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These Superskills Will Move Your Medical Sales Recruiting Into the Future


You’ve mastered identifying soft and hard skills in job seekers. Now, the Institute for the Future (IFTF) has identified a whole new set of skills you need to find in candidates. This list of five superskills is helping recruiters everywhere prepare for the future, rather than attempting to simply backfill today’s needs.

In a report with Cornerstone, the IFTF found 81 percent of CEOs are seeking a much broader range of skills when hiring new employees. In a constantly changing field, like medical sales, finding candidates already equipped with these superskills is crucial.

From controversies to changing technology, developing products, and frequently changing customers, the success of your recruiting strategy relies on finding the strongest and most prepared employees of the future to fill your talent pool.

Start preparing now by identifying five key superskills in candidates. Here’s what you need to look for:

1. Get credit for everything

If your definition of “experience” is contained to work history and education, it’s time to expand your viewpoint. College degrees are no longer the only final destination for learning, and previous job titles don’t offer a full-spectrum view of candidates’ skills.

You need to look at the whole picture of a candidate’s history to understand their true qualifications. Open up to a new way of interviewing and hiring by asking candidates for more transparent access into their skill sets.

When looking at a candidate’s application materials, take note of their accomplishments. Then, form detailed questions asking them to note what specific skills they used to reach those moments of success. This could range from how they hit a sales goal to what skills were used to reach a community accolade, like volunteer of the year.

2. Upgrade digital fluency

Technology is no longer simply evolving. It’s now constantly changing at superspeed, especially in the medical sales field. Whether it’s your products, how you communicate, or sales technology, your future sales team needs to be digitally affluent.

Focusing on digital fluency doesn’t mean candidates must have an advanced tech degree from Yale. Instead, look for sales reps who are willing and able to embrace the onslaught of new technology.

Find candidates who have listed training, in the classroom, on the job, or even in their free time, on their resume. While the training doesn’t need to be extensive, even a small amount shows a willingness to learn new tech skills.

Don’t limit your talent pool by looking only for candidates who have mastered your sales and communication programs. Rather, ask them how the programs have influenced their teamwork, sales numbers, and client relationships.

3. Connect the dots to make change

With the drastic shift from product to customer focus, the medical sales world needs reps who are mission-driven. This means no matter what bumps come along, they’re prepared to take on change with strength, calmness, and clarity.

But to find reps who can do this, you need to dig beneath the surface. Stop looking for candidates who have survived through major changes, such as mergers and acquisitions, product development, and customer-bases and start understanding how they made it through.

During interviews, ask candidates to share a time when they had to accept change. Give them a short amount of time to explain the change. Then, ask them to provide an in-depth explanation of what skills they used to overcome the challenges and obstacles that come along with it.

Listen closely for candidates who explain how they remained mission-driven and were able to continue serving customers throughout the process.

4. Grow multicultural dexterity

As a recruiter, you know the company-wide benefits of a diverse workforce. However, if you hire reps who don’t understand the importance of collaborating with a diverse team, your efforts will be wasted.

Simply finding candidates who are self-proclaimed “team players” isn’t going to propel your company into the future. In today’s workforce, you need medical sales reps who want to use the diversity of their team to enhance the productivity and creativity of the entire company.

Set-up scenarios for candidates during interviews. For example: “During a team meeting, two reps disagree about how to present a new product to clients. If you were in this meeting, how would you approach the disagreement?”

If a candidate says they’d suggest they’d let the two hash-out the disagreement themselves, they’re likely not the diverse member you want on your team.

However, those who say they’d jump in and productively add to the discussion because they believe this is how diverse team players should work together will be a great addition to your organization.  

5. Grow caring at the core

At the core of every meaningful medical sales relationship is empathy. With this one skill, reps are able to stay connected with diverse customers through controversy, changing products, and much more.

Look for candidates who showcase empathy in various aspects of their lives. Those who volunteer frequently, have worked through a company or product controversy, or have hobbies focused on self-discovery, likely have the high-level of emotional intelligence needed for the intricacies of medical sales relationships.

How do you find these superskills in candidates? Let us know!