If I asked you to conjure up an image of what a typical employee of the collections industry looks like, what comes into your mind? Based on research done by ACA International, it is likely not a particularly favorable image, and is probably of a tough looking male, probably Caucasian, working away in a smoke filled room doing whatever is necessary, by any means, to collect a debt.
Well, if that is your image, you would be wrong.
No doubt the collections industry has been beset by a number of public relations bumps and bruises lately that have reinforced a generally bad image of what is actually a very professional, highly regulated and quite necessary industry. In fact, the bad press of late has not been directly the result of actions by the industry, but ‘bad actors’ who have been trying to perpetrate crimes hiding behind a false mask of collecting a debt. The collections industry is not alone; one notorious scam lately has even involved the IRS.
Nonetheless, ACA International has started a series of research initiatives designed to “…collect more original data about the credit and collection industry. The goal of this exclusive research and analysis is to quantify the ways that debt collectors help consumers and the overall economy.”
The first ‘white paper’ in this initiative is “Diversity in the Collections Industry: An Overview of the Collections Workforce.”
You may be surprised to find that, despite the stereotypical image, women make up 70% of the total collection industry workforce. That’s right—70%! That compares to roughly 47% for the U.S. Workforce as a whole. Additionally, “As a further testament to the diversity of the industry, racial and ethnic minorities account for 40 percent of the total collections workforce today. Specifically, among women, racial and ethnic minorities also account for 40 percent of the total workforce population.” The industry also is comprised of approximately 24% minority or women owned businesses.
As ACA International CEO Patrick J. Morris points out, “The stereotype of the debt collector portrayed in the media is simply not true, and this [change of perception] is good for the industry as well as the consumer. More diversity in the collection agency workforce means more good ideas on how to fairly and amicably resolve accounts with a diverse consumer base.”
ACA International’s research initiatives will not only quantify the ways our industry helps consumers and our economy as a whole, but will break slanted stereotypes and shine a light on the real, true face of the collection industry.
A. Alliance Collection Agency, Inc. is a full service, licensed accounts receivable management and debt collection agency providing highly effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. Founded in northern Illinois in 2005, we have been proudly improving the bottom-line on behalf of our business partners in and around Chicagoland for over 10 years.