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I've recently celebrated six years as a Product management recruitment consultant! Six years...
I've recently celebrated six years as a Product management recruitment consultant! Six years ago, I didn't even know what Product management was, never mind how it was used in companies! But, I quickly discovered that there is no one size fits all approach. The role is continuing to change and grow, which is what made the profession so exciting to me!
Now, six years later, I have supported over 400 Product professionals find their dream job in B2B and B2C companies. I am so grateful to the Product community for welcoming me in and I look forward to helping hundreds more! I truly love helping to shape this incredible, complex, and unique role.
So, what six things have I learned in that time?
If your business is product-led, you will create awesome products, provide value, and solve real problems. This is the key to company growth.
Product Managers need to put the customer at the centre of every decision. They must ensure the product solves the customer's problems and pain points, meets their needs, whilst also bringing delight. They shouldn't just solve a problem, they should solve it in a way that adds value and goes above expectations.
When a company is truly product-led, it doesn't just create products; it creates experiences that resonate with customers.
No two companies have the same structure or set-up. As a result, to effectively support each talent search, I'm actively listening, learning, and understanding each team's unique requirements.
This complexity also expands into titles. There still isn't any standardisation in job titles. For instance, where some businesses will use "Senior Product Manager", others will use "Lead Product Manager" when the role are the same level and salary. This makes the search tricky for candidates who are searching for new Product management jobs.
As a recruiter, it's crucial to recognise these nuances and match the right talent to the right role.
Depending on what companies are looking to achieve, success can look different. For some, it's about content consumption, adoption, acquisition, or retention. Revenue should never be the sole metric that a Product Manager is driving.
A successful Product Manager knows how to align their product's performance with the broader objectives of the organisation. As a result, Product talent should always have a commercial and customer-orientated mindset.
Data-driven decision-making is key in modern product management. Teams that look at quantitative and qualitative data, research, test, and iterate on an MVP will create amazing products.
This is the key to product excellence.
Product management is a dynamic field that's integral to innovation. In a constantly evolving business landscape, Product Directors and Managers are crucial in scaling, disrupting, enabling, and identifying emerging markets.
When I first started in recruitment, financial services and technology businesses recruited for the majority of Product jobs. However, the role is future-proof and opens doors to exciting possibilities across all sectors.
This year has certainly been the year of femtech and envirotech! Many are now asking, "What sector will be next?"
Product management is an incredibly difficult sector to break into, but there's no single "right" path. There are some great backgrounds that I see people transferring well from including:
Ultimately, the key to breaking into Product, is a deep understanding of the role and a passion for creating exceptional products. There are some skills that I see in every great product person - empathy, inquisitiveness, and being able to explain the what, the why, the how and the ROI.
I have continued to learn and grow alongside the Product role. This has allowed me to deliver an exceptional recruitment experience for hiring teams and Product Managers.
These six lessons have shaped my perspective on the ever-evolving field. Yet, the future promises even more exciting changes and opportunities.
So, what's next for Product Management? How will the role change and what skills will continue to be vital to being a successful Product manager? I'm excited to find out!