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Ethical Decision Making and Hiring

Explain the differences, importance, and purpose of both the code

of conduct and the code of ethics. Secondly, tell me about some of

the factors that you would use to make ethical hiring decisions in an

organization. Why would these be important to include in the hiring process (Example of things that you might include: Legal Ground Rules or other items in our reading material or library that would be considered in the process). Format: APA Paper (With an abstract).


All companies desire to have a positive reputation as well as employees that share that same view. To help facilitate that companies use several different things two major ones that are used are known as a Code of Ethics as well as a Code of Conduct which ensure employees adhere to the guidelines. Contained within this paper are several differences as well as commonalities and why they are important. There are many tactics and techniques that allow managers and employees to find the best candidate for the job while adhering to guidelines set forth by state and federal governments. This paper will also discuss some ways that I would use as well as have seen to be effective in finding the best candidate for the position. The fact is that ethical decisions are usually made by ethical people and that will assist in correcting any ethical dilemmas found in a company.

Keywords: Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct

Ethical Decision Making and Hiring

There are many important variables to take into consideration when hiring an employee one of the most important is that employee must possess a strong code of ethics and a set of moral values. Taking this into consideration protects the corporation from unethical behaviors while ensuring that the company keeps those with less desirable morals and ethics from being employed. The reason a company must try to prevent hiring those who have unethical or unmoral behaviors is because such actions cause sever damage to a company in various ways. Therefore, any successful company must act to prioritize its organizational culture “an ethical organizational culture, which can be defined as “the organizational formal and informal elements that contribute to an organization’s ethical effectiveness”” (schwartz,2017). A corporation can attain a strong ethical reputation and workforce by utilizing a strong code of ethics a prime example is that used by the military.

Many people believe that a code of conduct is the same as a code of ethics. Though they are similar they are not completely the same however they do often work together. “A code of conduct is defined as how the company expects employees to behave” (Leonard, 2019). Or explained as rules that inform employees on how to act. The reason that these rules are required ensure that company policies as well as state or federal regulations are followed. On such example is the military code of conduct where they are held to many higher standards than federal employees regarding personal finances, Security clearances and dissemination of vital information. A company that requires a code of conduct also clearly states its expectations which enables no room for misunderstandings while enabling the organization to more easily reach any goals to which it aims.

As discussed since a code of conduct is a set of rules that instructs the employees on acceptable ways to behave at work, we need to discuss how a code of ethics differs from a code of conduct. “A code of ethics is can be defined as a moral standard that a company expects employees to follow” (Leonard, 2019). These ethical guidelines are to help employees “feel safe, avoid situations where they feel harassment or discrimination” (Leonard, 2019). The need for a supportive or well-written code of ethics is important as it facilitates trust between employees and employer directly increasing productivity. For a company’s code of ethics however to be fully implemented as well as reap the most benefits a company must reinforce the code at every level for once a company ignores it’s on code the trust between employees and employer is hard to regain.

To have an effective ethical organizational culture the need to have a strong code of conduct cannot be overstated. With the ethical culture you gain employees which can and do choose to adhere to the rules as set forth in the code of conduct without need for other efforts. For example, a new employee once hired is usually given a copy of the company’s code of conduct. Even though many company’s follow this practice the best also go over with the new employee what is in those guidelines this is to ensure the employee and employer know every expectation while minimizing any confusion. For many companies or organizations, the code of conduct serves as an integral part of the companies support system while allowing the company to stay compliant with federal, state and cultural requirements protecting the organizations reputation.

Both the code of conduct as well as a code of ethics are important to both company and employee within an organization. Every company has guiding principles while the codes allow for less confusion there is always areas that aren’t black and white and those are when incidents occur. Because not every employee that is hired has the same values, ethics, or moral codes a company’s codes doesn’t solve every issue however if well-known creates a set standard that allows for guidance. This is important as well because organizations that follow the “U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Federal Sentencing Guidelines, can reduce the financial risks associated with government fines for ethical misconduct by demonstrating they have made a

“good faith effort” to prevent illegal acts.” (Ethics & Compliance Initiative, 2019)

The purpose of a code of conduct and why is so important to organizations? As mentioned earlier an organization desires to “protect themselves from lawsuits and to ensure good workplace and public relations.” (Horst, 2019) when and if an employee acts in such a manner as deemed unethical , the company’s legal or human resources department can then determine using the codes of conduct and ethics if the employee did it accidentally or if it was negligent directly changing what legal actions if any the company can or will take.

The code of ethics, like code of conduct are designed to attempt to make the work environment as safe as possible. Because it is a code of ethics should be part of any organizations operations plan and taken with the same seriousness as the mission. The code of ethics and code of conduct allow a company to show customers as well as employees how ethical and fair they are in an attempt to create a good reputation which then creates the understanding they will

“operate with confidentiality, transparency and fairness in all client interactions.” (Kokemuller, 2019) With a = well-written code of ethics many employees are empowered and will strive to handle any and all unexpected ethical dilemmas appropriately and correctly.

One area that I would improve and implement in a hiring process is the need for honesty and this I would do with a question they couldn’t answer. Honesty is the most important thing to me especially in the interview phase and that is due to the fact if they are unwilling or unable to answer a hard question will the just “blow smoke”. I know many people that when they don’t have an answer right away, they tend to guess or lie. To me this shows that someone lacks the ability or courage to admit they don’t have the answer which causes someone to guess such as with why they didn’t make a deadline ex. I believe that asking them this question then on another interview seeing if they took the time to find the correct answer will show the type of moral and ethical behavior I would want. This would allow my employees to know that instead of giving bad information or lying that they can admit the issue then figure out way to fix it so that it doesn’t happen again. This would also save corporations money as wrong answers tend to create extra work, lost man hours, lost customers and many other costly issues.

In conclusion, while writing any code of conduct or ethics consider the professional standards and personal standard that best correlates with your company’s goals, mission, and values. The practice that shows the best success is to outline the codes during the interview process as well as reinforce them throughout the employment. This prevents any confusion in the workplace as to what is in keeping with the company’s code. In cases where there are ethical dilemmas that are covered by the codes conduct the company is responsible for making sure employees are aware of the repercussion for violating its code of conduct. The media is constantly talking about issues within company’s these illustrate the need for today’s companies to consistently train on ethics and continue to reinforce their codes of conduct.

Organizational culture. Retrieved February 16, 2020, from website: (Accessed 19 Feb 20].

Ethics & Compliance Initiative. (2019). Why Have a Code of Conduct - Ethics & Compliance Initiative? [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Feb 2020].

Schwartz, M. S. (2017). Business ethics: An ethical decision-making approach. Retrieved from [Accessed 19 Feb 20]

Horst, J. (2019). Purpose of a Code of Conduct. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb 2020].

Kokemuller, N. (2019). What Is the Purpose of a Code of Ethics? [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb 2020].

Leonard, K. (2019). Difference Between Code of Ethics & Conduct. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Jan. 2019].

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