How to Recruit Product Management Talent for Legaltech Startups

We are no strangers to building product management teams. Our first product management search was completed in 2006, and in response to the increasing global demand for product talent, we launched our product practice in 2016. Over the years we’ve recruited CPO and VP Product Management level hires from all product tech categories, including law and legaltech.   

Differences in Recruiting Legaltech vs. Lawtech Hires

While there is currently some overlap in the responsibilities of a VP of Product Management in a lawtech vs. legaltech company, there are also some key differences. These differences will impact recruiting requirements for a CPO or VP of Product Management.

Lawtech Product Profile

The role of VP Product Management at a lawtech company is often more focused on managing products that improve a law firm's internal operations and processes, such as practice management software, document management systems, and billing and timekeeping tools. 

The customer and user persona is B2B-focused - a legal professional who needs modern web-based SaaS solutions that streamline workflows and improve efficiencies.

Legaltech Product Profile

In contrast, a VP of Product Management in a legaltech company may focus more on developing and managing B2C products that directly serve consumers, such as online legal services, legal research platforms, or chatbots that provide legal advice. 

This VP of Product needs to deeply understand the needs and preferences of their end-user customers who need legal advice, solutions, or services.

Whichever the persona of product leader is required, here are the first three steps to take before you begin your search for a CPO or VP of Product Management:

1. Nail Your Requirements 

It's natural to think that the first step in a new search is to write the job description. In our 20+ years of experience recruiting for highly strategic and product leadership roles, we’ve learned that defining the requirements is more critical than a job description

2. Craft Your Story for Talent Attraction

If you are like most companies, the product leader you want to hire is off the market and not actively looking. We call those candidates passive or uninterested candidates.

When attempting to recruit a passive or generally uninterested candidate, have your story ready to attract and convert these candidates. To do this, be prepared to speak about:

  • The problem the company is working to solve
  • Backgrounds of the founding team (think about what makes them exciting to work for)
  • How the organization is a great place to work
  • The go-to-market story and the impact the product has on its users

3. Determine Your GTM Story

With the foundation in place, it’s time to determine your go-to-market strategy. One option is to attempt to complete the hire through internal resources. While seemingly cost-effective, the cost to the business can quickly add up depending on how long this approach takes. 

Internal teams often are not experienced in the outbound recruitment of executives, so the ramp-up time is longer. In addition, internal teams will usually not have access or connections to relevant candidates. Nor will they possess the market knowledge on how to approach, attract and convert these highly technical, niche and mostly passive candidates.  

There are a multitude of reasons why it's not easy to hire a VP of Product. Most CEOs and investors agree that the option that makes the most sense with a position of this seniority is to engage a specialized search partner to own the search process. 

When it comes to product management, few search firms specialize in the function. Martyn Bassett Associates, however, provides specialized search services in product management.

With over 350+ product searches completed, we understand the nuances of the product function as well as the legal and lawtech categories. We have helped startups in this category find the right product talent to drive growth and their organization forward. 

Looking to hire a product executive? Book a consultation today to learn more about the current talent market and our specialized search services.