Collections Specialist Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Collections Specialist Do?

Collections specialists are a crucial part of their organizations, and essential in ensuring their company’s bottom line. Working with customers and their accounts is at the heart of the collections specialist role. Whether the task is to arrange for debt repayment, advise customers, or answer their questions, collections specialists need to be excellent communicators with strong negotiation skills. They need the ability to work through obstacles to get results.

Collections specialists should also know how to manage many important tasks in an often-busy work environment, as well as work with other team members to help find ways to bring in payments and revenue. In this role, communication is essential, and motivated candidates who work well with people and can see ways to solve problems and break through barriers can thrive.

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National Average Salary

Collections specialist professional 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 Specialist is:

$44,090

Collections Specialist Job Descriptions

Example 1

ABC Company is looking for an experienced Collections Specialist with a strong sense of ownership and attention to detail. This Collections Specialist role will be based in the (city, state) region and will be a short-term contract/temporary to hire employment opportunity. If you are looking to apply your talents in a dynamic environment with a group of other talented individuals, apply today!

Responsibilities

  • Pinpoint delinquent customer accounts through various means, e.g. written correspondence, phone contact, skip-tracing, and making arrangements for payment
  • Update customer files to ensure data integrity
  • Maintain quality customer service and a positive company image by resolving customer account inquiries
  • Control inbound and outbound collections calls and correspondence
  • Correctly process bankruptcy filings when received
  • Guarantee the processing of payments
  • Abide by all rules and regulations established by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Direct all billing and reporting activities in accordance to deadlines
  • Register all customer payments to the correct reports

Requirements

  • 2-3 years of prior high volume collections experience
  • Prior experience working with accounting software
  • Ability to analyze customer accounts and make decisions based on those analyses
  • Consumer collections experience desired
  • Excellent verbal, written, and social communication skills
  • AA or BS/BA in Accounting preferred

Example 2

Successful Collections Specialists balance their focus on business results with offering options and finding solutions to help our customers.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Are able to collect on past due accounts
  • Are very comfortable communicating with customers in a metrics-driven environment
  • Are able to navigate multiple technologies while staying engaged with our customers
  • Possess excellent negotiation and decision-making skills; in addition to strong communication skills
  • Possess strong customer focus with the ability to have detailed conversations with our customers
  • Treat customers with respect and respond with empathy
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and compassion in difficult situations
  • Demonstrate personal excellence including punctuality, integrity and accountability
  • Have the ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Think critically and exercise independent judgement

Qualifications

  • High School diploma/GED required
  • Must be willing to work in an environment that requires 100% phone-based customer interaction
  • Minimum of one year of customer interaction or customer support experience strongly preferred, either by phone or face-to-face
  • Proficiency with basic computer functions, including mouse and keyboard usage, launching applications, conducting searches on the Internet, and maneuvering in a Windows-based environment, strongly preferred
  • Collections experience preferred

Example 3

As a Collections Specialist, you will perform collection follow-ups on delinquent and/or non-delinquent accounts for medical facilities in a high volume, inbound and outbound, call center environment. You will utilize excellent communication and customer service skills to resolve patient accounts.

What will you do in this role?

  • Refer calls/accounts to appropriate parties based on customer inquiries
  • Identify problem accounts and escalate as appropriate
  • Update the patient account record to identify actions taken on the account
  • Work with patients and guarantors to secure payment on outstanding account balances
  • Maintain minimum production and quality standards
  • Achieve passing quality review scores per unit requirements
  • Produce acceptable unit collection volumes
  • Work within company attendance guidelines
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Practice and adhere to the Parallon “Code of Conduct” philosophy and “Mission and Values Statement”
  • Attend Privacy and Security Training as required by the HIPAA Awareness Program and comply with all guidelines, policies and procedures to assure sensitive or confidential information is protected in accordance with the HIPAA rules and regulations

Qualifications

  • High School diploma or GED preferred
  • Minimum one year of related experience preferred, preferably in healthcare

How to Hire a Collections Specialist

When hiring a collections specialist, first consider the following:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
  • Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
  • Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
  • Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
  • 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, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:

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
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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 specialist opening:

CareerBuilder

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.

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LinkedIn

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. 

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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

  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What experience do you have working in collections?
  • What are some of the most challenging aspects of this job?
  • How would you develop and implement a new collections policy?
  • What are the consequences for a debtor who does not pay their debt?
  • How do you handle difficult conversations with debtors?
  • What kinds of tools are used to collect debts?
  • How might you use the position’s authority to affect change?
  • How would your coworkers describe you?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you had difficulty working on a team?
  • Can you work weekends if needed?
  • What is your availability?
  • Why should we choose you for this position?
  • What is your preferred management style?
  • What is your typical daily routine?
  • How would you describe yourself as a person?
  • How do you handle stressful situations?
  • What are some of your best qualities as an employee?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client or customer.

Need help hiring a Collections Specialist?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. From filling urgent job openings to developing long-term hiring strategies, our team is here to help. Review our staffing solutions, browse our award-winning Staffing Corner blog, or call today. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

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