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Code of Conduct and Ethics in the Hiring Process

The paper presents useful information on the code of ethics and the code of conduct. The significance of both documents for an organization is analyzed. It is proved that the code of conduct includes official norms and rules for employees, while the code of ethics focuses on a moral aspect of actions and decisions. The paper also discusses which document is more useful when it comes to a recruitment process. It is demonstrated that codes of ethics offer significant benefits when applied to this process. Research proves that organizations benefit substantially from basing their hiring decisions on the code of ethics, and the benefits refer to their reputation, performance, and economic indicators. Thus, the paper offers a comprehensive insight into the documents under consideration and explains how to make ethical hiring decisions.

Making correct decisions is a complex task, especially when it refers to hiring. In these cases, employers feel a significant burden of responsibility. It relates to the fact that their hiring decisions should meet two criteria. On the one hand, they need to hire employees who would contribute positively to the performance of a firm or company. On the other hand, employers’ decisions should be ethical; that is, they should not have any biases. To ensure it, employers can conform to the code of conduct and the code of ethics. Thus, each of them offers vital information, but differences between them denote that the code of ethics is more useful for making ethical hiring decisions in an organization.

The code of conduct is an essential document for every professional society. According to Hardy (2016), codes of conduct can be used “to reinforce constructive behaviors and outline expectations, which is increasingly relevant with a multicultural membership” (p. 1). In other words, these essential documents represent official rules and norms for employees of a particular organization to follow on a day-to-day basis. In addition to that, codes of conduct contain core values and organizational culture of businesses without paying attention to possible ethical issues that can arise. That is why every firm or company should have a unique code of conduct that would reflect their peculiarities. Thus, this document presents specific information on the company’s goals and what individual employees should do to achieve them.

At the same time, the code of ethics is also relevant, but this document includes ethical principles that should govern the decisions and actions of both individual employees and whole organizations. Every business is a diverse system, where people cooperate with one another, which can result in various conflicts and other ethical issues. Singh and Prasad (2017) mention that codes of ethics are designed to address these issues. Furthermore, these documents can provide employees with useful information on how they should handle such crucial phenomena as harassment, personal security issues, and others. Thus, codes of ethics provide employees with valuable guidelines to make decisions and take actions that would not violate ethical principles.

Even though the two codes above represent sets of essential information, there is a significant difference between them. It refers to the fact that codes of conduct include legal rules and norms, while codes of ethics focus on ethical aspects. One can note that if an action or decision does not violate the code of conduct, it does not mean that they meet the requirements of the code of ethics. It is reasonable to consider a specific example to understand the difference. Thus, it is a typical case when companies poach employees of their rivals. While it does not create any problems for achieving the company’s goals, this action is unethical since it is a kind of unfair competition.

At this point, it is necessary to determine which code is more useful to apply while making hiring decisions. On the one hand, Murage, Sang, and Ngure (2018) stipulate that every choice has normative and moral aspects, meaning that the two codes are connected. On the other hand, when applied to a recruitment process, the code of ethics seems to be more crucial. It refers to the fact that ethical hiring decisions will result in diversity and justice in an organization, which, in turn, will positively influence the performance of this organization.

In addition to that, utilizing the code of ethics to make hiring decisions results in a few more benefits apart from better performance. Firstly, the rule of ethics can help establish a positive image of an organization in the market. In this case, a continually increasing number of experienced employees will want to work in this organization. On the contrary, ethically wrong decisions create an ill name for a company, and skillful people do not want to work in such an environment. Secondly, Singh and Prasad (2017) prove that unethical behavior can lower the company’s share price and profits. Thus, it is difficult to overestimate the significance of the code of ethics for making ethical decisions that will lead to positive consequences.

In conclusion, the code of ethics and the code of conduct are vital documents for every organization. The two are similar in the way that they offer some guidelines for employees on how to behave in various situations. However, there is an essential difference between the two, especially when it comes to the recruitment process. It is proved that it is more useful to base hiring decisions on the code of ethics because it will have some positive outcomes. They include the better performance of a company, a positive image of an organization in the market, and essential economic benefits.


Hardy, M. C. (2016). Drafting an effective code of conduct for professional societies: A practical guide. Administrative Sciences, 6(4), 1-11.

Murage, S. N., Sang, A., & Ngure, S. (2018). Ethical issues in recruitment, selection and employee performance in public universities in Nyeri County, Kenya. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 9(2), 194-203.

Singh, C., & Prasad, M. (2017). Code of ethics in an organization. International Journal of Application or Innovation in Engineering & Management, 6(5), 138-142.