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3 Communication Errors Driving Pharmaceutical Sales Talent Away

Communication is key in any relationship. Of course, you know the importance of effectively communicating with top pharmaceutical sales reps, especially in a tight labor market. Your competitors are talking in one ear as you attempt to show why your company is the better option in the other. 

Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, it’s easy to make communication errors that will drive pharmaceutical sales reps far away from your talent pool. This leaves candidates even more susceptible to accepting offers with other companies. What’s more, poor communication habits can lead to negative candidate experiences, which are then shared with reps’ networks on social media and career review sites. 

Don’t settle for the same old communication hacks that may have gotten you by years ago. Today’s candidates expect more from recruiters, and it’s critical to frequently recheck recruitment processes to ensure they’re not unintentionally disrupting your relationships with candidates. 

Here are three communication mistakes that drive away top pharmaceutical sales talent:  

1. You’re not offering timely updates

Candidates are giving the word “timely” a whole new meaning. In years past, timely meant following up with candidates the next day or even simply within that same week. 

But the 2018 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report revealed those updates are considered long overdue by many candidates. Individuals who interviewed and then received job-related feedback by the end of that same day were 52% more likely to increase their relationship with the employer. On the other hand, when feedback wasn’t given, they were more than twice as likely to sever the relationship. 

It’s time to alter communication strategies to fit within candidates’ new timeline expectations. Even if you have no specific news to offer, follow up that same day to let candidates know the team is working on a decision, when they can expect another update, and that you appreciate their time. 

2. You’re using outdated communication methods

Personal connections are always important in recruiting. There’s no doubt that face-to-face interactions are crucial in solidifying relationships with candidates. However, there are moments in-between, especially with busy pharmaceutical sales reps, where communication efforts must conform to their busy lifestyles. 

These reps are receiving multitudes of emails and phone calls every day. While a new career move is important to them, chances are their clients are still No. 1. When you’re reaching out via voicemail or a lengthy email, it’s challenging for reps to respond promptly. As a result, it could leave them frustrated with your efforts or even anxious that they’re not able to return your message quickly enough. 

Consider what works best for on-the-go pharmaceutical sales reps. They spend the majority of their time in the car and waiting in health care facilities — on their phones. Make your communication efforts stand out by sending a text or even private social media messages. 

3. You’re not respectful of their time

Building solid relationships is tricky when you’re dealing with pharmaceutical sales reps. It’s natural to want to dig in and really spend time getting to know a candidate. But these reps have little time to tell you about their long work and personal histories. 

Your efforts may actually be cutting into the most important part of a reps’ day — time away from their jobs. In fact, in our 2019 9th Annual Medical Sales Salary Report, three out of five respondents said work-life balance is more important than money. 

Show candidates you respect their time by asking to schedule calls when it’s most convenient for them. Be careful not to go over the allotted time slot to let them know you understand their time, whether at work or at home, is important to you.