Social Trends Among Medical Sales Professionals
An overwhelming 93% of medical sales professionals belong to a social network – down slightly from the 94% who reported belonging to at least one social site in 2011, but still up from the reported 89% in 2009. See the breakdown of users in the graph (right).
Between 2009 and 2011, LinkedIn membership shot up from 56% to 87%. However, from 2011 to 2012, participation in both Facebook and LinkedIn declined 8% and 11% respectively. On the other hand, interest in Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest increased. It’s difficult to imagine another social network claiming the market share currently owned by either Facebook or LinkedIn, but if the current trends continue, it’s certainly possible over time.
When respondents were segmented by sector, the numbers largely mirrored the overall results. LinkedIn had the highest membership numbers for all of the sectors but was highest among biotech professionals (97%). Twitter membership was consistently below LinkedIn and Facebook, but it had the highest participation among medical equipment professionals (26%).
Interest in Facebook and LinkedIn may be waning, but engagement with social sites overall is still on the rise. In this year’s survey, 47% of respondents said they visit social networks multiple times a day. An additional 20% login once a day, meaning 67% of respondents login to a social network at least once a day – up from 64% in 2011 and 47% in 2009.
The Social Job Search
When MedReps initiated the social job search survey back in 2009, there was no obvious answer to the question, “Do you use social networks in the medical sales job search?” In 2012, however, 76% of respondents say they use social networks professionally. See the graph (left) to find out just how they are using them in the social job search.
Nearly one in four survey respondents said their activity on a social site had led to a career opportunity. Many of them were contacted by a hiring manager or recruiter who simply found their profile in a search on LinkedIn. Several others said they had used a social site to research a company and identify contacts that might help them get a job there. A sampling of these “social job search success stories” can be found below:
It’s interesting that for every success story, there were also numerous comments from respondents who had been contacted by recruiters on LinkedIn for jobs that were either not a fit or that they were not interested in. Thus, it seems even with an upgraded recruiter membership, it’s not always easy to identify the right candidates from searching profiles on LinkedIn.
There was no significant change in the percentage of respondents who reported social activity directly leading to a job opportunity in 2012 (25%) from the percentage in 2011 (27%). This suggests that while social recruiting has its place in the medical sales job search, it may not be replacing other sourcing methods the way some have predicted.