Collector - November 2020 - 23

no-call/no-shows on the first day of work or
abrupt departures halfway through training.
"If we hire 10 people, maybe only six
actually show up to train online. Or they'd
show up, do really well, complete the
training and then say to the trainer, 'I'm
sorry. I learned so much but I really need the
unemployment money so I can't stay.' That
blindsided our training staff the first few
times it happened. They took it personally,"
Vidas said.
In response, Sunrise implemented steps to
help head off these situations. Now they have
people stop by the office a few days before
remote training starts to pick up their newhire paperwork.
"We leave the envelope at the front door,"
Vidas said. "If they don't show up to pick it
up, we know they won't start."
Vidas also scans resumes for any red flags,
like a long stretch of unemployment since
the applicant's last job, and she asks people
who would be making a big career shift
what they find appealing about a career in
collections.
At ERC, Chief People Officer Kim Howell
learned the importance of telling your
company's story in interviews: its history,
how the company helps the community, how
it is growing and how it can have long-term
career benefits.
"That story will attract people who want
a career path," Howell said. "Being able to
sell a career versus just a job is a big shift.
We've always tried to do that, but now we are
really homed in on that approach because
you need that hook, that genuine promise
of opportunity, to get someone to stay. And
of course, if they are applying for a collector
position, we explain that if you refine your
craft and skill and put time in to learn, you
will make money. We get really granular on
all the financial opportunities and bells and
whistles that ERC has to offer."
After the pandemic is over, 16% of
workers are projected to continue working
from home at least two days a week,
according to a survey by Harvard Business
School. Now that companies are used to
having employees work remotely, some are
broadening their recruitment efforts.

COLLECTOR 11.20

Cortney Fleming, hiring and training
manager/junior compliance officer for
Wilber & Associates, said that prior to
the pandemic, the company only had a
few employees who worked from home-
primarily collectors with a solid track record
who had moved away but were kept on the
team. The company had never advertised for
a remote position from the get-go. But after
hustling employees home to work when the
COVID-19 situation unfolded in March,
and then later hiring and training local
candidates remotely, leaders were confident
that they could successfully recruit and
onboard 100% remote employees living in
another state.
"Remote work is something that was
previously a workaround, but now there's
a big candidate pool out there," Fleming
said. "There are good collectors everywhere,
people who have solid industry experience,
so you don't have to feel limited by having
to have someone in your area. You can build
relationships, hire, train and audit using
technology."
To find employees, Wilber & Associates
uses Breezy, a recruiting software system that
advertises positions and schedules candidate
interviews. Fleming can even conduct video
interviews through the Breezy platform,
which she finds helpful.

UPDATE YOUR INTERVIEW
QUESTIONS
Like many companies, Wilber & Associates
implemented a temporary hiring freeze
in the early days of the pandemic. They
opened things back up in June, with some
changes to their typical recruiting process.
Most notably, the whole thing went online.
In addition to Breezy, Fleming uses
Microsoft Teams to connect with
candidates. While she likes both products,
she acknowledges that she's run into some
technical difficulties here and there. But
instead of viewing these issues as barriers to
her hiring, she considers them opportunities.
"Technology is wonderful but it also can
cause some frustrations when it doesn't
work, and frustration is something you
encounter often in our industry," Fleming

DISTANCE
LEARNING

You've hired someone to work
remotely. That's great! Now
you need to train them. That's...
complicated. Get tips on virtual
training in this article from
our October issue: https://bit.
ly/3nquH1j.

23


https://bit.ly/3nquH1j https://bit.ly/3nquH1j

Collector - November 2020

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