How to hire product managers 


Employers and Human Resource Managers worldwide often are on the lookout for the best candidates who would contribute to the growth of the organisation.

Recognising the essentials and challenge to hire the right candidates to fill in the shoes to help grow their businesses and rise above the problems, they need to be diverse and inclusive.

When it comes to hiring a Product Manager, our thoughts and memory distinctly go towards the likes of Steve Jobs to fill in as a perfect Product Manager; someone who seem to possess an intuitive gift and remarkable skill sets to bridging gaps between different functions of the organization and achieve the set goals.

Before setting on the quest of looking out for the idle product managers at an interview setup, it is essential to rationalize and identify the ideal candidates beforehand. So, the question arises how do we do that?

With a vast majority of candidates and a diverse talent pool, bearing in mind a few points of the required skill set of this post is essential. The following information will provide you with a quick overview of How and what to look for when hiring a product manager.If and when you feel some guidance is required you check some project management training lot institute are offering these courses these days.

The most important thing to start of the search base is to identify and look for specific skill sets in the candidate:

  1. Vision and Understanding– A product manager should be able to understand the core of a product and messaging well and should be able to articulate his vision with clarity for the product.
  2. Leveraging a product strategy –A transparent thought process set with an approach thought through on the points like
  •   How does he plan to market and position the product?
  •   What target audience is he looking at tapping?
  •   How does he plan to address questions regarding the new product amidst competition?
  •   In case of a crisis with the original product functioning, what immediate solutions he bears in mind?
  •   What key features or key elements he looks to market?
  •   Explanation and planning of the brand, look and feel, etc. (depending on the product)
  •   Messaging of the product and messaging of the brand with it
  •   Highlighting products unique capabilities and its differentiators?
  •   The pricing strategy?
  •   Strategies to deal with the customers’ distinct viewpoint?
  1.   Leading to a collective decision making – Working with a significant core team is a challenge. A product manager must possess the qualities to balance and work along with all department people. He should be able to bridge gaps when it comes to working between different departments and sub-departments within the organization. He needs to be able to align all respective teams involved. Need to lead and make collective decisions alongside teams from the planning, marketing, and sales.
  2. Driving execution–This is as essential a skill and task that a Product Manager must know how to ace. Executing a bunch of ideas and activities requires a lot of planning and talent.

Working in a massive team with ideas and suggestions thrown at every step of the way, it is easy to deviate from the set plan and reaching the goal. A Product Manager must be good with his direction and leading a team to ensure the final product is executed well.

  1. Delivering the product – A Product Manager’s capability to provide a product as per expectation is of importance to a client and an organization.

It is an art to smoothly channel the processes and get everything in place to continuously round-up and follow-up on things to ensure the expectations are met to the utmost top standard. Often the execution and a delivery bit are where a Product Managers entire skillset is judged. When hiring a candidate.

It is essential to judge them on their understanding and vision and also how they plan on to leverage and execute their products to reach the most beautiful stage for delivery.

It was also essential to notice if the candidate has the potential to get the first work out from the collective bunch of talent he is working with. Few other aspects to see is how he is prepared to handle a product team, the stakeholders, and finally, the customers. It is a delicate chain in doing the product work as they all contribute to sustaining and using and creating a product.

The first and foremost vital skill is how the manager goes about harnessing his knowledge and guiding the team’s talent and reaches to the stage of decision making. A product manager may not necessarily hold absolute creative rights but is entirely responsible for weaving the ideas and bringing the efforts of the team by getting to a stage of presenting it to the customers.

Other skills to look out for when hiring a Product Manager:

  1.   Technical background – It is essential what experience the manager brings with him. If he is from a tech company or a creative company, his knowledge and sense of understanding an organization vision need to be married well.  The whole previous experience if matches to the current profile, makes working with the team and to know where they are coming from a lot easier.
  2. Entrepreneurial skills– If the candidate possesses any business management or entrepreneurial skills, then it is a big bonus as he completely understands and takes up a project with an ultimately business sense. Candidates who have managed something on their own as learning experience or on their own understand the nuances of the client. Understanding a client’s perspective is also essential to bring the product to an exact place as vision in the genesis of things.
  3. Finance Understanding – A Product manager who can manage and understand finances better brings a whole new addition to the table without depending on the accounts team entirely. They also understand the numbers game and how to generate profits with a particular product. The eye for finances is undoubtedly a considerable add on when it comes to a very competitive market and the transactional business an organization deal with.
  4. Communication and Social skills– It’s also crucial to understand your team and the people you work closely with. A good manager should come with a keen mindset to understand his people. Communicating with the team to understand their ideology and reasoning for a product is vital. Humans who are into corporate, leading businesses are complex machines. Getting through them and delivering work is as complicated a task. It is essential for any manager to be able to communicate and motivate people for them to work with him.

A Product manager also should be able to represent the company well in the industry. He would be the face of the product when communicating with the clients, stakeholders, consumers, media per say. He should able to resonate with the organization and be a mirror to their chore ethics and visions.

They are representing a whole bunch of ideas and handling the future of products worked hard upon. Understanding the candidate while interviewing and where they are coming from an where they plan to head with an organization is also essential.

A product, whether right or wrong can either make or break a company’s trust with the consumers and stakeholders. It is essential for a company to keep coming with the right ideas and executing them time and again.

A product is never stagnant; it always requires improvisation to keep the interest going and retaining consumers. A Product Manager should be capable of taking on all these challenges and also work around the failures of a product and proactively come up with solutions to bring a revolution in the business again.

It’s essential to bear in mind and figure if the candidate possesses these skill sets to take on the role of a Product Manager in your organization. All the best!