Construction Superintendents are not all the same. However, the best ones tend to share common attributes, qualities and characteristics.  These professionals are responsible for ensuring construction projects are completed in accordance with specific criteria including:

  • Safety specifications
  • Tight deadlines
  • Financial parameters

Though Superintendents have assistance from their team, they are self-starters and tend to be more self-reliant than others.  Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of the most effective construction superintendents.

Common Characteristics of Top Superintendents

Strong leadership is the most commonly shared characteristics of top superintendents.  After all, these professionals lead others throughout the course of a workday in the quest to build complex structures that stand the test of time.

Aside from leadership, the most effective construction Superintendents are also skilled at the art of communication.  Great Superintendents communicate important information and deadlines consistently to their team and partners. They also must be able to give directions with clarity to prevent mistakes and delays.

Preparation for Success

The best Superintendents are also skilled in terms of planning, preparation and anticipation.  Managing a project’s workflow requires analytical capabilities, critical thinking, people management and expertise with logistics.  In the context of construction projects, managing a backload is especially important.

There is a delicate balance to achieve between a backlog that is of moderate size and one that is extensive. The best Superintendents are capable of maintaining a backlog with the optimal size and cadence.   If the backlog is long, it makes it clear to current and prospective clients that new projects will not commence for several months or possibly even upwards of an entire year.

The Most Effective Construction Superintendents Excel at Risk Management

Part of the challenge of excelling in the role of construction site Superintendent is managing both known and unknown risk.  In short, these professionals recognize risk, plan accordingly, and proactively mitigate risk throughout the duration of demanding construction site projects.

As an example, Superintendents are often required to secure a performance bond or payment prior to taking on a project.   The company’s financials are then analyzed before a bond is issued.  Even the backlog and work in progress are analyzed to get a sense of whether it is prudent to issue a bond.  The values of the projects in question ultimately determine if the candidate:

  • Is in the red or black in the context of finances
  • Adhering to the timeline for project completion
  • Committed beyond capability
  • Faced with other challenges of note

If the risk level is determined to be comparably high, it might not be possible to secure the bond.  This is just one example of the financial challenges and risk management that the most effective construction superintendents face on a daily basis.

Great Superintendents have the ability to manage several things at once. To find great Superintendents for your construction project, reach out to a recruiter that specializes in the industry. They will be able to help you connect with top talent.

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