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Five Traits of a Construction Superintendent

construction superintendent

UPDATE: See our latest list of qualities of a good construction superintendent

Most construction superintendents aren't required to turn off the lights and wash out the coffee pot at the end of the day, but given all the other duties required of them, they might as well. The construction superintendent is often the busiest person at any given time on a working site. Given the importance of this particular individual to the successful outcome of a project, what qualities should firms look for to make sure they're hiring the right person for the job?

1. Leadership AbilitiesThe construction superintendent is essentially the site boss. But proclaiming someone a "boss" doesn't necessarily make him or her good at it. Firms should select a candidate who can be assertive without being dictatorial, one who is empathic yet firm, and one who is a good delegator. For example, can work continue, and continue smoothly, if the superintendent has to be away from the site?

2. CommunicatorA good superintendent is able to express himself or herself clearly both in speech and in writing. This applies to visitors, suppliers, and sub-contractors in addition to site workers.

3. PlanningA good construction superintendent knows that if you "plan for the worst, the worst never happens". In addition to scheduling for planned work scenarios, this superintendent has contingency plans for working around weather delays, supplier problems, etc.

4. PaperworkA good superintendent not only completes and turns in all required paperwork on time and meets deadlines. He or she is also aware of the paperwork responsibilities of other onsite employees, and has oversight into the completion and filing of these documents. Construction supervisor duties also consist of he or she taking the time to select the correct software to help expedite such paperwork, like Raken for daily reporting.

5. IntegrityThe best construction site superintendents lead by example when it comes to site work and safety practices. These superintendents know that on the happiest and most effective work sites, the same accountability standards apply to all.

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