Stryker is one of the top medical device companies in the world and one of the places where sales representatives love to work. But what does it take to work there? How can you break into one of the best places to work?
MedReps recently asked Jackie Shropshire, Reconstructive Sales Manager for the Chicago branch office at Stryker, what he looks for when hiring candidates and what makes a successful sales rep at Stryker.
MR: Stryker consistently pops up on several “Best Places to Work” lists, including the MedReps list of the Best Places to Work in Medical Sales. What do you think makes Stryker a great place for sales professionals to work?
JS: I think that it ultimately comes down to our mission statement: together with our customers we are driven to make healthcare better. And that breaks down to our values: integrity, accountability, people, and performance. From an integrity perspective, every day that we’re out in the field to call on our customers, all that we have behind us is our integrity. We have to hold ourselves accountable since we are a performance-based company. And as a sales manager myself, it’s really about the people. I think that’s what it always comes down to and why people want to work for Stryker as well as why our retention rates are as high as they are. We grow talent within the company and really make a great, positive work-life balance for our employees.
MR: Describe the sales hiring process at Stryker.
JS: We go through our internal recruitment team, and that usually starts with phone interviews. From there, if candidates have the experience, characteristics, and qualifications we’re looking for, they go through multiple interviews with different managers. Then we have the candidate go through a phone interview with Gallup, which provides Stryker with feedback around the natural strengths and abilities a person can bring to the table. After that, we get candidates in front of our general manager and area vice president for a final round interview, and that’s when we either extend an offer or decide to part ways.
MR: Other than a strong sales record, what does Stryker look for on a sales candidate’s resume? What makes an applicant stand out as someone you want to interview?
JS: We look at their overall background from an education standpoint. Were they involved in activities? And if they’ve already been out in the workplace, we look at their track record. Do they have sales experience? Does their resume show they are driven? Does it show they have a good, solid background and that they would thrive in a performance-based company like Stryker?
MR: Do you ever consider candidates without medical device experience? What advice do you have for someone trying to break into the field at Stryker?
JS: We are about people. So just because you don’t have sales experience or experience in the medical device industry that doesn’t mean you’re automatically out of the running. What we look for is someone who is driven and active with different interests or causes. Someone who participates. Someone who has a history of performing well in a different field and wants to transform that into the sales perspective. We grow talent, so we have the ability to help mentor and coach employees to be successful sales reps. But at the same time, we do have the expectation that you have some type of track record of success in your current field. My suggestion to people without sales experience is to show us you have a proven track record of success — in whatever field you were in previously in — on your resume. And in your summary or cover letter, explain how your past experiences and achievements relate to being a successful sales rep.
MR: What mistakes do you see candidates making during the interview process?
JS: Lack of confidence and lack of clarity are the two biggest mistakes we see, and it prevents us from getting to know the candidate. A lot of people tend to tell us what they think we want to hear, instead of giving us an honest assessment of who they are and what they can bring to the table to be a successful sales representative. These candidates are the people we’re choosing to put in front of our customers to help us grow our business. So if we can’t see the candidate’s true self, we can’t really know how they will interact and represent Stryker. We want to see their true personality, we want to see their drive, and we want to see how they would handle specific situations because in sales you have a wide range of experiences and variabilities.
MR: What characteristics do the most successful Stryker reps have in common?
JS: They all have drive, passion, optimism, a willingness to win, and a willingness to be coached. They have the focus and attention to detail day in and day out in regard to their craft as a sales representative for Stryker. They believe in our mission statement, and they believe in the focus on performance. We are a performance-based company, and if you don’t have that type of focus and attention, you’re probably not the best candidate for Stryker.
MR: Any final words of advice for professionals seeking medical device sales jobs at Stryker?
JS: My advice is do your homework and research to learn what Stryker is all about as a company. Don’t be afraid to step into uncharted waters and become part of a winning organization with a winning culture. It’s a wonderful place to work, and I’m proud to work for Stryker. We’re just looking for candidates who want to perform and be a part of an environment that continues to promote and support one another.
View Stryker sales jobs on MedReps.com or find out more about Stryker careers at Stryker.com.