Do You Need a Fintech Product Leader?

Once a Fintech CEO has decided to hire their first VP of Product, they then need to decide whether to hire someone with a background in fintech.

This is a dividing line. 

While many CEOs and stakeholders will vehemently believe that a first-time VP Product should come from a competitor or similar product within the category, what happens when the product category is small or so new that the pool to select from is limited?

This article dispels the common belief that you need to hire from another fintech. Often that isn't the must-have requirement you should be searching for, and here’s why.

Let's explore a couple of real-life situations: 

  1. We’ve partnered with Fintech CEOs who admitted they thought they needed someone from a fintech, but it turns out what they really needed was someone experienced in delivering products in a highly regulated industry. Suddenly, that opened up the search because regulated industries are more than just financial services.

  2. Another Fintech CEO wanted to hire their first product leader to launch a D2C mobile app. They originally wanted to evaluate candidates who had digital banking experience, but it turns out what they really needed were candidates who were UX-focused to drive delight and reduce the likelihood of churn. The options opened up to any candidates at a DTC mobile app brand.

Understanding why you believe you need to hire from a fintech is step one to defining your requirements - step two is understanding what you're hoping to accomplish and then considering adjacent categories where talent could exist.

Once a Fintech CEO figures out precisely what they need, it will most often increase the pool of candidates to choose from as you're able to evaluate very talented individuals with adjacent but very relevant experience.

Once you understand the critical requirements of a VP Product hire, it’s time to let go of the hiring beliefs and requirements that can hold you back. 

Looking for hiring trends or access to top product talent? Contact us today to discuss your hiring strategies and market options!