How to hire a Product Owner?

Last Updated on October 19, 2021 by husnain

Numerous organizations are trying to recruit Product Owners for their Agile and Scrum groups. The recruiters wish that the candidate must have enough experience and a steady hand in technical solutions or product experience. The thinking behind the hiring process is to pick a needle in a haystack. In the end, instead of waiting for this unique person to appear, you should choose the one you like the most, one who has a Certified Scrum Product Owner training certificate, and the one who aces the interview. 

Perspectives to focus on:

The two main perspectives needed are, capability to nurture the Product Owner and team compassion.

Capability to nurture Product Owner

Before hiring a Product Owner, you need to understand your organization’s ability to cultivate product and team owners to identify with users.  As soon as you understand these two viewpoints, you can decide whether to employ someone centered on experience and skill or potential. First, consider your company’s capability to teach, guide, and enable Product Owners to accelerate Product Owners in the field. 

If the candidate owns a Product Owner certification, that automatically gives them an upper hand. If your company knows very well what it means to be a Product Owner, what the Product Owner’s contribution is, and the Product Owner has partners and mentors and wants to learn quickly, then you don’t need to hire a Product Owner to have a track record. This may be great news because these Product Owners are hard to find. 

On the contrary, if your association knows nothing about the field, you will need to hire someone with experience and background, or else the squad may unravel the incorrect problem, customer issues will not be resolved, and eventually your group’s KPI will be affected. However, how your organization trains Product Owners (for instance, via tutors, associates, conferences, societies, domestic trainers, agile instructors, or managers who instruct Product Ownership) is less important than facts.

Team compassion

Team compassion here means truly acknowledging and feeling the pain of customers. The ability to directly access clients or consumers. Connect with them frequently. Hence, it’s not just about the skill to comprehend and feel, it’s about actually having it in you. The more compassion a group has for clients, the better they can understand their discomfort, desires, aspirations, hopes, troubles, and ambitions. With compassion, you can resolve problems, select, and cooperate more easily. The more empathy the team has, the less important the Product Owner’s empathy for customers. 

Be clear with your hiring intention

As soon as you decide your motive of hiring, you can choose what interrogations to do, how you wish your interview procedure to be like, whom you want as an interviewer, and what will your evaluation criteria be. Deciding these things in advance will make your recruitment process less exposed to partiality. For example, if you are hiring by potential, you may not want to explore whether the candidate knows what User Story Map or WSJF is. 

On the contrary, how the candidate develops into a person and his role is more vital. It is also significant to find out what kind of backing the candidate would need. As an interviewer, you can devote time discovering the courses they have engaged in, the files they have read, the remarks they have gotten, etc. Rather, when hiring by expertise, you want to see how well they know about Product Ownership. You may want to see their examples of work, such as the roadmap they formed, the backlog they manage, and so on. 

The same is true for team compassion. If your team is compassionate, you may want to know how empathetic your candidates are with clients in their current role and how they interact with them. If your team lacks empathy, you may want to explore how well the candidate understands your audience and target market.

Weak performance doesn’t always indicate naïveté

It is normal for a candidate to feel nervous during an interview, and solely judging them based on their interview performance isn’t right. The person may know the role but due to fear of the interview, he performed weakly. Another reason for weak performance can be jet lag due to travel. Therefore, this should also be taken into consideration before passing any judgment. 

These were some of the tips and tricks the interviewer should keep in mind before starting the hiring process. If followed religiously, this would help you in getting a perfect candidate who would match your needs.