Specified Candidate Pools for Hiring Product Managers
29 March, 2020
Product Manager at Google (YouTube)
Founders and co-founders of startups are known to wear many hats. Depending on how your team is segmented you may find that you are the only person in a certain department. Perhaps you are in charge of designing products, building product roadmaps, and also being the head of products. You, therefore, are the only person in product. Depending on how involved you want to remain, there will usually come a time when you want to onboard experienced managers into your organization so that you can focus on other areas. When specifically looking for a new product manager, what is the best approach to finding the right candidate for that position?
Niche Hackathons: You can find interesting people who want to explore and commit to your indicated domain at these events. Understand who the participants are and use the network that they have to spread the word from there. I recommend cold emailing the organizers of the hackathon event and asking if you can blast out a notice for hire on their monthly newsletter. You could also leverage trustworthy promoters and product hunters. Simply ask them if they are interested in a product management position or if they know of anyone who is. Competitors: I've always had very fruitful results from finding and private mailing competitors. I inform them that we are looking for people. I then boast about their network and explain that due to their network they probably have interested product experts. If they can point me to anyone I would be very grateful to them. Surprisingly, people are usually more than happy to help.
- Look for someone who is not only great at product but who also has a deep passion for the mission that you stand by.
- It's very valuable to have someone on your team who has worked with products before. So if you are contemplating doing the work yourself (especially if you are swamped with other tasks), or hiring somebody, I suggest bringing on board a seasoned product manager who will also bring a systematic way of doing things.
- Bringing on a product manager does not preclude you from being the head of product who sets the overall strategy and roadmap. You can still have strategic input while someone else manages all of the products.
Tim Barnes, Senior Engineering Manager at Instacart, believes that you can retain employees by spending time soft-selling you and your company’s brand before you begin the hiring process.
Senior Engineering Manager at Instacart
Rushil Goel, VP of Product at Samsara, wanted to build a product team to help scale their company. In this process, they realized they would be able to create a career ladder and fully establish teams and ICs that would be able to help them reach their aggressive growth goals.
VP Product at Samsara
Jon Fan, VP of Product at Box, advocates for viewing customers with a wide-aperture and resolves that having someone who can analyze data on your product team can help you do so.
VP Product at Box
Jon Fan, VP of Product at Box, shares his simplified four area rubric creation for product managers, using it as a career development template and performance evaluation mechanism.
VP Product at Box
Juan Fortunato, General Manager and Senior Director of Product at QuanticMind, explains how product managers should position themselves as leaders of their teams without trying to match the technical skills of other experts on the team.
Senior Director of Product and Engineering / GM Argentina at QuanticMind