A product manager is crucial to growing startups. As the person responsible for developing new products and improving existing ones, a good product manager owns the business strategy behind your products and new features. Increasingly, hiring is about more than resumes — and hiring the best person for the job requires us all to think past our biases and let the data guide us.

Start by defining the skills and abilities your product manager needs. Perhaps you want a creative problem solver or someone adept at managing daily tasks. And perhaps it’s equally important that this person is adaptable, honest, and organized. Determining whether a person has all of these qualities is nearly impossible from a piece of paper — or even an interview. That’s why rule number one, when it comes to hiring, is never to rush the process.

In an employer survey, CareerBuilder found that 43% of respondents traded quality for speed under the weight of pressure, which often led to poor hiring decisions. 

However, data can reveal critical insights about your candidates taking some pressure off when your team needs a great product manager. The Predictive Index urges hiring managers to use behavioral and cognitive assessments to get a better idea of a candidates’ true capabilities: “Using data allows you to assess candidates on better predictors of on-the-job success, such as behavioral traits and cognitive ability. That way, candidates move to the next stage in the interview process because they’re a good fit for the role, rather than because of their age, gender, or alma mater.”

To ensure the right people apply to your job, craft a detailed job description that explicitly outlines the expectations of the position, the requirements of the role, and even what methodology you expect to use. Eliminate unnecessary questions down the road by providing the answers up front in your thorough job listing. 

Once you have the right person in place, your product should be well on its way to release. But releasing a product is its own challenge.

The article is also published on LinkedIn.


Lomit Patel is the Chief Growth Officer of Tynker, with 20 years of experience helping startups grow into successful businesses. Lomit previously played a critical role in scaling growth at startups, including Roku (IPO), TrustedID (acquired by Equifax), Texture (acquired. by Apple), and IMVU (#2 top-grossing gaming app). Lomit is a public speaker, author, and advisor, with numerous accolades and awards throughout his career, including being recognized as a Mobile Hero by Liftoff. Lomit's book Lean AI is part of Eric Ries' best-selling "The Lean Startup" series.