Collector - March 2018 - 18
dominated applicant pool in her area. "I
might get one resume from a male for every
six to seven from a female," she noted.
ACA research also found that racial
and ethnic minority groups account for 40
percent of the total collections workforce-
compared to roughly 30 percent of the
overall U.S. workforce, as reported by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This is especially encouraging
considering that in just a few decades,
minority groups will be the majority in
the U.S., thanks in part to the changing
makeup of the younger generations.
A Brookings Institution report found
that Millennials now "make up 27 percent
of the total minority population, 38 percent
of voting age minorities, and a whopping 43
percent of primary working age minorities,"
and Generation Y reflects similar ethnic
There are numerous proven benefits to
having a diverse workforce. To start, for
service-oriented companies like collection
agencies, placing a focus on workplace
diversity will enable them to better connect
with their consumer base.
"As an industry that works with
consumers from all socioeconomic, social,
racial and ethnic groups, it is important
to have a workforce that reflects and
represents those groups," wrote Josh
Adams, Ph.D., ACA International's director
of research, in a recent white paper. "The
current trends in the industry speak to
a level of responsiveness to the evolving
Call Customer Care:
There has never been
a time more critical in
the credit and collection
industry. Join your fellow
industry professionals to learn and
stand together for your business to
thrive in this new environment.
consumer environment and an adaptability
to meet those needs."
Jeff Alvarez, chief strategy officer at
TrueAccord, has also found this to be true.
In August 2017, Alvarez published a blog
post chronicling some of TrueAccord's
internal diversity efforts, noting that its
staff roster had an almost equal gender
split and just over 60 percent of the
company's employees identified themselves
as being part of a nonwhite ethnic group.
"We cater to all different types of people
from all different backgrounds," Alvarez
said. "I think it's easier from a servicing
perspective that we have people consumers
can relate to who are working to help them."
Daniel Desatnick, IFCCE, president of
Allen Daniel Associates Inc., said his goal is
to employ as many different nationalities and
cultures in his workforce as possible.
"We try to hire only bilingual collectors-
it doesn't matter what the language is,"
Desatnick said. "On our staff we have
people from Asian countries, Russia, Latin
and South America-everywhere, really.
And all those languages and experiences
have increased our ability to profitably
handle our business."
Diversity brings internal benefits
too. Having a wide range of opinions,
perspectives, cultures and life experiences
in the office will enrich your company and
help it grow. Research by economist Lu
Hong and professor Scott E. Page found
that the more diverse a group of problem
solvers is, the less likely group members are
to get stuck on a problem.
"You get more ideas when you have a
diverse workforce," Alvarez said. "We all
bring with us a whole set of experiences that
make us unique, and when a group like that
collaborates on new ideas, the brainpower
you get is amazing."
When Harvard Business School
professors Robin Ely and David Thomas
studied work groups in hundreds of
branches of a large bank, they found that
coworkers who acknowledged and chose
to learn from others' differences-rather
than ignoring those differences-ultimately