Mackay’s appointment comes following the decision to sack Gordon Strachan after he failed to guide Scotland to a World Cup qualifying play-off.
Strachan had held the top job at Hampden Park since January 2013.
FA chief executive Stewart Regan said it was ‘too premature to discuss’ the long-term options for the position.
‘Recruitment phase begins next week,’ he said. ‘It’s difficult to put a timescale on replacement.
‘We believe we can compete [financially] to get the right person for the manager’s job.
‘We want someone capable of getting to Euro 2020.’
Mackay, the former Cardiff and Watford boss, has most recently filled the role of Scottish FA performance director.
Regan claimed Strachan had given no indication of whether he wanted to continue, but simply asked the SFA board to decide how they wanted to proceed.
Mackay was a controversial appointment as performance director in December last year after being the subject of an 11-month probe into a series of text messages.
And Regan gave little away on whether Mackay would be involved in the recruitment process or a candidate himself.
‘Malky’s the performance director,’ he said. ‘He has got a big job to do and a number of challenges that he is working on at the moment.
‘To be fair to Malky he has responded to the board’s request. We asked him to take the team in Aberdeen and he was delighted to do so. As far as Malky is concerned, he will then focus on his performance responsibilities.
‘We asked him literally in the aftermath of yesterday’s decision to lead the team for one match. We haven’t discussed anything further as far as the recruitment campaign is concerned.’