How to hire Product Managers
Hiring PMs is crazy hard. It has always been, but lately it’s on 🔥. From remote becoming a “thing”, to the digital acceleration caused by the pandemic, PM talent is some the scarcest resource out there.
But even scarcer is the understanding of companies on how to recruit them. Most companies make the usual mistakes:
- Mass Linkedin message everyone with the same cookie-cutter message (or automated bots sending that emoji first name 😂)
- Getting talent/HR teams to source candidates
- Taking too long to answer (we know, you have 100’s of applicants…)
- Long processes, with opaque information on what matters
This☝️is what makes you lose talent that, honestly, has way more demand than it needs.
If you have a great company, an amazing mission, really smart people, and big challenges, then talented people could be missing out because you’re screwing up your process. Here are some tips on hiring Product Managers and getting them through a process that tips the balance towards you:
1. Use your dream-sellers to reach out. CEOs/VPs/Directors usually get higher conversion. Their job is telling stories. Seems expensive, but it’s cheaper than not hiring.
2. Invest in the message. First impressions say everything. Include mission, team, challenges, salary range, and why this person seems right.
3. Move your calendar to get sessions quicker. Make yourself free for candidates, instead of candidates finding the time. Velocity matters.
4. Do a full-stack process: get candidates meeting all tech-functional areas. It’s also a great way to get diverse feedback.
5. Ask candidates who they would like to interview. Often they had past conflicts. This helps clear their mind.
6. If you need to test technical knowledge, choose work-sessions over challenges. Helps testing future team chemistry.
7. Speed up decision making by interviewers feedback async. Quick processes get the best talent.
8. Get the hiring manager deciding, not a consensus debriefing. Seems obvious, but it’s less common than you think.
9. If you start getting enough “maybes”, then it’s a “no”. Save your time, and the candidates time. Give feedback that will make them do better next time.
10. Get the hiring manager making the offer not HR/People-team. It’s a relationship: start it the right way.
I personally believe this applies to anyone in the tech scene. Wouldn’t you like to have your own hiring process go this way?
The best missions need the best people. The best people are rarely working in the best missions. Let’s get these matched up the right way.