Best practice, tips, and tricks

Finding a new good product manager can be a challenging task. And, it can take a lot of time and effort to go through the recruitment process.

If you’re new to this or have taken on many product managers in the past, we think this webinar can help.

In this recording, Chris Mason, co-founder of the recruitment agency Intelligent People, provides best practice advice and tips to use throughout the hiring process.

Chris breaks the process into three stages:

1. Before hiring

Before you start, you need to think about:

  • How to prepare for the hiring process and attract top talent?
  • What’s the sell for the candidate – why should they be interested in you?
  • Can you promote from within?
  • What does non-fit mean, and why should you be considering it as an option?

Some tips…

Before the hiring process begins, look at the candidate pool open-mindedly. For example, consider looking outside of just the people who work in the same industry as you or who are already product managers, which can significantly increase the pool of potential candidates.

Even though you’re looking to take someone on to help you and your business, hiring needs to be a two-way relationship. You have to sell to them. Why should a product manager join your business? How does your company’s culture fit their values? How can they achieve their goals if they join your business?

There is a saying that it’s the best people who leave first. It takes so much time and effort to get a product manager recruited and performing that you should always consider innovative ways of hanging on to your good people. Most companies have annual salary reviews, but when the market is ‘hot,’ your product managers’ heads are turned by big salaries from other companies. Reducing the salary review cycle to 6 months or giving interim bonuses may be wise.

2. During the hiring process

As you go through the hiring process, you need to think about:

  • How to make the process efficient, effective, and inclusive?
  • Being sure you’re clear on what you’re looking for?
  • How do you create and structure your product management interview questions?

Some tips…

A hiring plan is vital to ensure you’re clear on what you’re looking for in an ideal candidate. It also helps you confirm you have the correct stakeholders involved and everyone is clear on their role in the hiring process.

During this stage, it’s crucial not to make assumptions about experience based on a CV alone. There’s a ton of conflicting advice regarding what makes a good CV. If a candidate hasn’t amplified the information you’ve been seeking but is a ‘maybe,’ it’s worth considering progressing them to the interview stage to delve further into their background and skillset.

And when you do begin interviewing, you need to feel comfortable with your product management interview questions. Consider what competency you are trying to assess against, what’s important for the candidate to have as part of their skillset, and what type of individual you are looking for? Chris provides some great questions in the webinar.

Video is your friend. Since the pandemic, it’s acceptable that an online interview is a great starting point, given the convenience for you and the candidate. It’s a great way to have the initial interaction with a candidate and get a better feel for who they are, as well as putting a face to the name. Then, later in the recruitment process, it’s important to bring them in to see you face-to-face before you make your final decision.

3. Final stage

In the final stage, you need to think about:

  • Being clear on all the details of the offer, so a target candidate has all the information they need to make a decision
  • Building the relationship with the chosen candidate and creating some momentum
  • What the onboarding process will be

Some tips…

Chris gives tips on securing the candidate you want and getting them to sign on the dotted line.

Naturally, candidates will be nervous about joining a new business. Candidates don’t like uncertainty, so explaining the onboarding process, including how you will help them adjust to a new environment and how they can build a network and meet new people, can go a long way.

How to watch the webinar

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