How to Hire a Product Manager

Does your growing business need a product manager? Product managers work in conjunction with your development, marketing and sales teams to target consumer preferences for packaging, product features and functionality.

Here are some tips to help you find great product manager candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Product managers searching for jobs on Indeed*

158,203

Job seekers that clicked product manager jobs

22,751

Resumes for job seekers with product manager experience on Indeed

10,524

Product manager jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring product manager?

  • Common salary in US: $98,776 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $31,000$204,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, product manager jobs in the U.S. are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 15 job seekers per product manager job.

Why hire a product manager?

Your business needs are unique, and product managers are equally unique in terms of their expertise. Matching your product or service to the expertise of a product manager candidate is extremely important. A great product manager hire can help your business:

• Research, design, test and launch new products or services that best meet the needs of new or existing customers
• Establish and monitor KPIs for product performance
• Create a roadmap and define specifications for releasing new features

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance product manager

There are a couple of reasons why a business might look into hiring a freelance product manager. For one, a freelance product manager could act as a temporary consultant regarding one of the company’s newer products. They can give their advice on the company’s target audience and the projected success of the product. A company could also hire a freelance product manager in an interim capacity while searching for a full-time hire. 

Companies that consistently plan, develop and launch new products should have at least one full-time product manager on their payroll. The product manager can provide insight into the community’s needs for the company’s products. 

What are the ranks of product managers?

In the product management field, there are a few positions that are organized into a clear chain of command. These positions include:

  • Junior/associate product manager: Junior and associate product managers fill a similar role. They’re both entry-level positions, and they assist senior product managers with their daily activities. 
  • Product manager: A product manager is often responsible for examining the needs of the community, communicating it to upper management and predicting the success of specific products. Their day-to-day duties may differ depending on the type of company they work for. 
  • Senior product manager: A senior product manager performs the same duties as a regular product manager, but they have the additional responsibility of mentoring junior product managers. 
  • Head of product: The head of product oversees the daily operation of the product management team. They manage the team’s budget, make major decisions regarding the department and delegate responsibilities to senior product managers. 
  • Chief product officer: The chief product officer is the top rung of the product ladder. They develop the department’s strategy and have the final say in any relevant decisions made. 

Where to find product managers

To find the right product manager for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote from within. Speak with your senior product managers to gauge the level of skill in your junior and associate product managers. If any of them seem ready to move up to the product manager position, conduct interviews to make a final decision.
  • Post help wanted flyers. Hanging up signs in the community can let people know the position is available and convince them to submit an application. 
  • Look online. Some established product managers may be searching for work online. Reach out to any quality candidates to set up meetings. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your product manager job on Indeed to find and attract quality product manager candidates.

What are the ranks of product managers?

In the product management field, there are a few positions that are organized into a clear chain of command. These positions include:

  • Junior/associate product manager: Junior and associate product managers fill a similar role. They’re both entry-level positions, and they assist senior product managers with their daily activities. 
  • Product manager: A product manager is often responsible for examining the needs of the community, communicating it to upper management and predicting the success of specific products. Their day-to-day duties may differ depending on the type of company they work for. 
  • Senior product manager: A senior product manager performs the same duties as a regular product manager, but they have the additional responsibility of mentoring junior product managers. 
  • Head of product: The head of product oversees the daily operation of the product management team. They manage the team’s budget, make major decisions regarding the department and delegate responsibilities to senior product managers. 
  • Chief product officer: The chief product officer is the top rung of the product ladder. They develop the department’s strategy and have the final say in any relevant decisions made. 

Writing a product manager job description

A thoughtful job description can help boost the likelihood of finding qualified product manager candidates. A well-written product manager job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your product manager job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on product manager jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Product manager
  • Associate product manager
  • Product owner
  • Manager
  • Product management
  • Product development
  • MBA
  • Technical product manager
  • Information technology
  • Marketing

Interviewing product manager candidates 

Strong candidates for product manager positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Product design and manufacturing 
• Their process for new product releases and product upgrades
• The most important KPIs for product development and launch

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of product manager interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a product manager

When should I hire a product manager?

Your company should consider hiring a product manager when it grows to the point where the start-up team can’t perform those responsibilities anymore. 

How long does it take to hire a product manager?

The process of recruiting, interviewing, screening and hiring a product manager can take an average of one to one and a half months

How do I choose between two quality product manager candidates?

If you can’t choose between two candidates, take a look at the success of the products they’ve previously worked on. This may give you some insight into the quality of work they’ll do for you. 

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