Ah, the mysterious medical sales recruiter. Who are these gate keepers, enlisted to help companies find top tier talent? Their job postings are often vague; their responses usually minimal. But if you’re searching for a new medical sales job, who better to have on your side?
Of course, if you’re hoping to work with a medical sales recruiter, it’s helpful to know exactly what you should expect – and what it is they’re looking for. To find out, MedReps.com asked medical sales recruiter Jimmy Taylor to share with us how he identifies top sales candidates.
Keep reading to step behind the scenes of one successful recruiter’s search for candidates.
MR: When a company comes to you for assistance in finding a suitable candidate, where do you start?
JT: It mostly depends on the type of company. If it’s a firm that I have been working with for a long time, I usually know what they are looking for in a candidate. If it’s a newer organization, then I typically have a phone conversation with the hiring manager then conduct a search starting from my own database, MedReps.com, LinkedIn, sales rosters of other companies and partner with other recruiters.
MR: When the medical sales resumes start rolling in, what process do you use to review them all? What’s the typical turnaround time?
JT: I look for the best qualified applicant. It really is all about quality over quantity. I constantly look for candidates that have the right skill set and other tangibles the company is looking for. If I find a better, more qualified applicant during the review process, I may bump someone else out just to make sure I present my client with the best possible people. The typical turnaround time from first contact to setting up an interview is usually around two weeks. The phone conversation/interview I have with each candidate is invaluable to the hiring company because the mgr is interested in my feedback.
MR: You’ve said a resume has at most 30 seconds to persuade you that the candidate is worth calling. Some studies say that timeframe may be as short as 6 seconds! What is it that you’re looking for in those 30 seconds? Also, what are the red flags?
JT: Yeah, I would say that 30 seconds is generous. I have been doing this for such a long time and have a background in medical sales and management, so I usually know by instinct if that candidate is a good fit. I would say though that for every 10 resumes I get for a specific job, I usually eliminate 8 off the bat. I also have a set of criteria that I use, which includes a solid work history, level of experience, what types of products they sold in the past, rankings and quotas. The biggest red flags are work history gaps with no explanation, lack of industry experience, not having a physical address (because the industry is so territory oriented) and incomplete contact information.
You know, a great resume isn’t all that a candidate needs to get a job, but an average resume won’t even get them in the door. I direct medical sales job seekers to my website – jimmytaylorjobs.com – to look at free resume samples that are clear, concise, and industry-specific.
MR: Do you reach out to everyone who is qualified or only the very top few? Is there a magic number of candidates you typically reach out to in that first round?
JT: I typically try to find the five or six great candidates because rarely is there ever more than 5 or 6 in any given market at any given time.
MR: Surely there will be some individuals that might not be right for that particular position but who have good experience and might be right for something else. Do you contact those applicants with that feedback – or simply file them in your database?
JT: I will always contact those candidates, either by phone or email, to let them know that I will keep them on file, because 99 percent of the time something else will come along.
MR: What advice do you give to the candidates who are selected to interview?
JT: I tell them to make sure they do their research about the company. Then the day before the interview, I usually spend between 15 and 20 minutes going over everything from what to bring to what the hiring manager is like.
MR: Once the interviews begin, do you stay involved in the process? How so? What is your role at that point?
JT: Absolutely! I manage the whole process, set up the next interview and help provide them with strategy. I’m involved right up until when the offer is made and accepted.
MR: What advice do you have for medical sales professionals looking for a new position? How can they make sure they’re not overlooked?
JT: It’s important that they have a good and current LinkedIn profile, are in contact with local recruiters and are on the job boards – especially MedReps.com – because it is industry-specific.
MR: And finally, how do you advise candidates with a background in sales who are hoping to break into medical sales?
JT: Basically, it’s the same advice I give everyone. Medical sales companies are looking for candidates with three or more years of outside sales experience, have sold a tangible product, have had formal sales training and are strong performers with statistics to back that up. Companies know that the more qualified a candidate is, the better chance they have of future success.
Jimmy Taylor is president of JT & Associates, Inc., an Atlanta-based recruiting firm specializing in medical sales and sales management. As a former sales rep and sales manager, he knows firsthand what it takes to be successful in medical sales and is eager to help candidates land opportunities where they too can succeed. View Jimmy’s open medical sales jobs or visit JT & Associates online.