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How to Hire a Product Manager?

December 21, 2022

Product management is one of the most crucial functions in modern organizations. Regardless of whether you run a product-based or service-based enterprise, you cannot build and run a business without a product development team, which is further led by a product manager.

How else do you expect to build a platform that your prospects can use to buy your offerings?

So product management followed by development is the reason organizations exist, operate, and scale up. It’s evident why you need to hire deeply experienced and talented product managers. This becomes even more vital in today’s landscape when technology is evolving rapidly alongside the growing competition.

But how do you source quality product management candidates? What does it take to ensure hiring the top candidates while filling your product manager roles? How can you get started with hiring a product manager?

We discuss the answers to each of these and more in this blog. Stick around to know the ins and outs of hiring a product manager.

What is The Role of a Product Manager?

A product manager is someone who can carry the responsibility of developing a new or an existing product. At a ground level, a product manager is expected to make the most optimal usage of available resources, and design and implement a product development strategy to fulfill the market needs by building valuable products.

Product managers break down complex industrial problems to solve them holistically. From functional requirements to user experience, business, and tech suitability – planning and implementing each aspect of the product is owned by them. 

As product managers cover the product lifecycle and are accountable for the outcomes, you need to deeply understand the nuances of this role to be able to hire the right talent. A product manager should have crystal clear answers to:

  •  What are the primary problems the product solves?
  • Why is there a need for such a product in the market?
  • Who are they solving the problem for? 
  • How are they going to execute the strategy? 

Product management is a completely adaptive role and candidates will need to show resilience as different businesses have varying needs. Additionally, a product manager does not always work on the same project or product. The ownership of the products varies,  

So if you’re looking to hire quality product managers, you must take all of the variables into consideration.  

How to Hire a Product Manager: Step-By-Step 

By now, you know about the generic role of a product manager and the core factors to be kept in mind for a comprehensive analysis. To get started with sourcing and recruiting candidates for product management roles, you need to create a step-by-step action plan.

Before we dive into the recruitment funnel, you need to ensure that you have the role defined in advance. Having the roles and responsibilities explicitly defined helps your hiring process in numerous ways. 

When you have an immediate understanding of business needs and the technicalities of the role, it significantly boosts your recruiting efficiency and helps reduce the friction in collaborative decisions.

Step 1: Analyze the Role Requirements and Outline Your Recruiting Process

Study the previously defined job roles and requirements thoroughly. At a broader level, product managers are required to lead all product initiatives successfully. When you dive deep, you will find the most important responsibilities of a product manager:

  • Find a product-market fit for the problems being assigned to them
  • Create a product hypothesis and validate it 
  • Drive product strategies with data-based decisions and insights.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams and lead the product towards execution
  • Define and track relevant business objectives 

Prior to sourcing and recruiting candidates, recruiters and hiring managers should know what they expect from the candidate and the recruiting process. Create a document with your entire recruitment journey outlined – it can be really valuable for your entire team. 

As the hiring continues, the document should be continuously updated with new strategies, channels of recruiting, and other valuable insights with time.     

Step 2: Set Up Your Expectations  

Not all product managers would be great with customer experience (CX), and similarly not all the selected candidates would be qualified enough for leading the platform development or the tech part. Additionally, degrees in product management don’t matter as much as experience and deep knowledge about a particular vertical. 

Further, the requirements of a product manager in startups are considerably different from that of a product manager in enterprises. For larger organizations, specialized candidates are required. For example - If a multi-national IT firm is hiring a product manager, the expectations in terms of the experience of a specific stream would be extensive – between 5-15 years.

Step 3: Decide on the Qualification Criteria

Next up is the qualification criteria for candidates. As you’re looking for a product manager who can also own the entire product effectively, you should check if the philosophy and style of working match expectations.

It’s vital to set up the right qualification criteria for hiring product managers. Some skills required for all product managers include:

  • Valuable product instincts  
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Leadership and team-building skills

The most important qualification requirements for a product manager are:

  • Strong technical background
  • Master’s degree in the relevant field
  • Experience in building, shipping, and transforming products

Not to forget – there will always be unique business-specific requirements which you would need to take care of.

Step 4: Create a Product Manager Job Description

The primary roles of a product manager are analyzing customer needs, helping businesses to build the right product, and then supporting them to sell it. Additionally, providing the right leadership and setting up product vision also come under the product manager’s responsibilities. 

In a majority of organizations, product management involves multiple roles as per the industry and the growth stage.

  • Various Product Roles: A business has numerous problems to solve which are not limited to one stream only. For example - an e-commerce platform cannot be run effectively with only tech product managers. 

