When recruiting credit managers, most employers set the bar high for candidates because of the nature of the job itself. Typically, organizations need experienced professionals who are analytical, conscientious and discerning, and have top-notch people skills. And they look for candidates who can manage a team, lead meetings and communicate effectively with clients.
While high unemployment has recently added many capable candidates to the pool, singling out the ones who can meet those stringent requirements is almost as difficult now as it was not long ago when talent was scarce.
One reason is the sky-high stack of resumes you must sort through once you post the job ad. Also, the need for handling initial phone interviews, video interviews for your top choices, skills testing and reference checks comes at a time when you are fully tasked trying to navigate your business through the physical and economic barriers of the COVID-19 era.
But with a well-thought-out approach, you can increase your chances of finding top professionals for this critical role, and even gain an edge on competitors seeking credit managers. Here are some tips for developing such a strategy:
Create a profile of a strong candidate
The first step is fundamental to your search: You need to craft a list of the essential tasks that the credit manager will be expected to perform. This may seem like a very basic step, but pinpointing the exact skills you need will discourage the flood of applicants you’d get with a vague job posting.
Flesh out specifics you’d like the applicant to take on in the following areas:
- Evaluating the creditworthiness of customers
- Establishing and maintaining corporate credit policies and procedures
- Setting credit limits
- Assessing credit risks
- Creating and analyzing credit reports
- Working with external collections agencies
Managing the credit and collections team
In addition, make it plain that soft skills such as these are essential for anyone applying for the credit manager position:
- Communication — working well with colleagues within the same office and across multiple departments
- Leadership — getting the best out of collections clerks and other employees on the accounts receivable team
- Organization — juggling multiple priorities and still hitting deadlines
Craft a standout job listing
Top candidates will quickly scroll past job descriptions for credit managers that are ambiguous, sloppily constructed or just plain unappealing. So, take the time to write a job posting that is both informative and inspiring.
Use results from the previous step to build your listing, and also include an engaging overview of your company. Organizational culture remains a key consideration for in-demand professionals, so prospective employees want to know what your company stands for, and what people like most about working for your company.
You’ll find many candidates are especially curious about remote work options right now, and what the business does to manage remote teams effectively.
Have an interview game plan
Resumes from credit managers should offer a good sense of candidates’ technical skills and experience. While the interview offers a chance to dig deeper into these areas, it’s an even better opportunity to assess a potential hire’s soft skills.
During the interview process — which you may need to conduct by video — play close attention to candidates’ demeanor. Do they seem personable? Are they strong communicators? Do they demonstrate key components of emotional intelligence?
To evaluate a candidate’s professional experience, as well as their ability to think on their feet and express themselves clearly, try open-ended questions like these:
- What do you think the difference is between a good credit and collections manager and an outstanding one?
- Can you tell us about a work-related conflict you had and how you resolved it?
- Can you tell us about a time you made a poor decision at work?
- What would your direct reports say about you?
- What would you hope to accomplish in your first 30 days in this position?
- Can you talk us through a sensitive situation with an uncooperative customer?
- Have you ever found it difficult to determine whether to extend credit to a client? If so, what steps did you take to come to a decision?
- How do you handle demanding clients?
- What are the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of managing a team?
- What sort of work environment and office culture brings out the best in you?
Research salary ranges for credit managers
In this time of disruption, one thing hasn’t changed: If you want to attract top accounting and finance professionals, your firm needs to offer competitive compensation. So, take time to research salary trends for credit managers before you launch a candidate search.
The 2020 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals, for example, lists the midpoint starting salary for a credit and collections manager at $73,250. The guide provides national figures; actual salaries vary by location. You can use resources like our Salary Calculator to determine what level of compensation credit managers in your city or state might expect to earn.
Reach out to a specialized recruiter
Given your primary focus on stabilizing your business during the current economic decline, placing job posts, poring over resumes and scheduling video interviews for credit managers may be too much for you to manage right now. Specialized recruiters can help.
Recruiters with staffing agencies like Robert Half have the inside track on hiring and salary trends in the finance and accounting sectors, as well as access to the best full-time and temporary professionals in your area. Our recruiters can also tap into networks of passive job seekers. They can help you connect with highly skilled credit managers who are not actively looking for a new role but could be swayed by the right opportunity.
Robert Half recruiters can also help you hire remote workers — something many firms must do in the current environment. We can help the people we place securely access necessary data and applications, including virtual desktops. And for those who lack the necessary equipment at home, we can provide tech tools to help them get to work right away.
Whether you need one person or a whole project team, and whether your needs are short-term or full-time, our recruiters can help you hire skilled professionals today!