Hiring TIPS


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Moneyball for Hiring Product Managers

When Benjamin F. Wirtz talks to founders, product leaders, and recruiters they all declare that hiring Product Managers is hard. During these discussions two common myths are cited to explain why hiring product managers is hard: “there are just not a lot of them”, and “it seems to be difficult to find the right fit.” Benjamin suggests that there are plenty of product managers out there, but they often get incorrectly screened out due to three job spec requirements. Those requirements: “someone who is technical, understands the industry and has some actual PM experience” represent an imperfect understanding of what makes product managers successful in their role. In this post, Benjamin explains why “Your goal shouldn’t be to hire Product Managers, your goal should be to hire someone that helps your team ship value at a higher rate.” (via @benfwirtz)

How to hire product managers

The field of product management has changed considerably over the past decade and is still in flux. As a result, organizations often struggle to find product management candidates, which makes it hard for candidates to understand what organizations are looking for. Poornima Vijayashanker talked to Jeana Alayaay to help you get a better understanding of the product management hiring landscape. In this discussion, they cover how to communicate what you are looking for in a candidate, how to build a pipeline of candidates, and how to train recruiters to help you screen candidates. (via @poornima)

Hiring product managers: lessons learned from three years of scaling the team

Over the past five years, Galina Ryzhenko has conducted over 500 interviews and has learned several lessons. In this post, Galina explains why hiring great people is like a marathon, what she looks at when hiring people, and how she has refined the hiring process to make it efficient and friendly. The ideas in this post are helpful for candidates and hiring managers alike. (via @usejournal)

7 Tips for hiring a great product manager

The folks at ProductPlan work closely with product executives around the world. In their discussions with those leaders, they’ve gleaned some insights about what traits product executives value in product managers and what skills and characteristics they look for when they’re hiring a product manager. Shaun Juncal thought you might benefit from hearing what people who hire product managers have told his team over the years about the traits they’re most interested in when it’s time to find a new PM. And if you’re someone looking for your next product role, this advice will help you, just reverse-engineer it. (via @shaunjuncal)

How to hire great product managers

In Cracking the PM Interview, Jackie Bavaro wrote a lot about interviewing from the candidate’s perspective. She thought it was time to flip that around and share some of her tips for the person doing the hiring, starting with how you interview. Here are some of the top things Jackie learned throughout her years both as an interviewer at Asana and Google and as a hiring manager at Asana. (via @jackiebo)

5 Steps to building a great product management organization

“A reality of Product Management teams is that they are usually relatively small, particularly when compared to larger departments such as Engineering, Marketing or Sales.  And perhaps it is because these teams are small, that not much thought is given to how to best structure them.” Saeed Khan argues that product management’s focus is on business success and therefore it’s to your organization’s benefit to have a well structured, scalable and properly staffed product management team. With that in mind, he shares 5 steps to building a great product management organization. (via @saeedwkhan)

The power of the elastic product team — Airbnb’s first PM on how to build your own

“Airbnb’s very first product manager and now Director of Product knows that flexibility can get you far in his line of work. Last year, it even got him to Cuba.” In this interview with the First Round Review, Jonathan Golden “describes how to build high-impact, modular teams driven by actual needs. He walks through the decision-making framework that he uses to allocate the hottest of commodities: engineers. And he explains why — when everyone is working toward a clear company objective — having teams that expand and contract actually keeps you aligned.” (via @firstround@jpgg)

How to build a product team from the inside out

It’s easy to see hiring as a cure to many scaling ills. Most organizations that start hiring to build out the product team have not exhausted the potential on their current team. They’re missing a huge opportunity right in front of them.” Youngna Park explains that when you grow your product team from within, you get a set of highly experienced people helping the next generation. Youngna reflects on her experience with Tinybop to show that while growing your team from within is harder and requires more effort, it also helps you build a fundamentally stronger team in the long-run. (via @tinybop)

When and how to start scaling your product team

“So your organization is growing, your products are becoming more complex, and you’ve got more customers demanding your attention and new functionalities. Congratulations! These are all good things, but they can stress product teams that haven’t kept up with the rest of their organization’s growth. It’s important to recognize when it’s time to scale up and think big, which is not always easy for product management leaders that have been running lean and mean since the early days of proofs-of-concept and MVPs.” Heather McCloskey provides some advice for when and how to start scaling your product team. She starts by identifying the key moments when growing the team is no longer optional and then describes a few things to remember when scaling your product team. (via @HJMCCLOSKEY@UserVoice)

When is it time to scale the product team?

“The need to add product management resources probably means your product is succeeding. But, it also means you may be struggling to give your products the strategic attention and expertise they need to continue growing.” Andre Theus addresses some observable signs it’s time to think about hiring. He also discusses a few common product milestones when it might make sense to hire and he suggests a few things to do before scaling your product team. (via @atheus)