2021 Best Places to Work
In a year plagued with uncertainties–an election, a pandemic, wildfires, protests, and more — medical sales professionals reported higher job satisfaction and an abundance of appreciation for their employers. The trials of 2020 gave employers an opportunity to step up and support their associates, and the best ones did exactly that.
The 2021 Best Places to Work Winners went above and beyond to show empathy and support during an especially challenging year. But it wasn’t just the winning companies who stepped up for their employees. Nearly every vote cast was accompanied by a comment praising the support they felt from their employer this year. So whether a company received one vote or three hundred votes, the overwhelming theme was one of compassion and empathy from medical sales companies throughout the industry.
And the Winner Is…
Syneos Health was the big winner again this year, also maintaining the No. 1 spot for Large Pharma. Teleflex was right behind them in the overall vote count and claimed the No. 1 Large Device title as well. Last year’s Small Pharma winner, Acella & Avion Pharmaceuticals, stepped up to earn the No. 3 spot overall while maintaining the No. 1 Small Pharma title. These top medical sales companies earned more votes than any other company, regardless of size or category.
As in previous years, we also named a winning company for each size and category. These winners (noted to the right) earned more votes than any other company of their same category and size. Each winner earned praise from their employees in multiple areas, including the handling of the pandemic and their actions on diversity and inclusion.
About the Survey
In October of 2020, MedReps invited its community of medical sales professionals to take the 10th Annual Best Places to Work in Medical Sales survey. The survey was also shared with employers who were encouraged to ask their sales teams to participate.
More than 2,000 respondents took the survey this year, and a record-breaking 79% voted for their current employer. While the survey has always given respondents the opportunity to vote for their employers, recent years have seen increased employer engagement. Employers are encouraging their sales teams to participate which has led to a notable increase in the percentage of respondents voting for their employers.
About the Top 3 Employers
What Do Medical Sales Professionals Want in an Employer?
What makes these winning companies great employers? The MedReps survey is designed to not only identify the best places to work, but also to find out what medical sales professionals value most in an employer. Through a series of questions, respondents were prompted to select the top two most important qualities as it relates to corporate leadership, colleagues, corporate culture, and more. This is what we found:
Honest and Transparent Leadership
Medical sales professionals want their leaders to be honest and trustworthy. But in a year plagued with fear and uncertainty, they increasingly value transparency in leadership as well.
When asked to select the two most important qualities in corporate leadership, the number of respondents who placed “transparency” in their top two was up from last year. Respondents want corporate leadership to be transparent about the problems they face and honest about how those problems will be handled. They definitely don’t want the issues sugarcoated–the quality of “positivity” ranked bottom of the list.
Supportive and Honest Team Members
Despite increased distance between team members, respondents continue to rely on their colleagues for support and candor. Medical sales professionals want colleagues who are willing to jump in and help when needed and able to listen and give honest feedback when asked.
A common theme in the comments about our top medical sales companies was a sense of family among team members. The best employers foster a sense of unity and create an environment where employees develop strong relationships.
Positive Work-Life Balance
As it relates to values and culture, medical sales professionals primarily want a company that promotes work-life balance. Half of respondents also prioritize a collaborative environment.
While the top two qualities haven’t changed in the last year, the percentage of respondents who placed “committed to diversity and inclusion” in their top two increased from 17% last year to 26% this year, perhaps a result of the heightened attention these issues have received in 2020.
Solid Product Line & Competitive Compensation
Strong products reign when it comes to evaluating an employer’s position in the marketplace. In this especially difficult year, medical sales professionals know that nothing makes the job of a sales rep easier than having an indispensable product to sell. And not surprisingly, as it relates to employee recognition, competitive compensation is priority No. 1. Other benefits are nice, but for a majority of respondents, money matters most.
What qualities are most important as it relates to…
Employers React to the Challenges of 2020
In a year packed with “unprecedented” events, medical sales professionals looked to their employers for support and stability. In this year’s survey, we asked respondents to rate how their employers handled the pandemic and also to evaluate their employer’s efforts on diversity and inclusion. The latter issue, while not new to 2020, was brought to the spotlight during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations following the untimely death of George Floyd.
Average Rating on Pandemic: 8.7
Employees were overwhelmingly positive about how their employers have handled the COVID-19 crisis. From offering childcare resources to sending monthly treats to employees’ homes to supplementing the incomes of commissioned reps, respondents shared multiple stories of employers going above and beyond to help employees during these challenging times.
Average Rating on Diversity: 8.2
Respondents had largely positive responses about their employers’ efforts regarding diversity and inclusion. Many mentioned new programs and initiatives in 2020, likely in response to the nationwide protests over the summer. Most respondents praised their employers’ efforts. However, several expressed frustration, saying the focus on diversity is overdone or unnecessary and companies should focus on hiring the best person for the job.
Medical Sales Job Satisfaction at All-Time High
Despite the challenging year, job satisfaction among medical sales professionals has risen to the highest point we’ve seen in the ten years of the survey. An incredible 95% of respondents say they are either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their jobs. In a year of multiple uncertainties, respondents are overwhelmingly happy with their employers and their jobs. It seems for many, the difficulties presented by the pandemic made them even more appreciative of the stability and support offered by their employers.
How satisfied are you in your current job?
Considering the high job satisfaction numbers, it’s not surprising that few respondents said they are likely to leave their job in the next year. Of course, the ongoing pandemic and economic uncertainty may also contribute to a general hesitancy to make a job change any time soon.
How likely are you to leave your job in the next year?
Making a Difference Matters Even More in 2020
According to this year’s respondents, the feeling of making a difference continues to be the best part of medical sales jobs. While sales professionals had less face time with customers and patients in 2020, their positive impact on both patients and healthcare providers–even from a distance– was especially rewarding.
This year’s respondents showed increased appreciation for the work-life balance that accompanies the best medical sales jobs. Working from home–often while helping children with school–made this balance even more important in 2020.
What’s the best part of working in medical sales?
Access to Customers Increasingly Difficult in 2020
Administrative work remained the No. 1 job complaint from medical sales professionals. However, in a year where COVID regulations made face time with customers next to impossible, it’s not surprising that complaints about “gaining access to customers” increased.
What’s the worst part of working in medical sales?
In an especially challenging year, employers across the industry stepped up to support medical sales professionals. This year’s winners went above and beyond in their responses to the trials and tribulations of 2020, but it’s clear that their employees felt valued long before the pandemic. Strong corporate cultures aren’t built overnight, and several of our winners have held their titles for multiple years.
Employees of the top 3 companies in 2021, Syneos Health, Teleflex, and Acella & Avion Pharmaceuticals sung the praises of their employers, but they weren’t the only ones who report being happy at work. Companies across the industry are treating their employees well and contributing to the record-high satisfaction among medical sales professionals.