Ethical Decision-Making and Hiring in a Business Setting

Cite this


Present-day companies face the challenge of hiring personnel with respect to ethical considerations applicable to this process. It is well-established that legal guidelines in this area can be misleading due to their ambiguity and the conflict with a company’s interests. Moreover, the significance of the code of ethics and the code of conduct used as the primary documents reflecting a business’s morality should not be underestimated when conducting tests for potential workers. Therefore, this paper aims to thoroughly examine the mentioned documents, legal provisions, and factors affecting the ultimate decisions of managers to determine an optimal course of action. Specifically, it is focused on the available publications, including the ethics of an organization and their relation to other sources used for hiring new people.

To confirm the significance of the code of conduct and the code of ethics, the differences between them, the importance of both pieces, and the purpose, of uniting them, were considered. The analysis showed that the former is intended for employees and clarifies their preferable decisions in each case, whereas the latter is aimed at other stakeholders and serves to provide the ethical grounds for cooperation. In addition, both documents are essential for promoting morality in regular operations while being critical for people’s awareness concerning the values instilled by a particular organization. They are complemented by factors affecting the selection of employees, including their honesty and integrity, as well as their willingness to cooperate in sharing information. These conditions are claimed to be crucial for making ethical choices since they reflect individuals’ ability to comply with the company’s ethics.


Making ethical decisions when hiring staff is a challenge for present-day organizations, which can be resolved by relying on evidence-based practices. They are mainly supported by the code of conduct and the code of ethics, clarifying the expectations of all stakeholders (Edgewood College School of Business, 2013). In order to fully understand how to combine optimal solutions to the specified tasks and ethical norms in a business setting, it is necessary to examine the corresponding documents alongside the critical factors in employment.

The Code of Conduct vs. The Code of Ethics


The primary sources speaking about the ethics and underlying values adopted by organizations are the code of conduct and the code of ethics, and they are different in their effects on companies and structure. Thus, the latter mostly present short statements printed on business cards to display the priorities of the managers in dealing with their clients and employees (Edgewood College School of Business, 2013). Meanwhile, the former includes longer publications explicitly narrating about the appropriate and inappropriate behavior of workers and is mainly used for their guidance in making essential decisions (Edgewood College School of Business, 2013). Hence, these two documents complement one another in ensuring respect for organizational ethics within an entity while being different in their format and key messages as well as the intended readers.


The code of ethics and the code of conduct are crucial for the proper work of a company while being important for its overall image and reputation among the stakeholders. For instance, the former is significant for guaranteeing legal compliance of the actions of managers and their employees with the guidelines in hiring (Adelstein & Clegg, 2016). In other words, the interests of a business are aligned with the ethics applied to this procedure by introducing an effective code for the people involved in the process (Adelstein & Clegg, 2016). As for the latter, it is vital to the support instilled in values by all individuals working for a company (Hill & Rapp, 2014). As follows from the article written by Hill and Rapp (2014), only the combined efforts of employees and managers can make a difference in developing morality as per the corresponding sources and accompanying practices. Therefore, the importance of the code of conduct and the code of ethics can be formulated as a critical role of these pieces in promoting the ethical nature of all operations.


The purpose of both the code of conduct and the code of ethics is similar as they are aimed at providing comprehensive information regarding the organizational values and their incorporation into regular operations. From this perspective, the availability of these documents to all individuals interested in the business is the key to its future profitability (Edgewood College School of Business, 2013). For instance, in the case of the code of conduct, the general intention supporting the formulation of its principles is related to the need to comply with local or state laws and the awareness of employees in this respect (Edgewood College School of Business, 2013). In turn, the code of ethics is designed to clarify the ethical expectations of all stakeholders, thereby providing common grounds for cooperation in terms of morality (Edgewood College School of Business, 2013). Considering these ideas, it can be claimed that the purpose of the discussed publications is informing the affected persons about their desired attitudes towards the work with a company.

Factors for Making Ethical Hiring Decisions

In making ethical decisions regarding hiring new personnel, one should pay particular attention to the factors reflecting the appropriateness of adopted measures. They are primarily related to the tests conducted in the workplace alongside background reports as per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (Dwoskin et al., 2013). First, the managers should consider the willingness of prospective employees to cooperate in providing accurate information after obtaining their written consent (Dwoskin et al., 2013). Second, authorized access to their credit history or social networks should not be perceived as a violation of rights (Shethji, 2016; Stoughton et al., 2015). Third, the results of honesty and integrity assessments should be appropriate as per the company’s standards (Brody et al., 2015). In this way, the discussed conditions are linked to one’s personal characteristics and formulated in an objective manner.

Why the Factors Should Be Included in The Hiring Process

The specified factors are important to include in the hiring process as they effectively determine the potential workers’ ability to comply with ethical regulations in the future. For instance, the willingness to cooperate and be open about essential personal data serves as evidence of their propensity to comply (Dwoskin et al., 2013). As for the tests for verifying the required degree of honesty and integrity, they are efficient in timely detecting one’s failure to respect the ethics for further elimination of risks.


In conclusion, the process of hiring personnel is guided by ethical considerations explicitly stated in the code of conduct and the code of ethics. These documents can be used alongside legal regulations and the discussed factors to guarantee the suitability of one or another worker for a strategic organizational course. Thus, the orientation on these conditions when making appropriate decisions in this respect seems crucial for establishing a company’s morality.


Adelstein, J., & Clegg, S. (2016). Code of ethics: A stratified vehicle for compliance. Journal of Business Ethics, 138(1), 53-66. Web.

Brody, R. G., Perri, F. S., & Van Buren, H. J. (2015). Further beyond the basic background check: Predicting future unethical behavior. Business and Society Review, 120(4), 549-576. Web.

Dwoskin, L. B., Squire, M. B., & Patullo, J. E. (2013). Welcome aboard! How to hire the right way. Employee Relations Law Journal, 38(4), 28-63.

Edgewood College School of Business. (2013, July 19). Codes of ethics and conduct [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Hill, R. P., & Rapp, J. M. (2014). Codes of ethical conduct: A bottom-up approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 123(4), 621-630. Web.

Shethji, P. (2016). Credit checks under Title VII: Learning from the criminal background check context. New York University Law Review, 91, 989-1025. Web.

Stoughton, J. W., Thompson, L. F., & Meade, A. W. (2015). Examining applicant reactions to the use of social networking websites in pre-employment screening. Journal of Business and Psychology, 30(1), 73-88. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


BusinessEssay. (2022, December 3). Ethical Decision-Making and Hiring in a Business Setting. Retrieved from


BusinessEssay. (2022, December 3). Ethical Decision-Making and Hiring in a Business Setting.

Work Cited

"Ethical Decision-Making and Hiring in a Business Setting." BusinessEssay, 3 Dec. 2022,


BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Ethical Decision-Making and Hiring in a Business Setting'. 3 December.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "Ethical Decision-Making and Hiring in a Business Setting." December 3, 2022.

1. BusinessEssay. "Ethical Decision-Making and Hiring in a Business Setting." December 3, 2022.


BusinessEssay. "Ethical Decision-Making and Hiring in a Business Setting." December 3, 2022.