There is one key word at the root of understanding how to recruit sales reps — relationships. Building lasting relationships and growing their network is so important to medical sales reps that even if they are not actively applying to your jobs, they will generally entertain a conversation or connection.
That’s why recruiters have turned to actively sourcing every day. They’ve realized the benefits of reaching out to passive candidates to increase their pool. But quantity isn’t everything in this scenario.
The quality of these candidate relationships depends on a recruiter’s ability to build strong, genuine relationships. Ignoring this critical step results in wasting all that time and effort put into actively sourcing talent.
To improve your strategy for recruiting top sales reps, follow these tips for mastering the top three elements of strong recruiter-to-candidate relationships:
1. Time spent face-to-face
You often don’t get to see candidates face-to-face until they’re in an interview setting. In some recruitment cases, you may never meet a candidate face-to-face before sending them off to meet with a company’s in-house team.
We’re lucky to have access to so much advanced technology, allowing for quick and frequent communication. And, of course, that’s critical in building a foundation for relationships. However, seeing a person’s face creates a new and personal interaction.
When you see and respond to facial expressions, hand motions, and even background settings, you create a more personalized interaction. This face-to-face time can even be on screen. The key is setting aside time to help candidates see who they’re talking to about their future to help them establish a better sense of trust.
2. Mutual respect
Reaching out to a candidate shows you’re impressed by their experiences and demonstrated successes. It doesn’t, however, hit that key relationship-building trait of respect.
While candidates feel honored you reached out, your motives could still be seen as self-serving. Top sales reps need to know you respect their current careers. They want to believe you’re reaching out because your opportunity would be beneficial for the company and for them.
Show your respect for potential candidates and earn theirs by uncovering their career goals. Where are they now? Is their current situation putting them within reach of those aspirations?
Once you have these answers, it’s important that you don’t assume a role at your company would be a better option. Listen to their ideas and opinions about company culture, products, and sales goals.
If an open role or your company isn’t the right fit, be honest. Put them in touch with someone who can help them grow and hit their goals. This type of honesty will set your relationships over the top. Even better, word will get out in the medical sales job seeker community about your respectful and trustworthy behavior.
Mutual respect and face-to-face connections can be brought down in one fell swoop by dishonesty. Of course, we know recruiters aren’t sharing misinformation with any ill-intention. Oftentimes, the dishonesty sneaks its way in when trying to ‘woo’ candidates.
This can happen, for example, when describing company culture. After building a strong relationship with candidates, you understand what they’re looking for in a company’s culture. Painting a picture of what you know they want the culture to look like by exaggerating certain facts is not how to recruit sales reps. It will be viewed as a form of dishonest communication.
Be honest in every part of your communication with candidates. Even when it comes down to constructive criticism, sales reps will view your forthcomingness as honorable and beneficial to their job search.