Country Manager Job Description
The primary role of a Country Manager is to oversee the operations of a company’s affiliate in a particular country or region. Country Managers oversee logistics, develop new business and ensure profitability. They are responsible for managing overall operations, recruiting staff and creating budgets. Country Managers also develop and submit weekly, monthly or quarterly performance and progress reports to company headquarters.
Country Managers are employed in any type of industry that is experiencing global expansion. A Country Manager is essentially an executive position; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment growth rate for all executives is 8% over the 2014-2024 period. This growth rate varies from industry to industry and is directly impacted by expansion rates and the need for operations managers and other executives to oversee expanded organizations.
Country Manager Duties and Responsibilities
We have analyzed several job listings for Country Managers and have found the following to be among the most commonly listed responsibilities for this job title.
Develop Operational Plans
From communications to warehousing, it is up to Country Managers to ensure that all aspects of a business operate smoothly. They ensure that a business’s in-country affiliate adheres to all country regulations and cultural guidelines. They also develop plans for company growth and improvement of sales.
Implement Brand Strategies
Country Managers are responsible for building a company’s brand in a specific country or region. They devise advertising and promotional plans and are involved in product positioning and global brand marketing development.
Generate Progress Reports
Country Managers continually assess company progress, sales and marketing successes and compile reports to submit to superiors in corporate headquarters. They present reports regarding budgets, sales growth or declines, new business leads and regulatory compliance.
Recruit and Train Staff
It is typically up to Country Managers to oversee the hiring and training of staff in a particular region. Country Managers can be involved in staff selection, training development, scheduling and ongoing professional development of employees.
Country Manager Skills
As a successful Country Manager, you would need to demonstrate strong communication, organizational and negotiation skills. You should be a motivated self-starter with the ability to work with little or no supervision and possess the ability to assemble and manage teams. Presentation, analytical and planning skills are also essential. Above-average people management, customer service and leadership skills are crucial for Country Managers. In addition to these capabilities, Country Managers should be able to do the following:
- Management – Country Managers will oversee all aspects of business operations, including recruiting and training staff and maintaining budgets
- Regional expertise - Country Managers must also possess a deep understanding of their country’s local politics to enforce laws and regulations
- Strategic planning – another key part of this role is using research to develop brand strategies and implement them to promote company products and services
Country Manager Tools of the Trade
If you are interested in becoming a Country Manager, you should be familiar with the following:
- Project management software - it is helpful for Country Managers to understand project management processes and software, especially in areas of budgeting, team-building and time management
- Spreadsheets – Country Managers are responsible for assembling and reporting on various data and it is important that they have more than a general understanding of spreadsheet software
- Microsoft Office applications – Country Managers should be able to use Word, PowerPoint and Outlook for communication and presentation purposes
Country Manager Education and Training
While many employers will accept a bachelor’s degree in business administration, management or a similar area, some require or at least prefer that Country Manager candidates hold a master’s degree. Many will accept a 4-year or advanced degree in sales, marketing or finance. Familiarity with the country or region in which one will work is considered a notable advantage for those seeking to fulfill a Country Manager role.
Country Manager Resources
Use the resources provided below for more insight on becoming a Country Manager and whether this is a career for you.
Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) - Webinars, conferences and online courses are among the ACMP’s offerings. Country Managers can benefit from the many resources provided by this global organization.
Global Manager: Interviews with Corporate Leaders – These interviews, assembled by The New York Times, gives you a personal glimpse into how managers handle cultural differences, change management and more.
Success for the New Global Manager: How to Work Across Distances, Countries, and Cultures by Maxine Dalton, Chris Ernst, Jennifer J. Deal and Jean Leslie - This book explores the skills and practices displayed by Country Managers. It also includes information about how companies can ensure the professional development of these managers.
Navigating Cross-Cultural Ethics: What Global Managers Do Right to Keep From Going Wrong by Eileen Morgan – Filled with personal stories and examples, this book explores the ethical responsibilities and challenges of Country Managers assigned to maximize profit in other cultures.
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