Interview with a ConMed Medical Sales Recruiter
What makes recruiters and hiring managers take notice of some medical sales job candidates and pass over others? MedReps.com recently asked Lisa McCallister, medical device sales and marketing recruiter for ConMed Corporation, about what makes certain candidates rise to the top, and what the others can do differently to get noticed and get the job. Read the interview with Lisa below and hear from ConMed sales reps directly about what it’s like to work for ConMed in the video.
MR: What is the best way to ensure a qualified medical sales job candidate gets noticed by you?
LM: Really what makes me take notice of a candidate is a professional resume that shows results, achievements and numbers. So many job seekers use a resume to just list their past positions and it just reads like a laundry list of responsibilities, almost like a job description. I want to see a person’s accomplishments.
MR: Approximately how much time do you spend reviewing each medical sales resume and what is it that you’re looking for?
LM: I will first do a quick scan of a candidate’s most recent job to see if it is relevant. Then I’ll scan the person’s overall work history – I want to make sure there is a pattern of success based on results and achievements. Red flags for me include job hopping and a lack of numbers or awards. In the medical device sales industry, I want to make sure that a candidate’s past sales experience, even if from outside the industry, is relevant and will translate to success the field. I would say it only takes about 15 seconds to decide if pursuing them is worth it.
MR: Should candidates prepare a 30-60-90 day plan for their ConMed interview? (If so, what should it contain?)
LM: I kind of look at the 30-60-90 as a working document. Interviews at ConMed have several stages, often including a ride-along. Throughout the process, we want to learn more about the candidate, and I want to make sure that the candidate is learning more about the company and products. For the 30-60-90 to work, it really needs to come at the end of the interview process and reflect what the candidate has learned, because otherwise, it’s just too generic and doesn’t have real value. A great alternative in early stages is for a candidate to show us their business plan for their current position so we can better understand how they are managing their current business and if it is similar to the expectations for ConMed’s salesforce.
MR: Do you ever consider candidates without medical sales experience? Under which circumstances?
LM: We do, and in some cases, some managers may even prefer it if they believe the person has what it takes to be successful – B2B experience, passion, commitment and good fundamental sales training. However, for some divisions, it may be more difficult to hire someone without medical sales experience because it could mean a 12 to 18 month learning curve. This is especially true in orthopedics, where candidates with prior industry experience are preferred. Someone who is not familiar with the hospital environment will be harder to train and be more of a risk. We will, however, also consider someone with limited experience for an associate’s position under the right circumstances. I believe people who are achievers, even when given a different role, can be driven to success.
MR: On your blog, you document a ride-along that you did with a ConMed endoscopic rep. What did you learn from that experience that might benefit potential job candidates?
LM: I have gone on several throughout the years and it’s a great way for me to understand the day-to-day basics of the job. I would say that these types of “day-in-the-life” type blogs are also the most popular too. Sean Moore, vice president of sales and marketing for ConMed Advanced Energy, writes a blog called MedExec.org, and he said that his interviews with sales reps are also some of the most popular because people want to know if they have what it takes to be successful in the industry. These blogs give them really good perspective and insight. They will be able to see that it takes a lot of hard work, constant study and dedication.
MR: What is the best way for potential candidates to research the products they would be selling at ConMed?
LM: Mainly our website. They can go review product lines. In most divisions there are more than 300 devices. Candidates should then dive in a bit deeper by looking online at the product’s application, the types of doctors who would use it and researching the competition. YouTube and ORlive are also good sites to watch procedures and better understand how the products are used. Candidates can also ask to go on a ride-along or talk with a doctor who actually uses the product to get feedback. I also invite them to look at my LinkedIn page or ConMed’s LinkedIn page to get a good understanding of the company and the latest career news.
MR: What characteristics do the most successful ConMed reps have in common?
LM: I think our most successful reps are disciplined, focused, structured, accountable and goal-oriented. They know what they need to do to get things done – every day, every month, every quarter – every step of the way.
Lisa McCallister is a medical device sales and marketing recruiter for the 5 divisions of global medtech company, ConMed Corporation. She also writes a blog, My Job Scope, advising job seekers on how they can become great medical sales job candidates. Follow Lisa on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn. View ConMed’s sales jobs on MedReps.