Recruiting your first Product Manager to lead the product isn't easy.

Some things to keep in mind:

1. PM responsibilities vary from org to org.

Be ready to encounter candidates that don't cleanly fall in line with how your company imagines the role.

Shortlist generously.

2. Hire someone smarter than you.

Ask situational questions regarding prioritization & product decisions. See what questions they ask, what angles they uncover.

Also, have they explored your product & pointed out something you didn't know? Great sign.

3. Even if they don't have a technical degree, understand if they know the rationale/tradeoffs of the tech stack of the products they have owned before.

4. Experience is not equal to years of owning the product manager title. It's how much you have actually shipped. Ask for something that's live.

5. Assess their bar of product greatness.

What product do they look up to & why? Have they noticed something non-obvious about it?

6. If you were to role play as the customer, what kind of questions do they ask to extract your functional (& emotional) pain points?

7. Size up their cross-functional effectiveness. Delve into their interaction with sales, marketing, support etc.

8. When they talk data, do they contextualize it?