Software developers continue to be among the most wanted in today’s job market, and that has made hiring great ones very hard. But as development continues to boom, there is another talent pool heating up: product management.
Launching a successful product takes more than simply building one. With so many new and powerful products for sale, finding success is growing as hard as finding talent. Product management is a role exclusively focused on ensuring a company’s products are successful. The role is generally less technical but no less important, and while some product managers may be HTML5 and MongoDB masters, most aren’t. The skills that make a great product manager aren’t so clear-cut, and many applicants aren’t up to the task. So how do you find a great product manager? Here are three key traits to look for:
An insatiable appetite and curiosity for learning is essential. No matter what industry or vertical your company may target, curious product managers will always be asking questions, and in doing so, they’ll find insights that no one else will. Keeping a fresh perspective and always wanting to know more is critical to sussing out the root customer problem behind what might otherwise merely be symptoms.
Building great product requires not just curiosity but also humility. A product manager who thinks he knows more than the development team or the customer is doomed to fail. Great product managers must lead from the front, not command from the back, and be willing to do everything necessary to help the teams they work with build a product that delights customers. Great product managers aren’t afraid of labeling themselves “janitors”.
Product managers should do all of the above but, most importantly, they should do so without losing sight of what’s most important: understanding and solving the customer’s problems. Without customer empathy, a product manager won’t be able to understand the true nature nor magnitude of a customer’s problem and pains. And without that perspective, it will be impossible to deliver to market a product that solves a real problem — and one that a customer would be willing to pay to solve. Importantly, given that they are not people leaders, product managers must lead by influence and not order, and empathy is essential in doing so.
Finding great product management talent along with IT in general is getting increasingly difficult, but that’s where we come in. We can help you find the resource you need whether it be contract, contract to hire or permanent. Contact us today for more information.
Leave a Reply