Q. I am a HR manager. There are two interns in the marketing department; one has a degree, while the other has a certificate. There is a vacant role for brand assistant, and when hiring, it is a prerequisite that candidates have a degree. The certificate holder is a better team player, according to their supervisor. I am tempted to break company rules and hire her instead.
Hiring process should be preceded by discussing and agreeing on the role profile, which clearly stipulates the education qualification, experience and attributes required from the potential job holder, based on the complexity and level of the role. This eliminates ambiguity and makes the hiring process easy and objective.
A degree is not a requirement for all roles for instance, technical roles sometimes require tertiary training that has bias towards hands-on skills. The role of brand assistant is an entry level position and has potential to grow into the role of Brand Manager and eventually Marketing Manager, therefore, the person who gets it must have qualifications and attributes which will make it possible to be promoted to the higher roles.
A degree becomes a necessity in this case.
If the company policy does not permit flexibility on set hiring prerequisites, I suggest that you abide by the policy. It would be improper to disregard this requirement especially being the custodian of the policy. There is also danger of setting precedent for future recruitment, which might affect the quality of talent within the organisation. You might also be accused of being subjective while your role should be impartial.
Manage the other candidate by explaining to her that she does not meet the minimum qualification required for the vacant role.
Appreciate her good team work and encourage her to pursue a degree to increase her chances of employment.
Being a team player does not necessarily make her a better choice; your focus should be on who is a better performer in terms of meeting the objectives that you had set for their internship period.
Internship more often than not forms the talent pipeline for future employees, therefore you should bring on board candidates who possess the minimum qualification for your entry level roles.