Hot Tips is a constantly growing, curated collection of candid advice by and for product people.
Think of it as a precious piece of advice you wish you had received when you started building products. It’s a short snippet of wisdom that helps you do things differently.
Contributing a Hot Tip it the fastest way to reach 3,000+ makers from all over Europe. Your daily grind might be their ‘aha moment’!
1. Write your Tip following the guidelines below.👇
2. Submit the Tip through Typeform.
3. Wait patiently! The Tip will undergo some scrutiny by our Hot Tip Catcher, who will then decide whether to publish it (we may tweak the content for clarity).
4. Watch out! Every week we’ll pick the best Hot Tips and share them with the community in the JAM newsletter. Look out for yours! 👀
Your Tip can belong to one of the three categories.
📖 Be as open as you can: share insider knowledge, something people won’t have come across before. A Hot Tip reveals how you do things.
🎨 Show, don’t (just) tell: talking about your roadmapping process? How about including a screenshot of the tool you use? There’s nothing better than seeing your ‘behind-the-scenes’.
💌 Keep it short and personal: aim for 200 words max, and word it like you’re helping a friend out.
🔧 Share tools: offer readers an opportunity to explore the topic. Link to at least one helpful ebook or article that helped you in the past.
Skills and experience aren't the only factors to establish if a candidate will do well as a team member. How do you check for 'team culture' matching?
Cultural fit is hugely important for creating effective teams and providing individuals with fulfilling work. However, you also need to be really careful that you don’t end up creating a homogenous team where potential talent is excluded because they don't quite fit the status quo.
In order to tell if someone is going to suit working in your team you need to be really clear with yourselves about the most important parts of your culture. Whilst you might tend to socialise a lot together outside of work, this element of your culture will likely exclude huge swathes of potential talent and is not something I’d advise basing cultural fit on.
Instead focus on what your core values are as a team and ask individuals to talk about when they’ve exhibited that value themselves.
For instance, one of our company's values is ‘Be Open’. In this case you might ask people:
You could also consider inviting the new candidate to spend a morning working with your team as part of the interview process. At the FutureLearn Tech team we run pairing sessions as part of the interview processes. There’s no reason you couldn’t do this type of thing for non-technical roles. It’s a great way for you to see how the individual interacts with the wider team and also for the interviewee to get a sense of whether they like the idea of working in your company's environment.
FutureLearn has a clear description what to expect from the interview process. Consider writing one for your company to that the new hires can prepare better.
To move forward with a product you need an A-Team. But, it can be challenging to keep up your Product Team Market Fit (PTMF) as the team scales.
When assessing the strengths of new team members skills are an obvious factor to watch for. But an even more important one is team fit. The team is a network—its power depends on the strength of its nodes. A weak node will weaken the structure and make it run less efficiently in the long run.
Team culture stems from company values and is notoriously hard to test for. Brainstorm your team's principles together before expanding the ranks. Netflix Chief Talent Officer Patty McCord advises asking yourself, as a manager, for example:
Just like an ideal customer persona, you can define a persona of your ideal hire. How? Based on the shared features of your current team. Ask each other the same creative questions you’d be asking a potential new member during the interview:
Sounds like another fun team task for a Friday lunch meeting, right?
The decision on making someone a part of the team is not just yours. It’s team-wide. Once you found a candidate (external or internal) give them a task which requires interacting with the rest of the product team.
Data-fanatics can try to add a quantitative measurement to the review process. For example, adapt feature prioritisation score cards to evaluate a candidate. Assign points on pre-agreed metrics, for example, following the Kano model:
It’s as much your team evaluating the new member's fit as them evaluating your team’s fit for what they are looking for. If you all throw jokes from The Office, and organise Avengers-themed parties, while they haven’t watched either series, they might not feel comfortable. Give them a score card too and ask to assess your team.