Yes, there’s a big difference.
Leadership isn’t to be taken lightly. When hiring an important individual who’s going to look after other important individuals of your workforce, you need to first understand the difference between a manager and supervisor – and then, which one of those two it is that your business needs.
First, let’s understand what each means, and the fundamental differences between them.
Manager or Supervisor: The Big Difference
While managers and supervisors share many of the same, if not similar responsibilities, their actual purpose is very different.
The role of a supervisor is very much internally-focused – its benefits are to your business. Supervisors are by nature more administrative; more used to observing, assigning, directing and then reporting. Their role is critical to making sure the day-to-day running of your business is done at its best. They’re there to guide and support your employees while they do their jobs. And they’re a direct line from senior management into the nitty-gritty of the workplace.
Managers, on the other hand, might not have quite as much involvement on that fully practical level. But, what they’re able to do is build toward the long term vision. By understanding the business-critical factors of what’s going to lead your business to success, they oversee each moving part as it acts as part of the well-oiled machine. Their strategic eye can make all the difference when it comes to scaling, diversifying, or just plain competing.
Manager or Supervisor: Identify Your Challenge
Knowing which of these two professionals you need to join your team is a matter of what the challenge you’re facing comes down to.
Consider your issue and where it stems from. If you require someone with the ability to implement sustainable practices toward long-term growth, it’s a manager you need. If you need a strategic pair of eyes to model the path to success, that’s a manager. If you need someone to wrangle your team’s vision to work towards an aligned goal, a manager could be the key.
If you’ve got the vision down pat, and the goal is well within your crosshairs, but you need to make sure every step is deployed as effectively and efficiently as possible: a supervisor may be just the ticket. If you know that your operations could be running that much more smoothly, or need a simple but significant boost in productivity, a strong supervisor might just be your next superpower.
How can I spot this at interview?
The all-important idea now is, of course, to define your own job specification. Once you have this in mind, use various interview questions and techniques to determine where the candidate in question will be best placed, whether as a manager or supervisor.
In their answers, you’ll find that those who lean towards management take a long-term view; they’ll endeavour to implement and improve processes. Their priority will be growth, and the strategic moves it takes to get there. Their answers to your behavioural questions will be structured around the value they can add, while you’ll find that situational interview questions will highlight the benefits they’ve brought to other businesses, largely over extended periods.
When interviewing someone who may prove to be a fantastic supervisor, you’ll hear more quantitative answers. Instead of talking numbers around growth, they’ll be able to demonstrate positive outcomes on short-term deliverables; their numbers will be more focused on the immediate future, and what we can do today to make a difference as soon as tomorrow.
Whether you need a manager or supervisor, or you’re just not sure which, we’re able to help. Our team of consultants is adept in identifying the traits you’re looking for, through our extensive qualification process. And we’ll represent your brand as its best, each and every step of the way.
Get in touch with Next Level Group for staffing, recruiting and payroll services today.