strausser harrySince the inception of the accounts receivable management industry there has been a key player in every successful organization that has been a central element to growth and employee satisfaction. This guy is well known and although he is getting up there in years, his very presence has propelled struggling operations to higher levels of profitability. He has instilled a sense of fulfillment with those who work in this difficult industry. Let me introduce you to Moe Tivayshun.

Attracting a Quality Workforce

There is no doubt that any job within the collections industry today is stressful, laden with a multitude of rules and regulations. It requires a level of acumen previously not required in the earlier days of the industry. Although the skill set of today’s collection professional has to be much more fully developed, technology and compliance speaking, there is still a foundational rule that exists with human beings and the jobs they perform. We want to be happy at work. We want to feel appreciated.

Experience or No Experience

There are differing opinions relative to the value of hiring a collector with years of experience or hiring a candidate that has never ventured into this culture. Popular is the mindset that we should hire smart people and then coordinate training that gives them the tools that they need to succeed and the knowledge to feel comfortable in their new position. We can offer the most outstanding education in the industry, but the real dynamic that separates the winning organizations from failures surrounds the nurturing of the heart over the nurturing of the mind.

Improved Performance

People that love their job will go to extraordinary lengths to perform well, exceed expectations and produce results that are second to none. Today, organizations care more about treating the consumer professionally, compassionately and empathically than turning the numbers required for effective liquidations on portfolios. Don’t misunderstand, the financial metrics are still very critical, but often secondary to the culture we create that transfers to the effective communications that take place in our offices daily.

People of all backgrounds that gravitate to our industry bring with them a set of life experiences, hardships, struggles and successes. It was Stephen Covey that said, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” The decisions made by our staff members on every call are often not the result of what they know, but of how they feel. Motivated teams package their message differently and communicate in a manner that recognizes the worth of the consumer as they attempt to understand what that person is experiencing while navigating the pathway to payment. Richard Eyre professed, “Change begins with understanding and understanding begins by identifying oneself with another person; in a word, empathy. (True success in collections)…enables us to put ourselves in the minds, eyes, ears and hearts of other human beings.”

Moe Tivahshun has worked in every company in America in one form or another. He is sometimes forgotten and cast aside when we forget about his importance to our operation. He is sometimes resurrected briefly when good fortune shows its face. Firms that reject him, fire him, cast him away, find that no other staff member loss has ever been so devastating to the very foundation of human resource success. Companies that recognize his worth, position him properly, let his ideals flow regularly, are the companies that will survive the evolution of this industry. Welcome him in. Give him a job and never let him retire!

We continually welcome thoughts and best practices from our readers. Feel free to send us your feedback for possible inclusion in a future column. Until next time, I’m at my ACA Office waiting to hear from you!

Harry A. Strausser III is the Director of Education and Membership Development at ACA International and can be reached at Harry can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..