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3 Tips to Hire Medical Sales Reps Prepared for Cybersecurity Threats

The cybersecurity sector is absolutely overwhelmed by a shortage of talent. In fact, there are nearly three million open positions in the profession as we speak.

For medical sales companies, this is a major issue, as they hold confidential details on customers, patients, and employees

Alarmingly, according to the 2018 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study, nearly 60 percent of cybersecurity pros say their organization is at extreme or moderate risk due to cybersecurity staff shortage. Plus, for the first time in recent years, 36 percent of pros say a cybersecurity skills gap is their top concern.

As medical sales reps take on more consultant-based relationships with customers, they are also more likely to face cybersecurity threats. With the risk seemingly higher than ever, it’s essential you hire reps who are prepared to handle cybersecurity responsibilities and recognize potential risks.

Here are a few tips for hiring medical sales reps who are prepared for cybersecurity threats:

Look for reps with IT background

In today’s highly technological world, many job candidates have a wide range of well-rounded skills. While there may be potential sales reps who fit your basic qualifications spot on, there are likely several not-so-obvious candidate profiles that also fit your needs that you need to be aware of.

Look for sales reps who have a background or training in IT. This may be recent college grads who took courses in cybersecurity or IT as part of their general education coursework. It could also be someone who has sales experience but had an academic side hustle focused in tech in the campus computer lab.  

Alternatively, you might consider sales reps who previously sold technological equipment. This is a great opportunity to bring a diverse perspective to the medical sales field. If they have all of the skills needed for the job, but have technology knowledge instead of a medical background, they may still be a great fit to balance your sales team.

There are plenty of ways this experience could show up on a resume, so keep an open mind during the screening and interview process.

Incorporate cyber awareness into the hiring process

Cyber awareness is critical, no matter the role for which you’re hiring in medical sales. The level of awareness and capability reps possess is highly dependent on the amount of importance placed on cybersecurity by the organization overall.  

In fact, according to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), it takes “a combination of education, certification, training, experiential learning, and continuous learning attributes that could indicate a greater likelihood of success.”

Incorporate cybersecurity awareness questions and assessments into your hiring process to discover candidates’ level of awareness and knowledge. 

For example:

  • -What is the difference between a threat, a vulnerability, and a risk?
  • -Tell me about a time you had to address each instance in some way.
  • -What steps do you regularly take to secure customer information?

Even if they haven’t had direct experience with cybersecurity, you can ask hypothetical questions to assess a candidate’s critical thinking and communication skills in the event of a threat. 

Advertise a culture of cybersecurity awareness

Even when you’re not hiring, it’s essential to brand your company as having high-security awareness. This will help draw in candidates who have the same core values surrounding cyber threats. You can establish this reputation by sharing training events and continuing education opportunities on social media and on your career page. 

There are several organizations, like NICE, that offer educational opportunities for companies and their employees. Partner with them to establish ongoing training and keep up-to-date on new policies and certifications. Medical sales reps who don’t have current training, but are interested in learning more, will be more enticed to apply if they know your company develops employees in these skills. 

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