Insights & Trends Recruiting Trends

Hiring Millennials for Medical Sales Jobs

pixels-hiring-millenials-pharmaRecruiters and hiring managers are always looking to find the most qualified candidates for jobs.  However, sometimes that’s easier said than done, especially with a large portion of today’s workforce falling under the “Millennial” age group.

This specific category of worker might approach work habits and lifestyle a little differently from the Baby Boomers or even Generation X, but those differences can be explained and used in ways that smart job posters can still attract the very best candidates.

Today’s Millennial workforce has an entirely different mindset and it’s crucial to understand who they are and why they think the way they do.  In today’s changing job climate, what are Millennials looking for and how do you find and keep top talent?

Money Matters

The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that much like any other age group, pay and other financial benefits still drive Millennials’ choice of where to work.  Furthermore, Business Insider claims that “this single factor accounts for more than a fifth (22%) of the combined level of influence of the 14 factors influencing work.”

Even MedRepsjob satisfaction survey found that although money did not make the top 5 things to love about medical sales jobs, it came in second on the list of grievances, proving that money is a very important factor in how medical sales reps feel about their jobs.  Survey respondents described worrisome situations where a particularly limiting commission structure or a product/territory/management policy caused them to earn less than they felt they might have earned in another job.

While medical sales reps jobs are generally well-paying, research has indicated that especially with Millennials, money still isn’t everything.

Finding Flexibility

According to Fortune Magazine, to Millennials, time is a “limited resource to be spent wisely and actively managed.”  What this means is that more and more, Millennials are looking to perform their jobs and advance their careers at their own pace without the standard (and dare we say mundane) 8-5, Monday through Friday office work schedule.

Millennials are leading the way in prioritizing job flexibility.  In fact, PwC’s ongoing Millennials at Work study shows that many employees would actually give up pay or delay a promotion to achieve their ideal schedule.

Fortune explains why: “Today’s young job seekers live in a world where physical presence is optional: banking, renting movies, hanging out with friends, going to school, ordering dinner have all transformed from a ‘place you go’ to a ‘thing you do’ from any connected device.  Millennials view work in the same way; not to be measured by hours at a location, but by the output of what you do.”

In the medical field, sales reps already enjoy the autonomy and flexibility that the job affords.  Because much of their time is spent in the field, they have the ability to structure their time, and in many cases, their individual strategy.  Medical sales reps are also entrusted to make decisions based on the individual needs of their clients.  Many medical sales professionals say they “already feel like they are ‘running their own business’ despite the fact that they are usually a small part of a much larger operation,” according to the MedReps job satisfaction study.  In a sense, medical sales jobs are ideal for the Millennial work ethic and lifestyle.

Interestingly enough, one extreme example of flexibility has come in the form of unlimited vacation policies for large companies like Virgin and Best Buy.  This new type of “compensation” combines a flexible work schedule and unlimited days off for employees, provided they are able to coordinate with and deliver for their teams. This type of policy may be a bit unrealistic for most medical employers, but for startups and smaller companies, it may be a way to attract young talent.

For a Good Cause

Simply put, Millennials want to feel like their actions make an impact, whether it be for the entire planet or just one person.  Millennials place great importance on social causes and sense of purpose (for both self-fulfillment and for their work organization).  How do they fit into the puzzle?  How is their work relevant?  Does anybody care?

As a job poster, recruiter, or HR manager, “be transparent about how personal goals are aligned to the goals of the organization so that even a junior employee understands how their daily labors are aligned to what the company is doing as a whole” (Fortune).  In addition, companies and organizations that donate time and money to worthwhile causes are also attractive to idealist Millennials hoping to land jobs.  Employees always like to know that who they work for is actively participating in promoting something positive.

In this way, medical and pharmaceutical companies have an edge over other industries, in that their missions typically revolve around improving patients’ lives. In fact, respondents to the MedReps job satisfaction survey placed “the ability to make an impact” in the top five on the list of things to love about medical sales jobs.

Motivating Millennials

An employer that can offer a positive work/life balance and opportunities to progress in addition to flexible working arrangements, a sense of purpose, and decent wages is likely to be more successful than others in securing the talents of the Millennial generation.  Organizations need to reconsider their approach in how they handle their employees, especially new employees of this age group.  Likewise, recruiters must understand how to craft job postings and announcements to appeal to this particular section of the workforce.

Millennials are quickly emerging as the main group of employees as Baby Boomers hit retirement, and a key question moving forward will be how to keep them satisfied with their jobs while earning their loyalty to your company.