Where Personality Matters the Most...Overseas Managers
by Jake Frazer | 21 Nov 2019
The overseas contracting industry is one of the most unique and demanding work environments in the world. What makes us successful is our ability to handle stress, deal with other coworkers, and manage a family far away that really determines our success or failures. Whether we are running a base camp in Africa, managing a static guard force in Iraq, jumping an oil rig in the Caspian, or fixing a generator in Afghanistan, an already challenging job is made exponentially harder by the project conditions. Living in a tent in close quarters, showering in a container, eating from a paper tray, and spending holidays like any other work day….these all add stress and complexity to already tough work.
What makes us successful is not as much the skills, degrees, and qualifications that we have learned. Rather, it is our ability to handle stress, deal with other coworkers, and manage a family far away that really determines our success or failures.
Good companies know this, too. Especially for senior management roles on the project where it is not just about managing these factors for yourself. It is about managing these factors as critical variables within the entire multicultural workforce. Being able to effectively manage in this type of environment is a hard-earned core competency that is invaluable in Project Managers, department leaders, and executives working on remote projects.
So what is the right personality mix? Diplomacy vs independence, competitive vs cooperative, innovative vs conventional. Finding the right mix for the right role on a project is critical to decision makers in the hiring process. There is not a one-size-fits-all personality for working overseas. Each role has its nuances, whether the manager is focused on sales growth, workforce downsizing, opportunity development, compliance, or good old fashioned leadership. Each has its own demands on the personality of the manager.
The top companies in the industry are going beyond the resumé. They are looking at the soft factors that are not found in a LinkedIn profile. Talent Acquisition teams are using customized assessments tailored towards the unique conditions in the field that help bring out each individual’s personality strengths and blind spots help to ensure the right fit for the right role. Hiring top management for overseas work is expensive, risky, and time consuming. Getting it right where it matters most…the Personality…is becoming a core competency for Talent Acquisition across the industry.