The Smartphone Market Share for Medical Reps
Close your eyes for a second. Try to think waaaaay back to 2009. Five whole years ago. Can you picture it? The country was battling a recession..the King of Pop passed away…Tiger Woods was outed as a philanderer…and Blackberry users outnumbered iPhone users 2 to 1 among medical sales professionals.
Now, fast forward to 2014. Michael Jackson’s hologram made an arguably more successful comeback than Tiger Woods. Meanwhile, the jury is still out on a comeback effort by once leading smartphone company, Blackberry. However, if said jury is made up of medical sales professionals, the comeback is unlikely to gain traction.
According to a recent MedReps.com survey, smartphone usage among those with medical sales jobs is now at 100%, and 3 out of 4 are using an iPhone (Blackberry users now make up less than 1%). But the shift in smartphone usage isn’t the only notable change; LinkedIn usage among this group has nearly doubled since 2009, with 92% currently on the site. Clearly, times are changing, but what, if anything, does all this mean for the job search? Plenty…
The Medical Sales Mobile Job Search
The survey proves that the smartphone is playing an increasingly important role in the job search. In 2014, 90% of respondents report that they’re using their mobile devices in their job searches (up from 77% just 2 years ago) – and they’re doing a whole lot more with them than simply taking calls from hiring managers and recruiters.
So, what exactly are they doing on their mobile devices? The most commonly cited job search activity is opening job alert emails (71%), followed by searching for medical sales jobs on a mobile website (56%) or a mobile app (49%). Many also feel comfortable applying to jobs via mobile, though several made comments about not feeling they could customize their application enough on their mobile, preferring to save the job and submit an application via laptop or desktop later. Perhaps this is why the laptop remains the primary device used for job searching, with 44% saying it’s the device they use most frequently in their job search. However, the laptop may not hold the top spot for much longer. The mobile phone has already surpassed the desktop with 27% of respondents saying they use their mobile phone in their search more than any other device.
Medical Sales Job Search Apps
While they may not be ready to ditch the computers altogether, compared to the 2012 numbers, it’s clear job seekers are increasingly comfortable using mobile devices in the search. Just two years ago, only 13% of job seekers had applied to jobs via an app, while 29% have done so in 2014. Each month, MedReps.com receives an average of 6,000 applications via our mobile job search app. These tech savvy applicants recognize the value of being able to apply to a job as soon as they become aware of it with a single click . When the competition is steep, sometimes an early application can make all the difference.
Finding a Medical Sales Job Using Social Media
The last five years have seen some notable changes in the way medical sales professionals use social media. In 2009, Facebook was the network of choice, used by 74% of respondents while LinkedIn had just 54% participation. LinkedIn overtook Facebook in the 2012 survey, and in 2014, LinkedIn usage increased further, while Facebook participation held steady. Other social networks have a long way to go to gain significant attention of medical sales professionals. While Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+ saw some increased participation from past years, none of them are even close to surpassing the interest in LinkedIn or Facebook.
Clearly, medical sales professionals are not immune to the allure of social networking, but how is it impacting their job search habits? Well, for starters, 84% of respondents say they use social networking for professional purposes – most commonly to view job listings (60%) and connect with former and current colleagues (60%). Other common activities include researching potential companies and hiring managers (56%), participating in professional groups within a social network (54%), communicating with recruiters (46%), and connecting with current and former managers (43%). A smaller segment is using social sites to generate customer leads and communicate with current customers.
Using Social Media for Business
All of this activity is clearly paying off – 42% say social activity has directly led to a career opportunity. When we asked for the specifics, respondents primarily told stories about reconnecting with people on LinkedIn who were able to help them, or being contacted by a recruiter via LinkedIn. There is clearly a good reason medical sales job seekers have increased their presence on this social networking site. Once a job seeker learns about an opening (ahem, frequently thanks to a niche job site!), LinkedIn provides a powerful way to research the hiring company and find people who can help them get a foot in the door.
Hiring companies and recruiters are well aware of this tactic, and they have made an effort to create a presence on LinkedIn, among other social sites, where job seekers can learn more and subscribe to updates. In fact, 41% of our respondents said they are currently following companies of interest on social sites. Savvy recruiters have also established a presence in the social realm – not just creating LinkedIn profiles, but offering valuable job search advice via status updates, blogs, and Tweets. (Didn’t know you could get job search advice via Twitter? Start by following these recruiters, oh and @MedRepscom of course.)
The Future of the Mobile Job Search
The job search is constantly evolving, but perhaps nothing has disrupted the process more than the rapid adoption of both mobile technology and social networks. These channels allow job seekers to be constantly connected to their job search and readily available to the recruiters and managers who could potentially hire them. With new technology coming out every day, how can we begin to predict what the next five years might hold for the job search? Well, as tablets and smartphones become more powerful, we can expect to see even more of a shift away from desktops and laptops. And as apps become more robust, this channel may become the primary way job seekers search and apply to medical sales jobs. We’ll also likely see an increase in the amount of video chatting happening in the recruitment process. And who knows? The Face Time of the future could be done with holograms. (Why should Michael Jackson have all the fun?)
While technology encourages telecommuting and remote work, ultimately broadening the number of opportunities available, we’re also seeing a shift toward using technology to highlight what is right in front of us. In this respect, perhaps we can one day expect our phones to notify us about a job opening available in our immediate location. Imagine – you’re stopped at a red light and you get a notification that a company in your industry is located at the intersection, and they happen to be hiring someone in your field. Creepy or cool? Only time will tell.
While no one can predict the future, it’s safe to say technology will continue to impact the job search in radical ways we may not yet be able to conceive. Tech savvy professionals will have an advantage over those more resistant to these changes, so if you’ve been hesitant to embrace social and mobile technology, now is the time to get on board. Your professional future could depend on it.