The career of a product manager is an interesting prospect for many today. With so many new products being launched every day, companies need capable product managers to be the link between customers on the one hand and a team of engineers on the other.
If like many others, you’re trying to hire a product manager for your team, you have lots of ground to cover. Primarily, you need to start with a great job description. Today, we’ll show you an example of a great product manager job description that you can copy or learn from.
But before that…
What is a product manager?
A product manager is a professional who liaises between customers on one end of the product and the technical team on the other. They collect customer feedback, analyze it and translate it into an actionable plan for engineers to develop. They prioritize features, monitor development updates, and ensure that the product aligns with the vision and mission of the company.
In short, they ensure that engineers develop the kind of features that customers actually need and at the same time, that bring profit to the company.
The slight problem…
There are not a lot of ways to get formal education to be a product manager. The field is still relatively new and there is a very small number of formal education programs specializing in product management. The mix of soft and hard skills makes it a rather unique position too.
So, what it boils down to is courses, informal education, and mostly, work experience. The product manager you’re going to hire won’t really have a product management background. In reality, you’re looking for someone with hands-on experience and ideally, some formal education.
The responsibilities of a product manager
We mentioned the very basics in the former paragraph, so let’s get into some more details. The product manager sits at the core of a SaaS product, liaising between different departments on the one hand and between customers and the company on the other.
They gather customer feedback
A product manager’s duty is to be in touch with the customers and determine their needs. They make sure that the product solves the customers’ pain points. To do this, they read through customer feedback tickets, emails, in-app messages, customer calls, and every type of interaction between the company and the customer.
They’re the voice of the customer
Everyone working with a product has their own set of priorities and opinions, and that includes the management, the developers, the designers, the sales team… All the way to the person cleaning the office after hours. The product manager advocates for the customers and ensures that you build a product that customers actually need.
They create and manage a backlog and prioritize features
Product managers create a list of features and updates that your product needs and put them in the backlog. Even more importantly, they weigh out different criteria to prioritize the features you need immediately, as opposed to those that can wait in line for a better time. They also create roadmaps for the engineering team (and the entire company) to follow.
They set and follow the product vision and mission
The vision and mission of your product is a broader set of values that your product follows. It’s the main tagline and the problem that you want to solve. With so much to build and work on, you can sometimes forget these values, and the product manager’s duty is to prevent that from happening.
They monitor the competition
A product manager needs to keep tabs on the competition and always be informed about what the competitors are doing. Even more importantly, they should know where the competitors are better and where their own product comes out on top.
The key skills of a product manager
To do their job well, a product manager needs a diverse set of skills. It’s a really interesting position because it needs a good mix of soft skills and technical know-how.
A good product manager needs to talk to people. A lot of people and all of the time. On the one hand, they need to have lots of empathy for the customers to listen to their problems and distill their messages in a way that the tech team understands. On the other hand, they need to listen to the tech team and translate their problems and needs to upper management and even the customers - to explain why certain features can and cannot be built.
It’s not a necessity, but a good product manager knows the basics of programming and is familiar with quality assurance best practices. They can write a little bit of code and they certainly understand how the development process works. This allows them to prioritize features and understand what developers are talking about - at least most of the time.
Critical thinking and problem solving
Since they’re in a position between different stakeholders and the customers, product managers need to make data-based decisions about where the product should be headed. The decisions need to be based not just on their intuition, but also on their experience and critical thinking.
The key role of a product manager is to convince people in the company that taking a certain path is the right choice. This means taking a stand and fighting for it, not just in front of the customers, but also the company management.
Knowledge of product management methodologies
Managing a product is more than “winging it” and good PMs are familiar with at least one of the major methodologies, including:
This allows them to better structure their own work and communicate with the more technical members of their teams.
Read more about the skills needed as a product manager in What is Product Management?
Product manager job description template
Now that you know what a product manager is and what their job entails, you probably realized that you need to hire one for your team. The good news is, we have just what you need to get started. You can use this job description template to put up your own job ad and find a product expert for your team.
Hi there! We’re Acme Solutions and we have built Acme, a SaaS product in the accounting niche and we’ve just raised Series A funding. We’re looking to grow massively in the upcoming months and to do this, we need a team of experts. This is where you come in!
We’re looking to hire an experienced product manager to communicate with our customers and work closely with our engineering team to build the best accounting software the world has ever seen. You’ll work not only with engineering, but also with sales, marketing, customer support, and many other departments to build a product that customers love.
Is this you? Read on to find out.
What you’ll do:
- Communicate with our customers on a daily basis to understand their needs
- Create and maintain a product backlog
- Prioritize features to be built
- Create and maintain a product roadmap
- Communicate with the engineering team on a daily basis to instruct them on what to build and how
- Monitor the competition and stay up to date with the latest trends and developments in our industry and niche
- A minimum of X years in a product management role
- A technical background with experience in the following programming language:
- Familiarity with the following product methodology
- Demonstrated ability to launch a successful product
- Superb communication skills
- Great problem-solving skills
- The ability to communicate complex ideas in a simple way
If you check all (or most) of the things mentioned above…
Click the link below to apply for this opening and our HR team will get back to you within a couple of days.
Thanks for applying and good luck!
Hiring a product manager may seem like a daunting task but in reality, real gems can be found still in 2022. If you have a great product and you know exactly how a product manager would fit into your team, you’ve already done a huge part of the job and you can use our template to create a great job ad that attracts superb talent.