Stryker Controversy Continues…

A while back, I wrote a blog article about Why you should never work for Stryker (the surgical equipment company).  I’m not fond of surgical sales anyway, because I’m not fond of surgeons as customers (as my doctor, I can become pretty attached….as my customer, I can do without them).  But Stryker in particular is too hard on their sales reps (in my opinion).  There are other surgical sales companies that would be more enjoyable to work for.

As a medical sales recruiter, I haven’t had great experiences with former Stryker reps (and there are many) because they expect to make the kind of money everywhere they did at Stryker.  Sales reps at Stryker do tend to make a lot of cash, but again, they pay for it in terms of stress and pressure.

But, boy, did that blog article cause some upset folks!  Check out some of these comments I got (copied and pasted exactly as they appear)… They range from

The “Stryker sucks and so do its reps” camp:

Rmoney on May 25th, 2012 2:39 pm

Stryker sales representatives are expendable human resources. They always have been and always will be.

They are not intelligent; they’re pretty much the jock/assholes you went to high school with that aren’t smart enough to get REAL degrees from REAL schools….so they end up in medical devices sales where they can make that CASH MONEY (according to them). I know a few, and have come across many, and, for the most part, they are undereducated, and have a sense of entitlement. But do they deserve any of it? NO!

I am extremely competitive, and a former athlete in college, but I take education as a much more important asset when considering the strength of my work force.

Sales reps fit the dumb jock mentality to a T. Let’s not give these people much credit….for they are, truly, expendable. Stryker knows this, which is why they can afford to have that 25% bottom pink-slip policy. This country will never have a shortage of dumb jocks looking to make some quick CASH MONEY. Real talk.


jetsam on May 20th, 2012 3:03 am

One of the mysteries of life is how stryker got onto the fortune list. Either the Fortune method for finding the top employers is rotten or stryker are hiding it well. in response to your q sundeep i never dealt with uk but every other office around the world i dealt with were dicey. Its an american comapny to its core in that arrogance and over the top behavior is seen as a virtue. Its nasty.


To the “It is what it is…”:

mike on May 21st, 2012 9:24 pm

I think folks must always bear in mind that stryker is for a person with a very very specific personality. thats why we ensure in the first few months that folks who dont fit our mold are asked to is the fairest thing to all. true the turnaround is big but no one gets a free dinner at stryker. we can replace easily and mist always be certain that we have exactly the right person – not ‘we think they are good for the role and stryker’ it must be ‘i know that’. Face facts you may not fit in at stryker and we will ask that you leave quickly after you start if we think it.


Bryan w on November 18th, 2011 1:01 am

Yes Sydney, of course I did.

What I don’t understand is, what is really trying to be accomplished here?

Many of these comments are from disgruntled ex-Stryker reps that were not cut out for this type of job, whether it be Zimmer, Depuy, Stryker, Etc. These jobs are not for most people, but those who do excel are truly very talented. Those who have terrible experiences with the companies they worked for, obviously slander that company making erroneous comments because that’s what make people feel better.

Stryker doesn’t not have any plans on changing the types of people they are hiring. Why would they? Stryker is one of the only companies thriving in a depressed market. Their sales force is incredibly strong. Stryker has all candidates take a intense Gallup interview to ensure that everyone they hire has similar attributes and personalities. The don’t have any intention of changing and will never be at risk of finding people that would do anything to work for them. Stryker wants to be the fastest growing, most admired orthopedic company in the world and right now, they are.


To the “Stryker’s #1!  If you can’t handle it, you’re a wimp (or a princess, or a crybaby…)”:

charlie on January 7th, 2012 6:25 pm

Been reading all the comments here and fed up. No one …that is no one has the right to tell us what to do, how to act, how to behave. WE will decide what type of person works for us, and WE will decide what we are going to be as a company. Stryker is a family and like all families…if you don’t fit in, you’re out. Yep people at Stryker don’t have skills in some ways. Yep we don’t necessarily have the girly people skills that others have…but suck it up princess. SUCK IT UP!!! If you are going to be offended by what people say then obviously Stryker isn’t for you. Im so sick of losers LOSERS! On this site telling us what to do! F—off princesses ! I used to offend people sure but at Stryker I don’t have that problem. It’s full of tough, meaty champions … And I would like to see myself as part of that mix. we are champions and Stryker is a champion. Respect that fact.


Dave on December 2nd, 2011 1:58 am

So many freaking cry babies here wa wa wa one word for ya – losers! if ya don’t like stryker or the culture then obviously you are not good enough. go first.d yourself some second rate job then. And if you don’t like it then tough – we have a set culture, we know what demographic and type of person we want abduction we will not budge from that. That is why we are streets ahead of all compedition in the industry – the others only see our dust. We have better financials and better products and goodwill then all the others. From a Stryker Champion.

(See all the comments here.)


What I have to say is this: 

Stryker’s culture does, in fact, make it a rough place to work.  But they are some money makers, so it obviously works for them.  And if you work for Stryker and you like it, don’t worry about what I say.  If you relish that kind of super-competitive, only-the-strong-(and the lucky)-survive environment, then go for it.

But if you’re just applying there because it’s got a reputation of being a good place to make money, you should know what you’re getting into.

Stryker is very hard on job seekers.  They can be, because they’ve got THOUSANDS of applicants.  And they’re hard on sales reps.  You can’t argue they aren’t if they regularly pink-slip large chunks of their sales force.

But you, the job seeker, should think about why you want to work there.  Is that really what you want?

Stryker is a little bit like the jock who all the girls chase that’s a jerk to everyone, because he can be.  Meanwhile, a perfectly nice guy is standing off to the side, who would appreciate you and treat you with respect.  He’s just not that flashy and not demanding all that attention.  You’ve got to ask yourself, are you throwing yourself at the high school jock and leaving yourself wide open to rejection?  Are you looking around at what else is available?  Are you operating with biases that are keeping you from considering other options?

And as I’m saying this, I know that some of you are super-competitive and just chomping at the bit to go in to a place like Stryker and prove yourself.  You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something if you can handle that environment and be successful.

All I wanted to do was to educate you and cause you to question yourself.

What are you going for?

What do you want long-term?

That was the point of my blog post.  I think that we all need to move forward with as much information as possible.  I’m very glad that it opened up this discussion.  Thank you all for commenting!


Written by Peggy McKee - the medical sales recruiter
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