7 Qualities to Look for in a Site Supervisor

A person with professional technical skills, managerial abilities, and communication skills who is exceptionally interactive and experienced possesses academic knowledge and certificates. A complex composition that is difficult to recognize or even determine the characteristics required to lead your construction project to success. To make the right hiring decision, here are 7 basic characteristics for choosing a professional construction site supervisor.

1. Technical competence

Most construction workers are short-term and single-task workers, so it is necessary for the site supervisor to be fully aware of the equipment and machines on the site and what’s the most effective way to use them. On the one hand, this will be better for workers’ safety, and on the other hand, this will have a positive impact on the company as follows:

  • Saving costs that the company may pay for misuse of some equipment.
  • A supervisor who knows the most effective way to use the machines can take full advantage of their potential.
  • The impact of the supervisor’s experience with these machines is directly reflected in the workers’ ability to use them. 

Any site supervisor should have a thorough understanding of the stages of his project, the safety and quality standards, and the codes applicable to the project. Furthermore, he must possess at least a basic understanding of carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work, as well as an understanding of the technologies employed in his field.

2. Confidence, leadership, and management skills

A qualified site supervisor can support and motivate workers, solve their problems, and anticipate potential issues before they arise. In addition, the site supervisor has a strong sense of responsibility for his work, his workers, and the success of the project he is working on.

Supervisors who are qualified emphasize the main objectives and care about the skills of their workers in order to get the best results as well as use them effectively. Moreover, he can delegate tasks to cooperative workers, and later promote qualified ones to supervisory or assistant supervisory positions.

A construction site supervisor who possesses confidence in himself, in his decisions, in his instructions, and in his attitude can inspire his employees with positivity, stability, and initiative. By leveraging the knowledge and values he possesses, a competent site supervisor can easily lead his team forward.

3. Good communication skills

A good understanding of workers, their characters, and their differences leads to effective communication with them. An additional challenge takes place if the work environment is multicultural and multidisciplinary.

Good communication leaves all questions answered for workers and leaves no room for personal interpretation of tasks. The better communication between the supervisor and his workers, the easier it will be for the workers to approach the supervisor in case they have questions or there’s a problem about to arise.

  • A qualified supervisor builds good relationships with his site workers.
  • Explain the job duties to them.
  • Allows them to suggest and express their concerns whenever that enhances progress.
  • He constantly opens communication channels with them.
  • Can give orders and instructions with a clear message to each worker.
  • And builds a work culture that motivates workers to be productive, confident, and feel appreciated for their efforts.

The site supervisor must also maintain effective communication with all project stakeholders, partners, material suppliers, machinery suppliers, labor suppliers, and other relevant parties.

4. Time management and prioritization skills

Construction projects are often subject to delayed materials supply. This is one of the external factors that a site supervisor usually cannot control. Therefore, until the necessary materials and equipment are delivered to the site, the supervisor must manage the time of his team well and must manage priorities in accordance with the company’s benefits without wasting the workers’ efforts and time. 

A skilled construction site supervisor balances two goals: First, increasing workers’ rest time to increase their productivity; and second, handing out the necessary tasks for the benefit of the project without creating unnecessary tasks that drain the workers’ efforts.

5. Compassion and empathy

Since working in construction is one of the most effort-demanding jobs, it requires compassion and empathy for workers. The site supervisor must treat workers as employees and as human beings on the same level and guide them in a way that preserves their dignity without hindering the project’s progress. 

A construction site supervisor must be chosen carefully, considering human qualities as a priority in his characteristics. If the worker is treated as a machine that doesn’t make mistakes or gets exhausted, he will lose his self-motivation and deal with his colleagues, supervisors, and the project only as a way of making money.

6. Problem-solving skills

Set whatever systems and rules you want, and plan whatever you want; in the end, problems happen inevitably, repeatedly, and periodically because of the dynamic nature of construction sites and the cultural differences between workers. Therefore, a supervisor can add great value to his project if he has the skills to find easily applicable creative solutions.

7. Academic qualifications and experience

Depending on the size and complexity of the project, the academic qualifications of the supervisor are determined.

  • Some complex construction projects require a site supervisor who has a bachelor’s degree in engineering (civil, structural, or related) from an accredited university, and some do not.
  • Some projects require a site supervisor who has a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, or at least has sufficient experience in it, and other projects don’t require so.
  • Some projects require that the project supervisor hold OSHA certification, which is the world’s premier professional certification in occupational safety and health for workers. The OSHA-GI & CI Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety for General Industries and Construction is designed to help secure lives at construction sites for workers, visitors, and industrial security teams, avoiding any loss of life.

It is worth mentioning that some small projects rely on practical experience only, his portfolio, work records of all projects he supervised, and the testimonies of workers and clients as well.

Choose the right site supervisor for your project

If your project requires a supervisor who has specific academic certifications or licenses, we, the Saudi Manpower Solutions Company (SMASCO), provide them. A ready, licensed, trained, and nearby workforce with academic knowledge and long experience in their field. SMASCO provides you with Musanadah service that enhances the success of your project and provides the following:

  • A working license is required for some specialized positions and professions.
  • Full coverage of the legal documents required for recruiting non-Saudi workers.
  • Qualifying workers based on the training and skills required for their professions
  • Basic medical and social insurance coverage for employees, in cooperation with the largest insurance companies in the Kingdom.
  • Payroll management.
  • Managing the contract settlement process for each employee and issuing a return visa.
  • Preserve your company’s rights in case the worker escapes or abstains from work.
  • Replace the worker if they are not performing the required tasks.
  • Physical and psychological medical examination of each worker.

We support you with a workforce that meets your needs: site supervisors, construction workers, construction engineers, and other specialties. Our services include seasonal labor, immediate hiring, and specialized and qualified labor. With SMASCO, you will be able to deliver your construction project on schedule. Contact us today to learn more.


  • 5 Qualities of A Great Site Supervisor, 4 February 2022, Dozr.com/blog
  • What are the skills and qualifications you look for when hiring site supervisors, LinkedIn community, powered by AI
  • The Qualities You Need to be a Great Site Supervisor, Yardlink.com/blog
  • Article مركز الخبرات الإدارية والمحاسبية / كيم للتدريب والإستشارات  Center of Accounting & Managerial Expertise. CAME Center