March 20

Hiring the best product people

One key to having successful products is having the right product people on your team. So can you just post an ad on one of the multitudes of job sites and wait for the best of the best to immediately submit their resumes? Uh, no. Hiring the best product people takes some forethought and intentional action. Take a look at what people with experience hiring product people found works for them.

The secret sauce for hiring great product people. James Gadsby Peet recaps a talk by Kate Leto where she examines the importance of emotional intelligence in individuals and teams and asks how it can be used to make better hiring decisions. Kate explains that emotional intelligence is more important than any of the technical skills you use in your roles. If you want to build greater emotional intelligence into your product teams, then you need to design your hiring processes to look for it.

(via @gadsby, @kleto)

Hiring product managers? Here are 8 places to share your listing. Augmenting your team with additional product management talent is a tough task because evaluating product managers is more of an art than a science. In addition to crafting the right product manager interview questions, you need to find your candidates first. You need to be selective while casting a wide net and then scrutinize your haul for the cream of the crop. With that in mind, Kristen Shierholt suggests some great places to specifically identify product management talent.

(via @ProductPlan)

How Braze hires product managers. “Hiring is the lifeblood of a technology company. Software has relatively little overhead, making great people one of the most important assets to the business. Particularly when scaling, bringing the right staff into an organization is a critical task.” Kevin Wang has learned a lot over the years about hiring product managers at Braze. While their hiring approach is hardly revolutionary, Kevin thought there is value in explicitly describing Braze’s process (and the reasoning behind it) so that you can adopt elements you might find valuable.

(via @Braze)

6 Tactics LinkedIn’s product team used to cut Its time to hire in half. A year ago, the hiring process for LinkedIn’s Product team was inconsistent and suboptimal. Bruce Anderson describes how LinkedIn overhauled the number and nature of the interviews and revised the training and evaluation of interviewers. These actions allowed them to cut time to approve hires in half. If you feel your hiring process is too unruly or unpredictable, you may find the tactics that LinkedIn used helpful.

(via @hireonlinkedin)

What Marc Abraham learned about hiring product people.  Marc Abraham has interviewed and hired several product managers over the course of his career. All of that experience has given him some insight into how to find the right product manager for your organization and its specific challenges. Those insights include going into the interview process with a good job description and exploring how candidates answer specific problems by discussing scenarios.

(via @MAA1)

Kent J McDonald

About the author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft with a variety of product teams and provides just in time resources for product people at and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.


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