Culture & Retention Recruiting

3 Ways Medical Sales Startups Can Compete for Top Talent


For many medical sales recruiters at startup companies, talent acquisition seems impossible. Larger, more established companies have more resources, an appealing sense of stability, and a wide range of benefits to offer top talent. Not to mention, they have the funds to better compensate employees.

In fact, our 2018 Medical Sales Salary Report found that smaller companies pay their team members an average of $137,232. Larger companies, however, pay an average total salary of $155,249. That’s almost 20,000 reasons for top medical sales reps to choose a big company over a startup.

Luckily, it takes more than money to keep employees happy and engaged at work. By understanding what factors are playing in your favor, you can find and recruit the best talent for your startup.

1. Think outside of the sales box

Just because the position is primarily about selling, that isn’t the only important qualification. The best medical sales recruiters think about what other skills would round out the position. Stop focusing only on talent with previous sales experience and venture into other industries.

For example, forming and maintaining relationships is a major part of medical sales. But these skills aren’t exclusive to such roles. They’re also extremely important in customer service positions. These employees need to be knowledgeable about their products and able to effectively communicate the pros and cons customers are facing.

Make a list of the most important skills to have in a top sales rep. Then, think about where these skills and qualities overlap with other jobs. This will help you see opportunities for finding talent in other industries.

Once you know what you’re seeking, find industry networking groups or online communities to participate in. Post content explaining the similarities between the new target group and medical sales reps. This will get talent thinking about how they can succeed at a new job.

Then, reach out to the best prospects and let them know about your open positions.

2. Give them a glimpse of the future

There are a lot of talented individuals who currently work in roles or industries that are becoming outdated. These employees are looking for ways to transition to a forward-thinking company. Medical sales startups are paving the way for the future of healthcare and can therefore offer talent a great opportunity.

Get potential employees invested in your company’s vision by explaining how your products will impact healthcare. Tell them how it will not only improve the lives of patients, but also lead to bigger and better changes down the road.

Develop a story for your organization and its products. If the potential employee is unfamiliar with the jargon, using a plot and characters will help them connect with and remember where the organization can take them and their career.

3. Speak to their hearts

Because of the nature of the industry, medical sales reps need to be passionate about helping people. Medical sales recruiters at startups can better tap into this desire than large, faceless corporations. Your company isn’t about maintaining the status quo; it’s about making things better.

In an interview with MedCityNews, Steve Whitehurst, the CEO of the healthcare startup Health Fidelity, said the company’s mission is one of its most effective talent acquisition tools:

“People with a humanistic underpinning are drawn to our mission and purpose and are excited about joining a startup team culture that is passionate about improving healthcare.” — Steve Whitehurst

Focus your recruiting message on the heart and soul of the organization. Share patient testimonials in your job listings and recruiting emails. In fact, using videos allows your customers to share how their lives have improved in their own words. It also helps candidates to put a face to the mission.

Just because you’re a medical sales recruiter at a small startup doesn’t mean you can’t compete for talent with the big dogs. As long as you understand your organization’s strengths and can clearly communicate them with candidates, you’ll be able to get the best employees.

How have you been able to attract talent to your startup? Share your story in the comments!

2018 Medical Sales Salary Report