The #2 Reason it's Hard to Hire DTC Product Managers

We are back continuing our product management hiring series focused on the challenges many DTC brands face. This article explores the second top reason why it's hard to hire DTC product management talent and what you can do to overcome this roadblock and get to a "hell yes" hire quickly.

Today we talk about money or the problem of Dom Pérignon taste on a Budweiser budget!

We can all rattle off a number of high-profile DTC brands that the industry would consider the "best of" category killers: Netflix, Dollar Shave Club, Allbirds, and Glossier.

The volume the top brands generate is awe-inspiring, and their paid social budgets would make the average marketer gasp. They have the hiring budgets to attract top talent globally and their salaries are often way above the industry standard, reflecting their revenues, MAU, DAU, size of teams, and the budgets they manage.

By contrast, you don't have to look far to see the parade of baby DTC brands trailing behind these category killers. With their endless IG ads and modern reels, opportunistic Founders are everywhere, and they all want a piece of the total addressable market and our wallets.  

Having recruited for several opportunistic Founders, we know firsthand the challenges associated with Founders who have a champagne taste on a beer budget when it comes to attracting product talent from a DTC category killer.

Often these Founder-led DTC startups are Founders who are early in their careers and have never achieved the business experience and accompanying personal earning power equivalent to that of the talent they are trying to attract and hire.

The other common persona of a Founder-led DTC startup is the Founder, who is an accomplished business person and subject matter expert in the industry or product which their DTC brand sells.

Tackling the compensation narrative requires market intelligence specific to the roles a company is recruiting for. The best source for that intelligence is from subject matter experts who engage with the talent on an ongoing basis. 

As important as money is to candidates, tech Product Managers often have a different lens through which they view compensation. Consulting with Founders of DTC brands about compensation and crafting offers that converts a candidate to an employee is a large part of what our Product Practice invests time to do.

Here’s a quick peek at some real searches, we recently completed and the salary insights of the candidates they interviewed:

When it comes to hiring, setting compensation expectations to match the available hiring budget is an important part of ensuring a smooth, less frustrating hiring process. 

Don’t know where to set a realistic yet startup-friendly compensation package for your next product hire? Book a call with one of our Product Recruiters to discuss your hiring challenges or to get advice on creating an impactful comp plan.