It goes without saying that competent employees play a highly significant role in any organization and substantially contribute to its development and general growth. However, in the realm of appropriate human resource management and hiring, integrity may be regarded as more valuable in comparison with previous experience or professional skills (Verschoor, 2016). As a matter of fact, ethical employees are considerably beneficial as they increase customer satisfaction, prevent harassment and discrimination, reduce fraud rates, and help to create a positive image of an organization. In addition, ethical employees are more responsible and frequently continue to work hard, especially when performance becomes challenging, instead of making decisions that may be defined as morally questionable. That is why it is essential for any company to consider recruitment and retaining ethical employees.
In general, employers should hire ethical employees to make their organization ethical. At the same time, in order to hire ethical workers, this organization should become attractive for people with high moral principles in relation to work, as well. In other words, it should make ethics the main part of its marketing messaging and the overall strategy of development. In fact, any company has its own organizational culture that may be defined as the specific system of common values, beliefs, and shared actions that form within its structure and determine its members’ behavior.
In addition, organizational culture “describes the environment in which people work and the influence it has on how they think, act, and experience work” (Warrick, 2017, p. 2). In order to be ethical, have a right to hire and retain ethical workers, and build an appropriate reputation for integrity, the organization’s culture should accept, value, and promote good ethics.
Another essential feature of ethical organizational culture is people’s accountability that should be maintained. In other words, management should provide employees with all opportunities to report inappropriate unethical behavior or ethics violations through safe anonymous channels such as anonymous documents or an employee hotline. At the same time, all workers should be ensured that their report will be seriously considered and investigated impartially according to the company’s policy.
As integrity may substantially influence the company’s performance and reputation, human resource managers should conduct the recruitment process ethically raking into consideration objectivity, consistency, and honesty. First of all, job advertising should provide a clear perspective of a promoted position and accurately reflect its competencies, responsibilities, and duties to avoid any misinterpretation. Ethical responsibility of interviewers implies the provision of accurate information concerning the company and working conditions to candidates. As previously mentioned, only an ethical organization may succeed in the recruitment of ethical workers. In addition, employees should be hired according to their professional skills and previous experience, and any discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, marital status, and age may be regarded as unethical.
In turn, the integrity of candidates should be prioritized during the hiring process as well. In the present day, the conversational interview format remains the most applicable method of recruitment in human resource management, and more than 70% of hiring managers report they apply it in their work (Verschoor, 2016). Consequently, interview skills that demonstrate applicants’ honesty and responsibility are crucial to their success (Verschoor, 2016). At the same time, as the levels of unemployment are considerably high in multiple countries across the globe, recruiters should be provided with specific algorithms to ensure the candidate’s ethics and choose the right person (Brody et al., 2015). The following techniques may be used by companies in order to “protect themselves from dishonest employees” (Brody et al., 2015, p. 551):
- Background checks. The majority of organizations currently rely on such pre-employment screening tool, as a background check, to screen potential job applicants before a final decision. It may include an educational and professional credentials check, a criminal record check, a credit check, a media check, and a reference check. It goes without saying that it is essential for any company to have reliable information concerning its employees to avoid cases of fraud or harassment in the future, however, from a personal perspective, the expediency of some checks is controversial. While information related to education, professional skills, and previous experience is essential, candidates’ privacy and personal life should be respected as well. Monitoring their profiles in social networks may create a wrong image of a person, and the search for information not directly connected with a job may be regarded as unethical.
- Resume verification. A substantial number of people frequently exaggerate their skills, titles, responsibilities, and duties in previous positions or mention never earned academic degrees (Brody et al., 2015). That is why an organization should verify the candidate’s any degrees, professional credentials, and past employment.
- Attention to ethic training. If a candidate has ethical leadership certifications or other documents that may clearly prove his or her commitment to workplace ethics, it should be considered by the company’s human resource managers as well. In addition, the applicant’s work in any well-known ethical company in the past is also beneficial for a new position. People who were committed to integrity due to the previous company’s organizational structure and training traditionally bring ethical practices to new places of work.
Brody, R. G., Perri, F. S., & Van Buren, H. J. (2015). Further beyond the basic background check: Predicting future unethical behavior. Business & Society Review, 120(4), 549-576.
Verschoor, C. C. (2016). Hiring ethical employees. Strategic Finance, 98(1), 17-18.
Warrick, D. D. (2017). What leaders need to know about organization culture. Business Horizons, 60(3), 395-404. Web.