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Product Leadership by Martin Eriksson, Nate Walkingshaw, Richard Banfield

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Chapter 5. Hiring Product Leadership

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The  qualities to look for in a product manager or leader should be clearer by now, but that’s only half the battle. Knowing when to hire is the other half. Combining the search for quality leaders at the right time is no small task. The healthiest organizations treat this challenge like they do sales—as a pipeline problem. To ensure you have strong candidates to cover any growth or hiring demand, you need a talent pipeline. This pipeline will look different at each stage of your business, but there needs to be a funnel that takes in candidates and then either qualifies them or prepares for the next stage in the hiring and onboarding process. Staying true to the format of this book, we’ll look at what’s required to hire for each stage of the product business. We’ll also talk about how you can craft your own leaders using programs like apprenticeships.

If a startup hires a senior manager or leader too soon, it runs the risk of overcomplicating the process and slowing down delivery, not to mention spending money when it may not have enough to invest. For high-growth companies, it’s hard to gauge how much impact the leader can have at scale. Founders, executives, and hiring managers also need to know if and when they should hire product leadership, as there are some scenarios where senior product leadership is not going to have a material impact ...

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