How to find and recruit a good product manager? Ken Norton, head of product at Google, offers six lessons from his career. I've been in charge of recruiting at startups for a while, and there's a big difference between recruiting at a startup and a big bulk sms service company. At Yahoo Search, we seem to be hiring consistently. I need to have 5-8 interviews a week. Starting over, interviewing, and making offers never stop. Now, I no longer often work as a recruiting executive. I only hired a handful of product managers during that time. But someone has been hiring product managers, and I've bulk sms service been on the interview panel. The first thing you should know is that big companies are specialized, and startups are a small part of everyone doing everything, so you need a strong generalist.
What's more, because it's hard to predict the future, you need people who are adaptable. You might think you're hiring someone to do a certain job, when that bulk sms service particular thing might change in a few months. In big companies, things don't work that way, usually when you're hiring, you have a very specific role in mind, and the odds of that role changing are low. Lots of people being hired by Yahoo might not be a good fit for a startup. I recall a lot of post-interview conversations like, "Okay, I'm not sure they're the perfect candidate, but they seem to be a good fit for this specific bulk sms service role, so let's hire them." This might be It works, but this is something that a startup company cannot even think about. I started my career as an engineer and quickly progressed as a manager.
During the bubble period, I probably hired over a hundred engineers. I learned a lot about recruiting by making mistakes, and when I transitioned into a bulk sms service product manager I was able to apply the experience of recruiting techies while also learning a whole new lesson. A friend called me last week to say he wanted to hire a product manager and wanted my opinion. I just found out that there is a dearth of quality information about hiring product managers (and a lack of quality information about product managers in general). Product Manager is probably the only position that an bulk sms service organization lacks that still works well (at least for a while). Nothing can be built without engineers. Without a salesperson, nothing would be sold. Without a designer, the product looks crappy. But in a world without product managers,