Collections Department Manager Jobs
Collections managers are responsible for ensuring that the collections department meets all of its goals. These usually include bringing in a specific dollar amount of outstanding debt, providing excellent service to all clients, and executing other collections initiatives and projects. The collections department may also have the goal of decreasing the number of accounts in collections, the number of repossessions, or foreclosures.
Collections department managers will need to develop strategies to meet these goals, and then make sure that these strategies are properly executed by the department’s employees.
The collections manager is also responsible for making sure that employees in the department are conducting all collections efforts according to bank policies and federal laws. Different accounts, such as credit cards, vehicle loans, and mortgages have different federal collections requirements that must be met. The manager must know these and develop policies and procedures that ensure that these are being met during all collections efforts. They may assist in the development of the bank’s collections policies, and make sure that collection specialists’ efforts meet these guidelines.
Managers may help resolve some client disputes or problems. Collections department managers also look at department staffing needs. They want to keep the work flowing as efficiently as possible. They are constantly looking for ways to improve the number of actual contacts made and the amount of past due funds collected. They also look at incoming phone calls to make sure that they are being answered in a timely manner. To that end, they look to see if there are appropriate numbers of people working on the various accounts, and if these people are properly trained and performing at optimum levels. If not, managers may ask supervisors or trainers to work with the staff to improve their performance.
Like other banking managers, collections department managers may need to provide leadership and motivation. Since managing involves working closely with both employees and customers, managers should enjoy working with people in this position.
If you enjoy managing and leading a team of employees, achieving goals, and developing and executing new strategies this may be the right career path for you.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of bill and account collectors in general is projected to grow by about 19% by 2018, which is faster than average for all occupations. This is for all collectors, not specifically for those working at financial institutions or management employees. However, the Bureau also says that the two biggest industries that will be hiring these employees will be healthcare and financial services industries, which often have delinquent accounts. Because of this higher need, an increase in the number of management positions in collections departments is expected.
Collections department managers are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in a field related to banking, finance, or business. Some banks prefer employees with an education in accounting or economics. Often, banking institutions expect or encourage their management employees to earn a master’s degree in business administration, especially higher leadership positions.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Collections managers will need to possess a unique and strong set of skills. While some banks require a slightly different skill set than others, most banks expect collections department managers to have extensive previous experience in the banking industry as well as in collections departments. Most banks usually require a minimum of three to five years of previous experience. Managers are expected to have a thorough knowledge of collections techniques, as well as bank and federal banking regulations and policies associated with them.
Since collections department managers are responsible for managing employees, banks expect these employees to have excellent leadership skills and be able to make decisions for the department and customers based on bank policy and collections goals. Some banks also expect collections department managers to have project management skills. Collections department managers should be able to motivate their team of employees to provide excellent customer service and bring in outstanding payments.
Because collections department managers interact with the public on a daily basis, they should possess excellent communication skills. They also frequently juggle multiple tasks and priorities and so should have good organizational and time management skills. Collections department managers should also have strong problem-solving and analytical skills, and be able to think strategically.
The average salary for collections managers can vary widely from bank to bank and state to state. The bottom line is, though, that these professionals earn a good salary. According to www.salary.com, collections managers can earn anywhere from $60,000 per year to more than $85,000 per year.
Potential Career Paths
Collections department managers have a few potential career paths, especially at a large bank. If the collections department manager is managing a smaller department, he or she could be promoted to a larger, more prominent department. Collections department managers could also be promoted to a position that manages multiple departments. Other potential advancement opportunities for collections department managers include being promoted to higher level management positions such as regional manager or director, or moving to a different bank where the collections departments are larger.