Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

Why Is Getting Hired so Hard Now in Medical Sales?

You all call and ask, “I am finding a few jobs out there, and even getting to the final interview, only to find out I did not get the job; WHAT’S GOING ON?”.

Then of course I have to say, “funny, we have a few jobs, send several qualified people that almost always make it to the final interview and lately they often don’t get the job, in fact very few outside candidates get the job lately!”. Now we both know this is not funny, for candidate and recruiter alike, so what is going on?

Well I will tell you what is going on and I have seen it going on for some time now….time to spill the secret and share with you 5 reasons why:

It is just not you or us or any other recruiter out there. The fact remains that Corporate America is playing it safe, they have fewer job openings, they are not back filling their open positions and the term “expansion positions” have been removed from the dictionary this year and probably next year too, but hopefully not from the English Language!

Simply put, companies are taking their time filling open positions and looking for the “perfect person”. In addition, if they have an internal employee rumbling around the cage of their own company, they will give them the opportunity for advancement vs. hiring an unknown outside hire. You know the old adage about hiring “the devil you know vs. the devil you don’t”. You are not the devil they know and that said, unless you are the perfect candidate, you are not going to get the offer. In fact, in many cases, EVEN if you are the perfect candidate you may still lose out to the devil they know and who understands the company culture!

Now please don’t get me wrong, outside candidates are getting job offers, BUT just not as many of them. The factors playing into this situation are many:

  1. There are many more unemployed medical sales people (and just not pharma background people; think Covidien, J&J, Bard Urological, Smith + Nephew to name a few medical device companies with excellent people now unemployed in massive layoff’s). Whole Divisions SHUT DOWN!
  2. All those companies listed in #1 have had most of their laid off sales management taking jobs with other medical disposable or device sales companies AND they are bringing their old employees with them (the Devils they know). This is a HUGE factor in your challenge as an “unknown” of getting a sales position!
  3. Let’s face it, most companies are up against year end numbers and closing this year out (most are still working on a January to December fiscal year). If sales are doing OK, without a position filled, then more than likely they will keep running that territory or position vacant until Q1 of next year. We call that bringing the bottom line number in (P&L) by lowering overhead; no heads hired.
  4. The current company hiring Psychology has changed from, “what do we need to do to get great talent now” to “there are a ton of good people without jobs and new layoffs all the time from great companies; let’s just take our time and wade through all the applicants or wait for new people that will be coming into the market in the near future”. They also save on their expenses while they wait!
  5. The corporate hiring mantra we hear the most is, “in this market, I am going to wait and get exactly what I want in my next hire”. There is no “settling for the almost perfect candidate!”.

Now this may all seem very bleak, but it is always best to at least understand the marketplace that you may be trying to find a job within and realize you need to adjust your job seeking strategy to succeed. I recently spoke to a Job Seeker who indicated they have been unemployed since April of this year. I questioned them on what type of job search strategy they were using now vs. back in April, May or June. The person quickly replied they were using the same strategy for the past 7 to now almost 8 months with the same outcome. *The job market has changed over the past 7 to 8 months and you must exhaust all the job seeking techniques that I listed in a New Article I just updated HERE (July 2010), as well as my older article that includes more comprehensive approaches to building your own Powerful Job Networking Machine HERE.

So now you know why getting hired is so hard right now in the Medical Sales marketplace, but at least it will help you understand how to change up your job seeking strategies, because it is now the Devil you know!

*Article updated with new resource link on August 23, 2010

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Tags: career, industry trends, unemployed

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