Business is expanding and also you’re ready to add some layers to your agency structure.But as you sit under to create the project description, it access time you: perform you must hire a supervisor, or a manager?

And, seriously, what’s the difference in between the two?

If you’re no sure, nothing be embarrassed. There are a the majority of similarities between the two roles. However each has a clear definition, and knowing the difference is vital if you planning on hiring someone to oversee a team or department.

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What the thesaurus has to say about it

According come Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “supervise” way to be in charge of something, whereas “manage” means to take care of or direct something v a degree of skill. Essentially, a supervisor oversees a team of employees or a details operation, where as a manager has a much more active duty in directing operations and creating objectives for employees.

Think of it this way: a supervisor provides sure things get done in a particular way, if a manager decides the means things will obtain done. There will be some overlap in between the two, particularly in smaller companies. But let’s take a look at the nitty-gritty that what makes these functions different.


Typically, a at sight is listed below a manager in the business hierarchy. In fact, the location of “supervisor” is often one that the an initial managerial location a qualified and also competent employee could put ~ above his or she resume.

Many supervisors are advocated from in ~ the room they’ll it is in overseeing, fairly than rental from outside. The or she is typically a high-performer who has actually been with the company long enough to be intimately acquainted with both the firm policies and also the high quality of job-related expected from the rest of the team.

Supervisors typically oversee a team of people in comparable jobs, who space doing similar work. Their role is much more about assigning work and also keeping employees on track, quite than orchestrating them.


A manager has more agency than the supervisor. Generally, a manager is charged with regulating resources — even if it is financial, material, or personnel. Managers have decision-making capabilities about those resources: whereby to invest, where to fire, when to hire.

Because the this, managers need come have more insight right into the more comprehensive operations the the business than a supervisor would, so they can make sure their department is aligned v the strategy the the firm as a whole. A manager demands to have actually the capability (and agency) come allocate sources to meet company goals.

Depending on the dimension of the company, a manager may oversee employee directly, or oversee a team the supervisors.

Not all management positions require additional education and also training, but it’s becoming an ext common. Work research firm Burning Glass has discovered that much more employers then ever before are requiring degrees for middle administration positions.

Supervisor vs. Manager: who to hire?

Now that us talked a bit around the difference between these two roles, stop get earlier to our initial scenario. You have to hire someone to oversee component of your procedure — perform you need a manager, or a supervisor?

Ask yourself these questions
Will this person have actually hiring and also firing powers?Will this person collection objectives for their direct reports?Will this human make crucial decisions around how sources (monetary or personnel) room spent?Does this duty require “big-picture thinking” aligned with agency goals?Will this person be request to do decisions about the direction the the department?

If girlfriend answered yes to these questions, you’re trying to find a manager.If you looking more for a human who is competent in the specific function they’ll it is in overseeing, and also whose job will be to certain quality and compliance indigenous their straight reports, you’re in search of a supervisor.

Put simply, a manager need to have greater order people management an abilities and business strategy skills, if a supervisor should have much more in-depth knowledge of the day-to-day work-related done through the employee they are overseeing.

Writing a project description: super vs. Manager

Now that you understand who you want to hire, it’s time to craft a great job description. Whether you’re promoting someone from within the team the they’ll it is in overseeing or rental from external the company, a solid job description will assist your brand-new manager or supervisor understand — and also hopefully excel at —their duties.

Key words and phrases to include:

Supervising staffOrganizing and also developing employee schedulesTraining brand-new employeesMonitoring work-related progressMonitoring expenses and also suppliesOverseeing operational logistics
Managing staffPlanning room activitiesEvaluating job-related effectivenessManaging expenses and also resourcesDeveloping budgets and also performing cost-benefit analysisRecruiting, hiring, and assessing employeesPerformance reviewsDirecting operational logisticsDeveloping methods for conference departmental objectives

The at sight job description would be much more likely to call for experience act the precise work the the employees he or she will certainly be overseeing; the manager job description would be much more likely come require broader people monitoring experience. Depending upon the specific situation, hiring a manager with outside industry experience can be a boon.

Now, spread your wings, walk fly away and find the perfect manager or supervisor!

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