How to Hire a Product Owner
Good quality Product Owners are hard to find. This means that to attract the best possible talent, you need to stand out from a crowded market place and really display to candidates how the products that you’re building are bigger and better than anyone else therefore really selling yourself as a brand. You’ll also need to think about the salaries that you are offering in comparison to the levels of experience you’re looking for, as well as the responsibilities you’re giving out. In today's market, a good quality product owner is being paid anywhere between £50-£70k (outside of London) however saying this, some clients pay a lot more if they have venture capitalist funding etc. Inflated salaries usually come at a cost in terms of lower pension contributions, less benefits and usually a lot more work load which equals more stress. Experienced Product Owners will know what to expect, and from experience they are the sort of candidates to go for the job role based on the attractiveness of the proposition, and not so much the salary banding.
Another consideration when hiring for a Product Owner is ‘are you offering remote/hybrid working?’. This is becoming more and more important for candidates, especially product owners. This is based on the fact that are lot of more experienced product owners are in the stage of their lives where they’re settled down with children, and would rather work remotely so that they can be at home to pick the kids up from school and spend more time with them, without compromising the quality of their work and ultimately, health and wellbeing! We’ve found again and again that Product Owners have had their salary expectations met, but have actually rejected job offers based on clients not offering remote working capability. Based on most good quality product clients being based in city centres, it creates a real barrier for candidates that would have to commute in from further afield, rather than graduates who are still living in their city centre pent houses.
Another piece of advice that I would give to clients looking to recruit for a Product Owner would be to seek expert advice. Good ports of call would be reaching out to Heads of Product or Chief Product Officers on LinkedIn, you’ll find there’s a lot of them out there and they would love to help! You will find the product community is very tight knit and actually spur each other on, even if they are competitors on paper. Another great way to seek advice is attending product centric events, there’s loads around major cities such as Manchester and London, and there is usually a lot of noise about them on LinkedIn! In the past, I’ve personally attended these events to network with people who’s job revolves around all things product, and it’s really helped me to gain a great understanding of how their jobs work and what they do on a day to day. Lastly, you can always ask us! We offer a free salary benchmarking service that aims to give you an accurate representation of what you should budget in for a particular role, and how to attract the right talent based on your projects in the pipeline.
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