Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hiring a Product Manager for IT product Development companies

(I am looking for Product Managers for IT companies. If you are one among them Please contact me) Anybody can become a Product Manager!!!! I was surprised at this statement when someone answered one of the questions in Product Manager's Conclave that was held last week n 19-Sep-2010 at IIM-B campus. I was part of the conclave and was keenly observing the forum and other panel discussion. With what ever I heard in the conclave and whatever I have experienced, I would like to discuss some tips to hire Product Managers for your company. The hiring for Big companies like Yahoo or Google is different from hiring for a startup. Having said this let me first tell you who is a Product Manager?
As defined in Wikipedia : "A product manager investigates, selects, develops, products for an organisation, performing the activity of product management.A product manager considers numerous factors such as intended demographic, the products offered by the competition, and how well the product fits in with the company's business model. Generally, a product manager manages one or more tangible products. However, the term may be used to describe a person who manages intangible products, such as music, information, and services.
Someone said in the conclave that Product Managers are those who take the position of a CEO who eventually have the biggest role to play. They interact with many stakeholders before they launch a product. On a daily basis , they deal with
1. Customer aspirations
2. Sales and Marketing team
3. The Techies
4. Business Consultants
5. The board of directors
6. Of course the shareholder's aspirations. Is it not so ?

Let us see some of those tips and process I followed to hire Product Managers for my employer.
1. Out-Of-Box-thinking : So how do you gauge a candidate if he or she is good at OOBT ? Before interviewing a candidate prepare yourself well with questions and try to figure out some logical questions or some problem solving questions . You can throw open the questions to the candidate and see his approach to find a logical solution.
2. Past Experience : Past experience is a gateway for future success. I would hire someone who has shipped a product in his past assignment. It would be easy for me to assess his skills and motivation levels if he had worked in a similar environment.
3. Look for the competencies : It is better to have the competency list handy and rate the interviewing candidate. The best practice is ask for self assessment and then rate the candidate taking the feedback from other panelists too.

4. Ask questions : If  you ask right questions , you get right answers. You need to organize yourself with questions to get the right answers and also create a platform to get different view points from the candidate. The more he thinks, the more your company get benefited.
5. Product Instinct : Without this piece of instinct which in combination with creativity makes a great product. Some are born with this instinct and it is very difficult to measure. Take time in your interview process and identify if the candidate has an instinct to develop new ideas and products.
6 Source from Social media : You can get in touch with these PM's in social media websites and start interacting with them proactively. Who knows you may hire him one day.
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