Finding and retaining competent collectors is a full-time job for every collection agency. Especially in this economic climate, where the unemployment rate is at historic lows and there are more jobs than there are people to fill them, workers can be far more choosy and far less loyal because there are so many opportunities out there.
That means that collection agencies have had to get more creative and resourceful in making sure they are finding the right job candidates and then doing all they can to keep them happy once they start working.
A panel of executives talked about how they work to maximize employee productivity while minimizing employee turnover during a webinar yesterday. The webinar, which was sponsored by DAKCS Software Systems, was based on the results of an Employee Performance survey that was conducted this Spring. A copy of the survey results can be accessed by clicking here.
A copy of the webinar recording can be accessed by clicking here.
The panelists for the webinar were:
- Rick Bonitzer, CEO, Credit Collection Partners
- Kelli Krueger, Vice President, Organizational Development, CBE Companies
- Donna Nicholson Stief, Executive Director & Chief Compliance Officer, Credit Bureau of Lancaster County
- Kelly Parsons-O’Brien, President, Pacific Credit Services
Each of the panelists had great ideas about how to find new potential collectors and about how to keep them happy and working at their agencies.
Executives, supervisors, and some other employees at CBE Companies, for example, carry around small cards with them, that they can hand out to individuals whom they think might make good collectors, Krueger said, such as waiters or waitresses or customer service representatives. Along with the cards, the executives are provided with details about what to promote when handing out a card to a potential candidate. The details help convince the candidate that a job at a collection agency can be a great opportunity.
“We tell them that they get to learn about problem-solving, negotiation, sales techniques, and customer service,” Krueger said during the webinar. “It gives the executives a chance to recruit based on the service they are given.”
Bonitzer said that Credit Collection Partners has had some success using a referral program, where employees are paid up to $300 for finding qualified job candidates. The employee receives a $100 bonus if the candidate makes it through training and then receives an additional $200 if the candidate stays for at least six months.
Pacific Credit Services is located in Fairfield, Calif., a “bedroom community” between Sacramento and San Franciso, Parsons-O’Brien said. The agency has had some success at recruiting individuals who are willing to maybe make less money than they would working in the big city because they will have a shorter commute to and from work. To attract those individuals, the company has done some targeted online advertising.