Hiring product managers, for a steal!
Aug 27 2012, 20:15 | By SME Mentor
Many a times, while start ups are focused on getting their business up and running, they neglect the other divisions or decide to wait for a while before hiring heads for various departments.
For a company into services, it is relatively easy, but for a product based company, the need for a product manager is high. The person brings in experience and expertise in handling inventory, orders, payments, processing transactions and so on.
So with a low budget and high set of expectations what should a company do? Simply follow these 3 basic criteria to ensure you scout for a good manager without weighing down on your budget:
1) Smart and sensible
Deepak, who started a mobile store business in a small town, says "I knew the market and the products in and out, but I did need a person to take hold of the reigns and run the chariot. I found a person with about 4-5 yrs experience in this industry, was from around here, and fluent in various regional languages. He now is my goto man for everything." When hiring a product manager, look for
1. Experience in the industry you are dealing with
2. Ability to think outside the box
3. Come up with new ideas, marketing and otherwise to help boost the business
4. What are the other traits he possesses that will help the business and finally, most important of it all
5. Attitude and Language skills
2) Technical strengths
A strong technical background is an added advantage, especially for start ups. Why? The manager can double up as a technical advisor, and help identify areas or strategies that will help enhance the products and services offered. Mr. Sukumaran, CEO of HRlabz says, "A startup company need not invest too much in hiring a product manager and can target tier 3 and tier 4 companies where they will be able to spot young talents with some experience. College graduates sometimes surprise us with their natural abilities, presence of mind and smartness. You can also arrange for technical seminars and catch them young. The next best option is to target small product companies and recruit the best."
Mr. Sukumaran is right in stating that SMEs should be able to get the best out of product managers with minimal investment. The candidate should be able to see the pros and cons of a situation and should be in a position to promote the strengths and make even the negatives have a positive light.
Pushpendra Mehta of Vcherish Consulting believes "even though I don't offer any products, my consulting abilities are my offering. For this purpose, I am always on the look-out for a person who will add value, bring in new ideas and help take the business further".
Anjana Vivek of Venture Bean consulting says "it is ideal to have a person who has influence over the market, not manipulate, but someone who has contacts. For a start up, we need as many contacts as possible to help us spread our wings". There are companies that hire a person with some product experience, but with more of marketing background. This is an added advantage as they don't need 2 separate executives, cost effective and beneficial to the business.
To put it in a nutshell a product manager should be able to channelize multiple points of view in order to get the best product that will give your company an edge over your competitors.
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May 17 2013, 16:16
May 17 2013, 15:29