New Year’s Resolutions for Sourcing Pharmaceutical Sales Candidates

Identifying the right candidate for any job is the most critical step in the talent acquisition/recruiting life cycle. You simply cannot build a relationship with, receive a referral from, network with, or hire someone that you haven’t found in the first place.

So how do you find them? Sometimes it can be a bit tricky. Furthermore, once you attract top talent, how do you entice them to stay? Below are some New Year’s resolutions to keep in mind while sourcing pharmaceutical sales candidates so that you can ultimately connect them with the best pharmaceutical sales jobs on the market.

Go Online Early and Often

Savvy recruiters will always leverage technology for talent identification. According to Glen Cathey of the talent recruitment specialist, SourceCon, searching databases, the Internet, and social media offers intrinsic advantages over other methods of candidate sourcing: “so whether you’re searching LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Monster, your ATS/CRM, or even Googling for candidate leads on the Internet – following and integrating these search best practices into your candidate sourcing routine can dramatically increase your ability to quickly find more of the right people.”

Encourage Internal Referrals

It’s important to reach out to your teams internally to explain the importance of referrals. This is one of the best ways to lure strong candidates,” says Sam East, VP of Sales at Entelo, a candidate sourcing company, in an article on Greenhouse. Why is this important? Because internal sales team members already have a feel for the company’s culture and expectations, so they can more accurately vet potential candidates they know to fill vacant roles. These same employees can then serve as your company’s biggest advocates. East furthers the thought, mentioning that, “Not only can they speak about the company’s sales landscape better than anyone, but prospective candidates may be more swayed by their word since they see them as more relatable and trustworthy.”

Craft a Compelling Message

Obviously, the harder a specific role is, the more challenging it is to fill. With these types of positions, it’s very important to differentiate your company from competing companies to ultimately gain the attention of the most qualified candidates. Sam East recommends taking control of the message and candidates’ perception of you: “Determine what makes your company unique and lead your sourcing communications with this message so that prospects don’t have to figure it out on their own, which can lead to inaccurate assumptions.” It’s also a good idea to remember to test various email subject lines so that you know which messages work and which don’t for enticing prospects to click. This will help to ensure that your sourcing efforts are optimized at all times.

Keep Candidate Searches Narrow and Focused

If you’re using a resume database/applicant tracking system for your search, running generic searches with perhaps one title and a couple of basic keywords is a sure way to get correspondingly generic and basic results, according to Glen Cathey. “I’ve heard many a recruiter complain about getting ‘too many results.’ People making this mistake unknowingly increase the size of the hidden talent pool of candidates they don’t find.”

Cathey also recommends not relying solely or heavily on title-based searches since not all companies use the same titles for the same roles and responsibilities: “making this mistake contributes to you populating hidden talent pools with every candidate that matches your hiring profile or job order but has a title that you didn’t think of and include in your search.” Conversely, technical terms, including various software systems used as well as operating systems and databases will only provide results of people who mention those terms in their resumes. Perhaps more importantly, mentioning specific technical terms doesn’t really imply any degree of responsibility or capability that a pharmaceutical sales candidate might actually have. The most effective searches reach beyond the typical “skill” terms and align more with “responsibility” terms (i.e., “administer,” “manage,” “coordinate,” “lead,” etc.).

Improve Your Candidate-Sourcing Skills

As a medical or pharmaceutical sourcing/recruiting professional, one of your goals should be to get better at what you do on a daily basis, not simply meeting your objectives but actually improving your sourcing and recruiting skills and ability.

Noted author Geoff Colvin cuts to the root of the matter in his book, Talent is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, pointing out that work isn’t really designed by anyone to make us better at anything: “Usually it isn’t designed at all: we are just given an objective that’s necessary to meeting the employer’s goals and then expected to get on with it.” As a sourcer/recruiter, you can perform deliberate practice, which is specifically designed to improve performance by getting you out of your comfort zone and continually stretching you just beyond your current ability (SourceCon). Simply put, if you’re not getting better, you might be getting worse.

Sourcing candidates, and in particular, sales candidates, can be tricky due to the hefty competition in the pharmaceutical sales job market. However, with a handful of New Year’s resolutions and hopefully a positive outlook on 2017, you’ll be ahead of the game and ready to up your recruiting game.

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