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Recruiting Montreal Product Managers: 3 Things to Keep in Mind

One of the benefits of having a large practice focused on Product Management recruiting is our ability to execute quickly on strategic product management hires, anywhere. 

Over the last 18 months, we have conducted Product Management searches across Canada from Vancouver to the Maritimes, and across the US from California to Boston and down to Atlanta.

Over this time, one thing has become clear: Product Management continues to be a critical function for tech companies and the war for talent is real. This is especially true in smaller regional markets of Canada such as Halifax, Moncton, and Montreal

What our experience has taught us is the organizations that can make a hiring selection from the largest pool of qualified candidates are those who have the greatest likelihood of hiring success.

However, if you are still adamant about looking only at local or regional candidates, consider these 3 things:

  1. Time: how much do you have? 
  2. Money: it’s still a candidate's market...
  3. Readiness: are you ready to move, and move quickly?

Time

The smaller the market, the fewer the people, the faster the opportunities to hire can come and go. It’s as simple as that. Many markets also attract specializations; for example, Montreal has a lot of gaming industry talent whereas Ottawa has a lot of telecom industry talent.

If your requirements for talent are outside of the skills most readily found in your market, it may take longer to find the talent you need to hire. Be prepared for a possibly long journey. 

Before starting this waiting game, ask yourself, are your stakeholders patient enough to wait while you wait for local people to (a) become open and (b) become interested in your company? Or, do you need someone now? 

Money

It's a candidate's market and there are no signs of it slowing down. The hiccup that was Spring 2020 has been corrected and candidates are in short supply. The tech giants like Shopify, Amazon, and Google are still hiring in large numbers so the war for talent is real. The question you need to ask yourself is, are you ready to fight over the precious few candidates in your local Montreal market?

While it’s well known that the cost of living in Montreal is lower than in Toronto, it is an incorrect assumption that candidate salaries will be more affordable and easier to negotiate with. Employers are quickly realizing that talent is talent and Covid has levelled the playing field. Those top players in Montreal have a better chance than ever before of accepting a big-figure Silicon Valley job that doesn’t require them to relocate. 

Unless you can back up the money truck to secure the best-of-the-best in a small talent pool, the more open you are on location, the greater the pool and salaries you get to choose from.

Readiness

The only part of the process that you’ll reasonably be able to control is your position of readiness. In this candidate's market, all hiring leaders need to be prepared to move at lightning speed when a candidate is interested and qualified. You also have to be prepared to roll out the red carpet and really sell them on your vision, mission, and opportunity. 

Waiting a week to set up an interview or give feedback won’t cut it. Expecting a candidate to see the value in your opportunity on their own is not going to cut it. With the ability to look for remote opportunities, candidates can quickly slip through your fingers if you’re not prepared to win them. 

Are you ready to sell the candidate on your opportunity? What is the exciting problem they will be solving? Who will they be speaking with on your team who can paint them a picture of how great it is to work with you? Make sure you have these pieces nailed down before you even start your search. 

As with any big societal upheaval, the fallout has been both positive and negative. While you’re now competing with global giants for Montreal talent, you’re also free to search in other tech-focused pockets to truly find that next-level Product Manager. 

If you’re searching for that perfect product person, we can help. With over 28 senior product placements in the last 18 months, we have our finger on the pulse of the North American Product industry.