How to hire your first product manager
If you’re building a tech company, eventually you’ll need a product manager. This is not an “if”, it’s a “when”. To add on top, adding your first PM is excruciating because “where are they??”. Here are 3 recommendations to search for your first PM 👇
1. If you hired an engineering leader, ask for the best PM they worked with, and use that past relationship to lure them. There are few things as good as PM/Eng Lead chemistry to kickstart a trustworthy process.
2. Look for adjacent roles to your specific needs. If you have a consumer product, look for experienced marketing people. If you have a B2B product, look for experienced operations people. If you have a fintech product, look for experienced data people. Generally they bring orbital domain expertise, and they can ramp up quickly in product skills.
3. Find companies you admire OR that operate in your space, and try poaching one level down. If you want a PM, maybe going after an Associate PM can speed up the knowledge. If you’re looking for a Head of Product, search for a Senior / Principal / Staff PM. The title and responsibility kicker can help close the hire.
You can always opt for the most common approach: transition someone horizontally. There are 3 things a PM needs to understand: a) the product, b) the market, c) the discipline (product management). People already working at your company know a) and b), while outsiders might only know c). When transitioning internally, you only need to teach c).