's also making more money than he used to make working in fast food. As a result, he’s learning about how to manage his own money and make good financial decisions.
For many people, working in debt collection is the first time they truly learn about how money works. This is great because when they’re in possible debt situations in the future, they’re already equipped to handle them, and they’ll likely make better financial decisions than they would have otherwise.
If you outline this benefit in your next job ad, you’ll definitely attract talent who’s interested in learning more about finances, which will ultimately result in having employees who are eager to learn and grow in their position.
4. Lucrative Career Choice
Remember earlier when I said collectors don’t need experience to excel in a collections job? Well, debt collection is also one of the few entry-level careers where agents can make a great income without any prior experience.
Greg Ruffino, Director of Training at Williams and Fudge, Inc., explains this concept better than anyone else. In 2020, he gave a fantastic speech at Collector.Live! called “How to Get P.A.I.D.” to teach collectors how to rake in higher recoveries.
In his amazing speech, he talked about how before entering the collection industry, he used to work in restaurant management. He explained that as a restaurant manager, you work extremely long hours, usually 6 days a week. To top that off, the salary is typically modest, despite the long hours and fast-paced atmosphere.
Greg said he wanted to leave the restaurant industry because he was burnt out and ready to move on. He just didn't know where to go from there. That's when he talked to a friend who worked in collections. His friend told him that they only worked 40 hours a week, 5 days a week, and when Greg asked about their income, he was shocked at how high it was.
During this speech, Greg said:
“I came into this industry for one reason only: To get paid. I wanted to get paid.”
Greg explained it perfectly; while frontline collecting can be difficult at first, it’s one of the highest-paid entry-level jobs that requires zero previous experience.
If you want to hear Greg’s full speech, you can purchase the Collector.Live! recording here.
Without a doubt, this is a fantastic selling point for a collection job. Just like Greg, many people are searching for this exact type of job to fit their current financial and career goals. Make sure to embrace this benefit when you’re marketing your next collector job opening!
5. Extremely Valuable Experience
While you don’t need experience to get a job in collections, the experience you get while working in the industry is extremely valuable and widely transferrable. Many other industries love when you have collection experience because it usually means you have a variety of desirable skills, such as…
The list goes on and on.
For example, one of my collectors went on to work as an art curator. After starting this new job, she called me one day and excitedly told me that the negotiation skills she learned from her time as a debt collector helped her beat a famous actress when she was buying an art piece.
In other words, collection jobs truly do provide fantastic experience that is highly transferable, which is a great selling point for a collector position. You can use this factor to attract talent who has a strong desire to learn and grow, which is a quality some of the best candidates possess.
You're Ready to Attract Top Talent!
These are only a few of the many reasons people would benefit from a job in debt collection. As you’re writing your next job ad for a collector position, reflect on ways the job benefitted you if you began as a collector as well. Or, think about how it benefits your current collection team. I’m sure you’ll think of several amazing reasons that I didn’t list here.
Use the list above and your own reasons to transform your hiring practices and attract the top talent you want at your agency. As an industry, we have so many resources that, when marketed, talent will really, really want; we just need to shed light on those resources.
Also, make sure you continue to invest in your staff so top talent is even more attracted to your agency. Want to learn more about how to do that? Book a call with me today, and I'll share with you how to invest in your collectors, step by step. And, make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn for more great industry-specific content.
Have you registered for my upcoming webinar with Creditsafe on March 11 at 1 p.m. CST? Make sure to register below!