Candidate Sourcing Recruiting

How to Find the Best Talent with Referrals from Your Medical Sales Reps

Medical Sales Recruiting with Referrals


Your top medical sales professionals aren’t just skilled sales reps — they’re powerful talent sources waiting to be tapped. According to a recent survey by LinkedIn, referrals are growing as a key source of hire, and more employers think referral programs will be a long-lasting trend in recruiting.

If you’re not using your sales reps to find more talent, you’re missing out on a large network of qualified candidates. A referral program encourages employees to bring in new talent, but in a referral culture, it’s expected. To build this culture, you need to get your reps excited and invested in the program and in growing the company.

Here are a few ways to get medical sales reps involved in the recruiting process and make it a priority within the company culture:

Recognize top performers

Your best medical sales reps won’t recommend your workplace to their colleagues if they feel undervalued and overworked. Although reps are highly motivated to work hard and achieve their goals, a little appreciation goes a long way in boosting employee satisfaction.

In fact, a survey conducted in February 2015 by Kronos found that 55 percent of respondents said receiving a ‘“thank you” from their direct manager gives them high levels of satisfaction at work.

Let your medical sales reps know their work is valued and important to the company. You don’t always need to recognize efforts in a grand way — a simple and personal “thank you” is often all you need. Employees who feel they are doing meaningful work, are satisfied with their job, and feel appreciated will be more likely to bring their talented, professional contacts and friends into the company.

Focus on the mission

The ultimate goal of a referral culture is to have your current medical sales reps serve as brand ambassadors to get their connections interested in working for the company.

Your employees should embody the company’s mission and values and be able to share them with others, but most employees don’t know these principles. In a survey conducted by TINYpulse in 2013, only 42 percent of participating employees knew their organization’s vision, mission, and cultural values.

Your mission, culture, and employer brand are critical to attracting new talent. If your employees can’t tell others what your company is all about, they won’t have much success in drawing in talented new sales reps.

Focus on educating your current employees on your mission and values. Make your values a central part of the workplace and show employees how they guide everyday work processes and decisions. In addition, make sure reps know what sets your company apart from other medical sales employers. When employees have a firm grasp on the heart and soul of the organization, they will be able to advocate for the brand and sell it to their contacts.

Treat reps like recruiters

Your medical sales reps aren’t recruiters. But if you want them to bring in outside talent, you need to treat them like they are.

Keep reps in the loop about open positions, the requirements for the job, and what skills are the most important. Let them know when positions are filled and keep them updated with emails and e-newsletters. In addition, give them access to resources, insights, and analytics of the program. This data is critical to success and should be available to everyone in order to boost referrals.

Take every referral from sales reps as seriously as you would take referrals from recruiters. In a survey of employees published by 15Five in March, only 15 percent of employees felt their feedback was “highly valued” by managers. If reps don’t feel like you value their referrals, they’re not going to keep offering their input.

Always consider referrals, even when you don’t have an open medical sales job. When you have a job open up down the road, their referral could be a perfect fit. You might never hire a referral, but accepting and considering every submission will show the value you place on the referral culture and the opinions of sales reps.

Reward referrals

Referrals benefit the company, but how do they benefit your sales reps? If you want to build a lasting referral culture, employees need to be invested in, as well.

Recognize and reward top referrers, to get employees interested in the program. After all, 40 percent of those surveyed by Jobvite said they use bonuses to promote referrals. Let employees know exactly how and when referrals will be rewarded. Will it be based on retention? Volume of referrals? Quality?

Give employees some incentive to refer their colleagues and be on the lookout for top medical sales talent.

If you want to find the best medical sales professionals, you need to get your current reps involved in the process. Trust your reps and their suggestions, to build a referral culture to fill your medical sales jobs.

How do you encourage your medical sales reps to bring in fresh talent? Join the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.