Different roles include product manager, product marketing manager, and product owner. 

  • Product management activities: For a business to prosper, the activities that should ideally be taking place for managing and growing products – can be distributed into three parts:
  • Inbound management activities: ensuring the product delivery.
  • Strategic Product activities: finding the right product for your business.
  • Outbound management activities: helping businesses in proactively selling the product.

Product Manager Job Description Template

Role

A Product Manager is accountable for the planning and execution of products throughout the product life cycle. This includes defining the product vision and collaborating closely with engineering, sales, marketing, and support to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction goals are met. The product manager also makes sure that the product advances the broader strategy and objectives of the business.

Qualifications

Degree in Business Administration, Management, Computer Science, Engineering, Marketing, Economics, or a related field

Responsibilities

  • Work with other parties to evaluate joint venture and licensing options
  • Utilize prototypes and early-stage products in beta and pilot programs
  • Become a leader within the organization
  • Learn about the elements of the product line and its potential effects on the market as a whole
  • Plan and define the product strategy across cross-functional teams
  • Send out MRDs and PRDs with a prioritized feature list and an explanation for each
  • Study consumer needs, current market trends, current competitor offerings and potential partnerships
  • Coordinate launch activities with consumer buying trends
  • Develop sales tools and collateral

Requirements

  • Proven capacity to create product and marketing strategies and to make suggestions to executive management in an efficient manner
  • Solid technical background with knowledge of practical expertise in web technologies and software development
  • Proven product management or associate product manager experience
  • Practical experience in product design, testing, or development
  • Experienced in overseeing every phase of a successful product throughout its lifecycle

Soft Skills

  • Excellent teamwork skills
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Skilled at working effectively with cross functional teams 
  • Excellent time-management skills
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Strong problem solving skills and a willingness to roll up one’s sleeves to get the job

Bonus

  • Prior experience in software and web development
  • Knowledge of SEM and online advertising


Step 5: Create an Attractive Job Post

Job posts are nothing but the advertisements for your job openings. As it’s the primary way through which you will be attracting candidates, your job post should be tailored to draw the attention of top talent. 

  • Highlight why the role of product manager stands out in your organization among all the competitors.
  • Start with an introduction. Briefly describe the pay range, perks, benefits, expectations, and responsibilities of the role.
  • Highlight the company vision and mission stating why candidates generally want to work there
  • Convey the application process clearly – include the type of assessments and interview rounds.

Step 6: Finalize the Job Portals for Hiring a Product Manager

This step is one of the most important parts of hiring a product manager. The platforms and job boards you post your jobs on define the quality of talent you will attract applications from.

Here are the top job portals for product managers:

  • LinkedIn: The most popular platform for sourcing and recruiting candidates, hiring PMs from LinkedIn can be done through job posts and outbound recruitment or passive sourcing.
  • Glassdoor: One of the most influential employee reviewing platforms for companies all around the world, Glassdoor can be significantly useful for hiring quality product managers.
  • Product School: Another amazing job posting destination specialized in hiring graduates.
  • Product Hired: Apart from the popular job board with good product management applications, the platform also allows you to share job posts with the community and social channels. 
  • Mind the Product: A community-based job board, Mind the Product is an exclusive community where you can find out the product management talent you seek.

Things to Keep in Mind While Recruiting Product Managers

In addition to the core recruitment process your organization follows while hiring product managers, you must consider a few recruiting tips. The following pointers consist of the top 5 expert tips for the recruitment process: 

  1. The candidates you shortlist must be passionate problem-solvers who love playing around with complex problems.
  2. Analyze the candidate’s ability to adapt to multiple role requirements
  3. Gauge their building and shipping experience
  4. Check the candidate’s technical background
  5. Make decisions based on product instincts and creativity

Accelerate Your Hiring for Product Manager with Nurturebox 

Are you tired of the conventional job posting approach which now attracts more unqualified candidates than ever? Do you often struggle to close quality candidates through job posts even after spending on ads?

If your answer to any of the questions is a yes, passive candidate sourcing can be an optimal solution for hiring top product management candidates.

Nurturebox is a one-stop talent sourcing and engagement platform which is powered by automation. Here’s how you can source product managers from LinkedIn using Nurturebox:

  • Install the Nurturebox Chrome plugin and sign up.
  • On your LinkedIn profile, start sourcing product managers with boolean searches stating the required experience from targeted locations and including other criteria
  • Add the qualified candidates to your sourcing campaign pipeline with just a click
  • Automate the candidate engagement through email, Whatsapp and LinkedIn direct messages for reaching out and nurturing candidates at scale.  

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