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Why Years of Experience Doesn't Matter

We've been recruiting Product Managers since 2006 and launched our Product Practice in 2016, but there was one search that changed everything... how we would recruit, evaluate and present Product Managers from that point on.

The Search

The company was a tech startup darling with a multi-exit Founder. The CPO was on the speaking circuit and considered a product thought leader and they were a "pinch me, I'm recruiting for them" level client.

The moment that changed everything came when the CPO pointed out how they were evaluating candidates. It had nothing to do with how many years a candidate had been a Product Manager; instead, it was all about what they had accomplished in the time they had been a Product Manager. In particular the most recent 3 years.

That was the moment that changed everything.

Evaluating Product Managers

Suddenly, how we reviewed resumes changed - we began looking for succinct accomplishments instead of rambling words on a page. Words that more often than not closer resembled a job description than a resume.

How we interviewed Product Managers also changed. Interviews became solely focused on outputs… "tell me your product story", "what problem have you been solving for" and "what product outcomes drove growth?"

Looking back on that search and the opportunity we had to learn, grow and stretch on how we delivered value to our clients is something we will be forever grateful for.

In a recruiting and hiring world still full of outdated requirements - like the number of years of total experience - it’s time to shift the focus on product outputs, accomplishments, and successes

This shift in focus fundamentally changed our screening process and it’s safe to say it has been a success for our clients

Looking for better ways to structure your interview process? Hear from industry leaders on the types of questions they ask Senior Product Managers and more Junior Product Managers. Or learn more about our Product Management Recruitment Practice.