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Building a Career in Construction: Key Insights from Mohamed A’mer, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager at Hill International

“Understanding and respecting how things are done, including local customs and business operations, are crucial when working in the Middle East,” says Mohamed A’mer, Hill International’s Senior Talent Acquisition Manager for the Middle East region. “This approach translates to other global regions when you really think about it.”

Mohamed Amer

Hill International provides program, project, and construction management services for clients in a range of sectors undertaking major construction projects across the world. With a significant presence in the Middle East, Hill has delivered high-profile projects that span sectors including aviation, buildings, residential, and transportation, among others. As construction opportunities continue to grow, so does the demand for talented, adaptable, and dynamic project and construction management professionals.

Mohamed, a recognized talent acquisition leader, shares his insights for candidates looking to build their construction careers in the Middle East region and beyond.

Technical Acumen and Hands-On Experience

In construction, a combination of practical experience and technical proficiency are invaluable to navigating the complex demands of the industry and effectively managing projects.

“Hands-on experience is super important,” says Mohamed. “We are looking for candidates who have successfully dealt with the ins and outs of construction projects, along with the right expertise for the job. Whether it’s knowing their way around project management software, using engineering tools, or managing special applications, candidates’ technical skills need to align with the project needs.”

Cultural Adaptability

Mohamed emphasizes the importance of learning the local culture. “Candidates who can adapt to the local culture are more successful in managing projects,” he remarks. This understanding is vital in markets where projects are deeply intertwined with local traditions.

“The Middle East has an extremely diverse culture, so our interviews may include questions about past experiences in multicultural settings to help assess the candidate’s adaptability and cultural awareness,” shares Mohamed. “Hill is a company that brings people together and celebrates diversity, so these attributes are important.”

A Growth Mindset

“We look for problem-solvers, leaders, and innovators,” Mohamed states, reflecting the company’s core values and client focus. “Our goal is to find individuals who can contribute to our projects and grow with us for the longer term.”

Hill is committed to fostering a team of internationally recognized industry leaders, seeking candidates who bring unique skills and insights to help clients achieve their vision. The company provides a range of professional development initiatives like training programs and educational support geared towards growing and retaining talent.

“We offer training programs through Hill University, our corporate learning and development platform, to boost skills and knowledge relevant to each employee’s role, covering technical expertise, leadership development, and industry-specific workshops,” added Mohamed. “We also provide opportunities for employees to explore various roles globally. Candidates who demonstrate a growth mindset will thrive in this environment.”

Tips for Securing a New Role

“The application and interview process can be competitive, but there are strategies to help candidates stand out and feel more prepared to have a conversation with the recruiter,” says Mohamed. “A great way to get started is to research the company and understand industry trends and challenges within the region.”

Mohamed also recommends candidates highlight any relevant project experience on their resume, customize their application to reflect the position requirements, and update their LinkedIn profile to align with career goals. For the interview, he advises candidates to emphasize cultural adaptability and leadership skills in addition to their technical skills and project experience.

For those aspiring to build a future in construction, Mohamed suggests a focus on continuous learning and genuine passion for the field. “Stay positive, stay confident, and most importantly, stay true to your values,” he concludes.

Senior Talent Acquisition Manager Mohamed A’mer oversees the recruitment strategy for Hill’s Middle East market. He has successfully hired hundreds of professionals specializing in program, project, and construction management for some of the region’s most complex and challenging projects.

To learn more about opportunities at Hill, please visit our careers site.