A junior product manager is responsible for supporting the product manager in developing and launching new products. They often interact with data, customers, and other stakeholders to get inspired with new ideas and ways to improve the product suite.
While it’s an exciting time to hire more people onto your team, some wonder if it’s the right time to take the plunge and hire a junior product manager. After all, they aren’t seen as a need compared to a senior product manager or product owner. However, there are a lot of benefits to expanding your product team.
When to hire a junior product manager?
Responsibilities of product management entry-level employees can vary slightly depending on the needs of an organization. Technical skills may be required for some jobs, while others are willing to teach them on the job.
Regardless of what your organization decides is best, here are some main responsibilities that are usually associated with junior product managers:
- Collaborating with product team members to define the product vision and product strategy
- Researching the target market and buyer persona
- Speaking to customers to gather feedback
- Developing the product roadmap and product requirements
- Analyzing data for problems and potential solutions
- Working with other departments to ensure product deadlines are met
- Preparing for product launches
6 skills to look for in a jr product manager
Excellent communication skills are necessary since junior product managers frequently interact with stakeholders. They may need to communicate between the software engineering team and marketing managers, present to upper management to pitch new features or functionality, or interview customers about their user experience. Candidates need to have written and verbal communication skills.
One hard skill that may benefit your organization is project management. The ability to lead a team through tasks and meet deadlines is critical to ensuring product development happens on time. You may also want to look for other hard skills like market research or development experience.
Willing to learn
An entry-level position like a junior product manager means that candidates will have a lot to learn. You should gauge a candidate’s willingness to learn from others and gain new skills. This will help ensure their success in their role while also helping to build the company’s goals overall.
Junior product managers have to have excellent decision-making skills. You want a candidate that has the confidence to make their own decisions without needing input on every little aspect of a project. Product managers often have to justify decisions they make and this is a necessary skill. For example, product managers may need to present why a feature should be built over another feature and present why they made that decision.
It may be beneficial to have a junior product manager that understands the business, industry, marketing, sales, and more. This kind of knowledge will empower junior managers to discover problems and provide solutions within the organization.
Creativity and innovation
While not easily quantifiable, junior product managers need creativity and innovation in their roles. An organization’s product suite often needs updating or new products. Having a junior manager that’s not afraid to be different and come up with new ideas is a huge asset to your company.
4 tips to write a junior product manager job description
Sometimes it’s a little daunting to create a job description for a new or revamped role. It’s important to consult with managers to determine what job responsibilities will fall on junior product managers before you begin writing. Here are 4 other tips to consider when writing a job description.
Choose a clear job title
Clever titles seem like fun, but you may miss out on prime candidates if they don’t understand the job title. Choose a job title that easily portrays what position you are trying to fill within your company. This will make it easier for job seekers to find you on search engines or get a job alert.
Describe the projects & work environment
At this point, you need to entice someone to work for you. If you want ideal candidates, you can’t put out a virtual “We’re hiring!” sign and expect it to be good enough. It’s time to describe the day-to-day life of a junior product manager at your organization. Answer questions about what type of projects they would be working on, who would they be working with, and what makes your company a great place to work.
List the skills needed
Make a thorough list of the skills a person would need to succeed as a junior product manager. While you could ask your current product manager for what skill set they would need, you can also review this list of skills:
- Analysis skills: Junior product managers often analyze data for industry trends, customer interactions, and sales performance. Product analysis is a key skill that is necessary for junior product managers.
- Collaboration skills: Junior team members often work with a variety of stakeholders, including senior management, cross-functional teams, and each other. The ability to collaborate with others will help build products.
- Sales and marketing skills: Since product managers often have responsibility for product positioning, they must understand marketing and sales. This skill set will help product management create products that stand out in the marketplace.
- Organizational skills: Junior product managers may often need project management skills to ensure they meet deadlines and launch products on time.
Don’t forget job requirements
There may be a few *must-haves* on your wishlist, and you shouldn’t forget to add them to your job description. Consider adding job requirements like:
- Education: What type of education or degree does a candidate need? You may want to consider possible majors like business administration or software development. Alternatively, you could widen the job applicant pool by asking for equivalent experience instead of a bachelor’s degree.
- Experience: This is a junior role and applicants may have limited experience. You may want them to list out any experience in areas like business analysis or project management.
What is the average junior product manager salary?
The median junior product manager’s salary is $69,832. Keep in mind that this is for a full-time entry-level position. After a few years of experience, product managers expect an increase and can earn a median salary of $111,599. There’s a lot of growth potential in this field.
You should also remember that many factors could influence a salary. Some of these factors include location, living expenses, experience, and industry. Depending on your organization, you may want to consider these factors before hiring a junior product manager.
For example, New York organizations may need to pay a higher salary than organizations in Kansas. Living expenses in New York can be a lot higher, and a salary should reflect the quality of living.
Key Takeaways about junior product manager jobs
Whether it’s your first junior product manager or your second hire for this position, it’s important to accurately portray the job and its responsibilities. This will ensure that you attract the right candidates and find the perfect fit for the junior product manager position.
Knowing which skills you may need will help you write the job description, conduct an interview, and eventually hire. You can still get competitive candidates for entry-level positions if you can show why someone should work for you.