Hiring Ethically

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine smart hiring methods

decorative imageCompanies place a lot of resources into their hiring process as it is a fundamental part of a successful company. The human resources department spends many hours on each new hire selecting who they believe to be the correct individuals for the job. But when the right person is not hired for the right job, chaos can ensue.

A bad hire can be toxic to a work environment—hiring the wrong person can negatively impact morale, productivity, and company standards. Consistently making bad hires effects multiple levels of an organization.

While the hiring process can prove to be lengthy, the process of terminating an employee is equally, if not more, strenuous. Unfortunately, hiring a new employee isn’t a simple or inexpensive process. Therefore, it is critical to use smart hiring practices to increase your odds of hiring and retaining the right person for the right job. When a company is unable to retain new employees, it leads to a lot of wasted time and energy.This section will examine some smart hiring practices and how they are beneficial to the hiring process.

Roadblocks to Making a Good Hire

Before we dive into the different types of smart hiring practices, let’s examine some roadblocks to making a good hire:

  • If a company is desperate to fill a position, they are more likely to rush through the hiring process and focusing more on filling the void rather than hiring the right person. Therefore, a short staffed company is oftentimes at a greater risk for making a bad hire and continuing the turnover trend.
  • Companies often make decisions heavily on resumes and how a candidate looks on paper. Although a resume is a great place to start, candidates’ GPAs, resume buzzwords, and where they went to school do not always tell the whole story. A candidate’s interview should play a much larger role.
  • Interviewers often have different ideas of who they’d like to fill a position. There should be a system in place to properly evaluate a candidate’s interview. If there are multiple people participating in the hiring process, it is important to have a streamlined way of ensuring fair and consistent hiring practices. This can include a rubric system that evaluates how well a candidate performed based on their responses.

Smart Hiring Practices

Now let’s review some smart hiring practices. First, you need to make sure you partner with the departments who have spots to fill to fully understand the type of employee they are looking for. Meeting with their team to create a list of qualifications and behavioral needs is the first step to ensuring you have a clear picture of the type of person that would work well on the team. You can then use this description and list of desired traits to start searching for the best candidate. The next step includes creating a smart recruiting process. Once a recruitment plan is in place, you are ready to start the search! While collecting resumes, now is the time to screen candidates and pull the ones with proper qualifications aside. It is also a great time to prescreen your candidates to help narrow down your applicant list. Once you have a pool of qualified candidates, it is time to start the interview process.

two men sitting at a tableIt is important to remember that how you interview a candidate can make or break your success rate. A behavioral-based interview style is a great way to better understand how a person would act in certain situations. Behavior-based questions help gain insight into how people would perform in the future. If you only ask questions based on the candidate’s resume, you will miss your opportunity to get a full picture of that person. Here are some behavioral-based interview question examples:

  • Describe a stressful work situation and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about a time you used logic to solve a problem.
  • Tell me about a time you did not meet your goal. How did you handle that?

Personality tests are another great way to gain a deeper understanding of the candidate. Personality tests can help hiring teams determine how candidates would contribute, or take away from, a team. Learning about someone’s negative personality traits may be helpful in avoiding making a hiring choice that could turn out to be toxic to a team environment. On the other hand, learning about a candidate’s positive personality traits may help guide the team to find the perfect placement for the candidate. We will discuss personality traits further in the next module.

After the interview, it is time to run a background check and follow-up on their references. This step should either solidify your hiring decision or force you to find another candidate. These additional checks can help ensure you are hiring an ethical candidate who will bring value, not conflict, to your company.

PRactice Question

It is important to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect hiring system. There is a chance you will go through all the “right” steps and still end up with a candidate who is not the best fit. However, having a smart hiring process in place will help increase your chances of finding the right candidate for the job.


Heathfield, Susan M. “10 Best Ways to Ensure You Find the Right Person for Your Available Job.” The Balance Careers. October 16, 2018. Accessed April 12, 2019. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-tips-for-hiring-the-right-employee-1918964.

“Smarter Hiring Practices.” The Predictive Index. Accessed April 12, 2019. https://www.predictiveindex.com/how-we-help/hire-smart/.


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