Around 15 years ago when I entered the medical sales industry, the medical sales job were as challenging as they are now, maybe more so. They were advertised primarily in the broadsheet papers like the Daily Telegraph, usually in a large advert for a team build or amongst recruitment agency adverts towards the back of the paper.
Back then there were no industry specific magazines and the Internet’s popularity, or accessibility was nowhere compared to where it is now. As a result of this applying for jobs was a long and drawn out process. Each application tended to consist of a hand written letter and printed CV, which as you can visualise is rather restrictive compared to today’s application process. With the lack of e-mail, time scales were slow. First of all you would need to wait for the closing date and then for a shortlist of worthy candidates be assembled. In a worse case scenario, all applicants would receive a response first via snail mail. As you can imagine, that could take a few days to arrive after it has been sent. As you can imagine from this the who recruitment process was much smaller and slower. In many cases unless you knew somebody inside the pharmaceutical who could put in a good word or two for you, your chances of being successful were a bit slim to say the least.
The internet has changes the medical sales recruitment (and just about any other form of recruitment) process entirely. For example these days you don’t even need to be actively job seeking to be informed of the latest vacancies. Simply register on one jobs site and you could receive an e-mail every time a suitable job is posted. The application process is also quick, pre prepare your CV and covering letter and you can send that to a recruiter within a few clicks of the mouse. Nowadays with the ease in which candidates can apply for so many vacancies, recruiters are often forced to act quickly to stand any chance of securing the best person for the job.
The growth in the popularity of the Internet has also helped speed the process up from a recruitment agencies perspective. Now an agency can post a vacancy at 2pm, in theory a few minutes later a candidate can receive an alert and apply for the position. Within say ten minutes of posting the vacancy, a recruitment consultant could have booked a candidate in for an interview. Closing dates for applying for posts are now almost a thing of the past.
Considering the speed in which the application process has sped up with the use of the Internet, it is not uncommon to find candidates exposing their skills and qualifications to numerous companies within hours and ultimately can secure new employment within a few days of initially reading the advert.
From a recruiters perspective it has become much more competitive to land the best candidates for a vacancy. In the early 90’s many recruiters adopted what could almost be considered to be an arrogant approach and would contemplate in great depth over who they would first decide to interview and then over who to appoint. This could take as long as months. In the modern day environment, good candidates don’t remain looking for work for a long time, recruiters need to work fast or they will them. There are still some medical sales and pharmaceutical companies that still adopt the longer term application process. The amount of companies doing this will become shorter and shorter as they loose more and more high calibre candidates who gain employment with companies who adopt a faster paced process.
In summary, the internet, e-mail and the medical sales jobs boards have totally changed the recruitment industry. With some Pharmaceutical companies failing to grasp this, the best opportunities to succeed to those who have by shortening their recruitment process.