Today's post is a guest blog written by Mary Shores, agency owner of Midstate Collection Solutions.
It’s no secret that hiring has become a challenge in most industries, and the debt collection industry is no exception.
We spend time writing job descriptions and interviewing, only for our candidates to change career paths. Or, we choose a bad hire who only stays with the company for just a few months.
While this cycle may be common for many debt collection agencies, it is possible to hire teams of talented and dedicated professionals.
The time is now for a new hiring approach. After all, we want to attract the best talent to our industry and make the best hiring decisions. All it takes is a few small shifts in our hiring strategies to make a major impact.
The Secret To Navigating Resumes
People from all walks of life apply for jobs in the debt collection industry. After all, we’re one of the few industries that welcome candidates from any educational background. This means that the resumes you receive in response to your job ads will range from recent high school and college graduates to seasoned professionals looking for a career change.
This diversity puts a lot of pressure on anyone who needs to select the best employee for their open position. The good news is, I have a foolproof strategy for navigating a pile of resumes, and all you need is a printer and a highlighter.
First, print out the resumes you want to look through. I highly recommend doing this by hand because you can bring the printed resumes with you to the job interview later to refer back to when you interview the candidate.
Once the resume is printed, what I want you to do is ask yourself the following questions:
- Can this person do the job?
- Can they do the job long-term?
- Will they fit within your company culture?
As you ask yourself these questions, highlight any relevant experience that you believe answers the questions. That way, when you ultimately meet the candidate for the interview, you can bring up specific points from their resume to gain a better understanding of how their experience will relate to success in the job position you’re filling.
The Art Of Motivational Interviewing
According to an article in the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, motivational interviewing is a technique coined by psychologist William R. Miller. This technique is used in many settings, including therapeutic, medical, and coaching. Practitioners use it to inspire their patients and clients to evoke positive behavioral changes in their lives.
I use motivational interviewing because it empowers me to discover how candidates will fit into my company culture and the job position I’m trying to fill. Let me explain what I mean.
When I use motivational interviewing during a job interview, I always start by asking the following question:
“On a scale of one to ten, how interested are you in the job?”
The candidate will usually say a number between six and nine. I then ask the next question:
“Why so high?”
Now, you get the opportunity to hear what the candidate likes about the job position. This is valuable information because you’ll get to learn more about the candidate’s strengths and preferences. For instance, the candidate might say, “I’m a very social person, so a phone-based job appeals to me.” Just like that, you know the person you’re interviewing a little bit better, and you have a stronger grasp on how well they’ll do in the position.
Once the candidate is done explaining why they chose the number they did, I ask my final motivational interviewing question:
“What would make the job a ten?”
At this point, the candidate has the opportunity to explain what they believe the job is missing. For instance, they might mention that they’d prefer a remote position, even though the position is listed on the job board as in person.
The candidate also has the opportunity here to address any possible downsides of the job they see. For example, the candidate might say they’re worried about sitting for long hours because they have a lot of energy. Or, they might say they’re worried about how well they’ll be able to concentrate in a noisy call center environment. These details will help you brainstorm how you could make this candidate feel comfortable if you decide to hire them.
Ultimately, motivational interviewing empowers you to discern whether or not a candidate will be a good fit early on. You learn details about the candidate that you may not have learned until they were working the job for a few months, which will up-level your hiring process and help you make the right hiring decision, giving your agency the top talent you’ve been searching for.
Get Started On Your Next Hiring Initiative
As debt collection professionals, we know the value of our industry and it’s time to share that value with potential talent. Building strong teams may be a long-term process. The good news is, the process will be worth it in the end.
As we near the end of 2021, it’s a great time to reflect on the talent pool we want to bring into the industry, how we want to recruit that talent, and how we plan to foster our company onboarding and culture to retain employees for years to come. If you want more details about making small tweaks to your onboarding, download my FREE guide to collector retention.
You have the power to build your dream team of rockstar collectors. Make a few small tweaks in your hiring process now to see positive changes for years to come.
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- ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Mary Shores, Agency Owner
Mary Shores is a second-generation collection agency owner, a bestselling author, and an international speaker. Her current passion in life is promoting collector training and development through The Collection Advantage online training program, which features Mary’s extensive studies into neuroscience and compassion to teach collectors how to execute high-converting, empathetic scripting.