What Does a Collections Representative Do?
With exposure to a variety of people, responsibilities, and experiences in a professional work environment, collections representatives play a crucial part in ensuring their company’s bottom line.
Working with customers is at the heart of the collections representative role. Whether it is to arrange for debt repayment, advise customers, or answer their questions, collections representatives should have the drive and ability to communicate well and work through obstacles to get results.
Besides having excellent interpersonal skills and strong negotiation abilities, collections representatives should also have strong knowledge of their company’s industry and the financial trends surrounding it.
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National Average Salary
Collections representative salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Collections Representative is:
Collections Representative Job Descriptions
ABC Company is currently hiring collectors for our teams! Collector position will be responsible for managing 400+ accounts related to accounts payable and/or receivable.
- Maintains a professional and customer-friendly manner with each account
- Maintains knowledge and compliance with all applicable federal and state laws (e.g., FDCPA, UDAAP)
- Handles outbound and inbound calls professionally and knowledgeably, following the appropriate scripts, when necessary, occasionally fields inbound calls with the same professionalism
- Negotiates payment plans and settlements with our client’s customers based upon client-specific parameters
- Identifies disputes promptly and ensures proper resolution
- Participates in various problem-solving and decision-making activities, as required
- Demonstrates respect and regard for all clients, visitors, and fellow employees to ensure a professional, responsible, and courteous working environment
- Promotes effective working relationships with their team and other departments to help achieve department/company goals and objectives
- Maintains work areas and equipment in conditions as required by department standards; operates assigned equipment and performs all activities in a safe manner
- Desire a great company culture and team orientated
- Provide best-in-class customer service
- Moderate typing skills required (35 wpm) and basic math knowledge
- Ability to maintain a predictable and consistent full-time work schedule
- Bilingual/multilingual language skills desirable
- Two (2) or more years of general clerical experience a plus
- Collections, accounts payable and/or receivable experience preferred
- Compensation is commensurate with experience
- Successful completion of a thorough criminal background check
- High school diploma or equivalent required
The right candidates for this role have strong customer service with prior collections experience working in fast-paced and deadline driven positions. You are honest with strong attention to detail and enjoy a competitive environment.
- Take ownership of assigned portfolio of accounts
- Execute calls and emails to negotiate and collect commercial debt
- Follow company guidelines as described by Supervisor
- Communicate with clients and internal departments to update account status
- Follow-up with accounts regularly to build a solid partnership
- Minimum 2 years collections and customer service experience
- Prior success in a similar role
- Outgoing and positive personality eager to learn
- Excellent writing and verbal communication
- Ability to meet deadlines and handle pressure
- Strong MS Office and overall savvy with web applications and databases
ABC Company is looking for multiple Collection Representatives to join our local team.
The ideal candidate will be able to apply their communications skills (verbal and written) to provide excellent customer service in a client-focused and service-oriented environment. This position would suit a positive, innovative, and enthusiastic solution finder with the ability to influence others.
Your future duties and responsibilities
- Responsible for day-to-day collection activities including contacting past due customers to secure payments
- Provide excellent customer service
- Effectively handling irate customers
- Multi-tasking through diverse client-facing systems to document calls and transfer funds accordingly
- Understanding and retention of all necessary collection rules and regulations (which will be included in your new hire onboarding and training)
- Other activities as identified by the collections team. In addition to collections activities, the collector will be required to adhere to productivity and delinquency standards set by the management team.
Required qualifications to be successful in this role
- Must successfully pass a background check
- Must possess a high school diploma or GED
- Continuous self-development and improving job-related skills
- Intake and retain information
- Initiative to solve problems
- Ability to engage others in conversation
- Ability to actively listen and respond in a positive, empathetic manner
- Ability to handle irate customers
How to Hire a Collections Representative
Consider the following when hiring a collections representative:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. When hiring a collections representative, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for a collections representative opening:
LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process.
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- Describe the role and responsibilities of a collections representative.
- What strategies would you use to locate clients and then follow up with them?
- How would you keep track of payment records for each account?
- What do you know about the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act?
- How would you keep track of payment records for each account you are working with?
- What qualities do good collections representatives have?
- How often would you follow up with your clients?
- How would you handle an aggressive client?
- Can you describe a time you successfully convinced a client to pay off a debt? What steps did you take?
- Describe a time you had to tell someone difficult news and how you handled it.
- What is your ideal workspace environment?
- What do you do if after trying everything you simply cannot reach the client who owes money?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it?
- Describe a time you received criticism from your supervisor. How did you respond to it?
- How do you motivate customers to pay?