5 Tips for Hiring the Best Medical Device Reps in an Overcrowded Job Market

The recession may be behind us, but even the healthcare industry didn’t escape without a few scars. While medical device companies generally fared better than pharmaceutical companies, there are still a lot of talented medical device reps out of work.

You may think the number of unemployed industry professionals would make finding quality medical device reps easy, but if you are in a position to hire new talent, you know that the overcrowded job market can make identifying the very best medical sales reps even more challenging. Why? Well it turns out there can indeed be too much of a good thing. And when you have an overabundance of qualified medical device reps for a handful of job openings (as you are certain to have if you’ve posted your job on!), it can be tough to decide which candidates to contact.

Whether you are relying on a third-party recruiter to provide you with a short list of candidates or creating the list yourself, consider the following guidelines to help you extract the very best candidates from what is sure to be a highly qualified applicant pool.

Know who you are looking for…

Before you start scanning resumes, you should know exactly what your ideal candidate looks like. An overcrowded job market means you are allowed to be picky when hiring med reps. So think carefully about your ideal candidate – consider the type of degree they might have, how many years they’ve worked in the industry, what medical device companies they’ve worked for in the past, and what additional skills they could bring to the role. Be as specific as you possibly can. If you have a clear picture of who you are looking for, it will be easier to spot them when you come across their resume. On the other hand, if you don’t know exactly what you want, you are likely to get distracted by medical sales reps who may be impressive, but aren’t exactly right for the role you are seeking to fill.

…But don’t get greedy.

There’s no disputing that it’s an employer’s market. Job seekers frantically apply to every job they might be remotely qualified for in the hopes of finding something, anything, to get them back in the game. Meanwhile, hiring managers at medical device companies increasingly raise their expectations in an effort to filter the ever-growing applicant pool. As a result, candidates that would be considered overqualified in a normal job market are being seriously considered for roles well beneath their experience level and skill set.

While it’s nice to have your "pick of the litter," be careful not to get too greedy. An overqualified candidate is unlikely to be happy in the role and will be looking to move on before you’ve had time to schedule their new hire orientation.

Think about the future.

The job market may be improving, but what lies ahead for medical sales rep jobs is still somewhat in question. Limitations on how medical reps interact with physicians are forcing medical device companies to come up with new communication channels including online seminars, virtual training sessions, and smartphone apps. The most successful medical device reps won’t shy away from these changes but will be technologically savvy, easily adaptable, and eager to do whatever it takes to be successful.

Put technology to good use.

Even when you know exactly who you’re looking for, the sea of resumes on your desk can still be daunting. Simplify the process by searching an electronic resume database such as the one on Rather than wait for applications to come in, you can search a database of more than 8,000 resumes using specific keywords.

Look outside the applicant pool.

Sure, you’ve got 300 applications in your inbox, but going through them is depressing when you know the candidate you really want isn’t there. You want your competition’s top performer, not the one they laid off. But how do you connect with passive candidates? You can find them on – approximately half of our members are currently employed in the industry. They may not be actively seeking a new job, but they receive email notifications about new opportunities, and if they see one that peaks their interest, they’ll respond. Advertise your jobs on a respected industry site like to increase your chances of connecting with passive candidates.

With so many medical sales reps to choose from, creating your short list of candidates won’t be easy, but you’ve got a great place to start. Check out our recent Candidate Survey for insight and follow the guidelines listed here. Then you can move on to the interview stage confident in the knowledge that you haven’t let a top performer fall through the cracks.

Best of luck and happy hiring!

Take a look at the Pharmaceutical Companies Sales Hiring Report