What can you do before the hiring process to lead to better results within your product management recruitment strategy? Recruiting the best talent for your business is a hard task at the best of times – it’s timely, costly, and sometimes frustrating – and at the end of the process, you could lose your top candidate to a competitor.

As expert product management recruiters, we’ve complied a series of guides to pass on some best practise techniques for employers to use when hiring for product management positions. Within these guides, we’ve also included some areas you’ll need to consider more consciously than before, considering the current market. This guide covers the key areas to consider before the hiring process begins; listen to our webinar for more information on this and other stages of the recruitment process.

We are always here to support you with your recruitment needs, whether you’re looking for help to fill permanent, contract or executive search positions. Tell us about your hiring needs today.

Stage 1: Before the hiring process

This blog focuses on things you’ll need to take into consideration as a business / brand before the hiring process begins.

How can you make your business more attractive to candidates than your competitors? How do you engage a candidate from the very beginning? How can you get the upper hand from the get-go?

Taking the time to think about your company’s strategy in the below 4 areas will help you achieve the results you need.

Employer brand

Recent data released from the Office of National Statistics shows that UK job vacancies reached another record high in May, with the number of jobs available outstripping the number of candidates in the market.

What does that mean for you as an employer? It means it’s a candidate driven market, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon. It also means that any good candidate is likely to be in several interview processes at any one time, so your business needs to do everything possible to come out on top of the pile.

To do that, a business needs to focus on its employer brand and its employee value proposition. An EVP is defined as “what an organisation stands for, requires and offers as an employer.” This can be everything from salary, holiday entitlement, perks, performance related bonuses, and other benefits including flexible working, company cars, wellbeing incentives and health insurance.

Adding to that, are the results provided by Linkedin’s Winning Talent report:

  • 53% of candidates entirely rule out accepting a job offer from a company with a reputation of poor job security, poor leadership, and dysfunctional teams.
  • Negative opinions from past or current employees of the company are one of the top five reasons in which candidates look elsewhere.
  • No amount of money can tempt half of the UK workers to consider taking a role at a company with a poor employer brand.

So, getting your employer brand and EVP right are essential parts of your hiring (and retention) strategy. and should be considered before the hiring process begins. For a more in-depth look at employer brands and EVP’s, read our blog here.

Hiring for non-fit

‘The candidate had great experience, and came across really well in the interview, but we just don’t think they are the right culture fit’. We’ve all seen and heard this feedback before.

Diverse and inclusive hiring is currently a very hot topic, more so than ever before, with many product leaders now actively hiring for ‘non-fit’. What is the thinking behind this? The more diverse your product teams are, the more likely your teams will be representative of the market and product user base, therefore your teams will be able to make customer centric decisions and build a better product.

Is your company actively hiring for non-fit within product management roles? Could this be an area to explore further before the hiring process starts?

Gathering detailed information at brief stage

Whether you are using an external recruitment agency, like Intelligent People, or your internal resourcing team, it’s important to gather and define as much information on the role at briefing stage, before the hiring process starts.

This is so you can work on engaging candidates on the role and the business from the very first interaction, creating a positive first impression and buy-in to the brand.

Areas to consider showcasing to potential candidates are:

  • What is exciting about this role / why should a candidate be interested?
  • What does the product roadmap look like?
  • What does progression look like in this role?
  • Where will the candidate be in 1 year, 3 years and 5 years’ time?
  • What are the main objectives of the business and how can this candidate showcase their results?
  • What specific domain experience does the candidate need?
  • Is there a shortage of this type of domain experience in the market?
  • How would you describe the culture of the business and why?
  • What salary and benefits package will make us stand out against competitors?

Research salary

As recruiters, we encourage our employers to research salaries in the market and put forward a realistic and competitive benefits package. We’d always recommend that you list the salary range on the job advert – would you want to apply for a role where the salary was unknown or listed as ‘competitive’?

As a business, you’ll need to think about:

  • the current size of your team
  • what your growth objectives are
  • how these are going to be achieved
  • do you understand this domain / do you need a candidate with specific domain experience
  • size of the candidate pool
  • are there internal candidates?
  • are you being realistic?
  • when do you need someone?

Your business will need to bear in mind before the hiring process that it is currently a candidate driven market – candidates have many opportunities to pick from and are likely to be in several interview processes at the same time.

Below are the salary ranges that we think are realistic in the product management industry currently, based on our experience over the last 6-12 months.

Job Role Range: Min Range: Max
Product Manager £50,000 £80,000
Senior Product Manager £70,000 £110,000
Head of Product £95,000 £130,000
Product Director / VP Product £100,000 £200,000
Chief Product Officer £130,000 £300,000

Stay tuned

Hiring within product management can be a challenge. Using our tips for what to do before the hiring process begins will help your recruitment strategy to become more effective.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this series: Product management recruitment: During the interview process or watch a full webinar on this topic.

Before The Hiring Process