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Ethical Dilemmas in Hiring

I need help with the following scenario. Please provide references as well.

You are in charge of selecting a person to fill the position of Information Technology Specialist for your organization. Six candidates have successfully completed a "pass/fail" written examination. The candidates are equally qualified in terms of education and experience. The final hurdle in the selection process is an interview. Prior to any interviews being held, you received an email from the President of your organization, Patricia Madsen. In her email, she indicated that she would "like to see George McDonough get the position." George McDonough is one of the candidates.

Prepare an email response to Ms. Madsen. In your response you should address, at a minimum, the following:

Is this an ethical dilemma?
Why it is or is not an ethical dilemma.
How you evaluated the alternatives.
What your final decision is.
What principle(s) you used to arrive at that decision.
Submit your email (as a Word document) to your instructor.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you.

Solution Preview

Please see response attached (also below), including one supporting article. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

1. Is this an ethical dilemma? Why it is or is not an ethical dilemma?

Some would argue that it is an ethical dilemma, because you are being asked to decide on issues where there are arguments on both sides - a problem that makes ethical decision-making very difficult. This question falls within this "gray area". Obviously, you have a problem - an ethical problem. Should you hire George (whom the President has suggested as the best candidate) or continue with the selection process (and hire the person who is obviously the best person for the job, which might be George)? What is fair to all applicants? Are there legal or company policy considerations? Questions like these touch on our deepest values. Depending on whom you would ask, you would get strong arguments for both decisions. This is what we mean when we talk about "gray area". So what is the answer?

Mainly, it is an ethical dilemma because you have two positions - either continue the process, have the interview and ignore the President's suggestions; or go along with the President's decision and hire George prior to the completion of the selection process (which seems unethical to me and perhaps have legal ramifications as well, as the only information that is supposed to influence the hiring selection is the information collected at the interview - not outside influence, like the President's suggestion to hire George - see attached article on legal issues of testing and hiring).

Perhaps, the best business decision would be to hire George McDonough, since the President already knows him and perhaps knows about his working ethics; however, it might be a friend and she may not know as much as she thinks, etc. But what about the ethical decision? Is it fair to the other applicants if you hire George before they have an interview? If the business did poorly as a result of you hiring another applicant instead of George, though, and s/he couldn't provide as good a service, the business would suffer. As a result, your employer, and perhaps yourself, would suffer. On a personal level, although you probably wouldn't write this in your email to the President, money might already be tight, and perhaps you just purchased your new home with higher mortgage payments, and what if the President fired you or failed to give you the promotion that you so well deserved; it would have serious negative financial implications.

As mentioned above, you have an ethical problem. Should you hire George (whom the President has suggested as the best candidate) or continue with the selection process (and hire the person who was obviously the best person for the job, which might be George)? What is fair to all applicants? Questions like these touch on our deepest values. Depending on whom you would ask, you would get strong arguments for both decisions. This is what we mean when we talk about "gray area". So what is the answer?

2. How you evaluated the alternatives?

You are expected to look at alternative solution to the dilemma, such as:

Position one: ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the ethical questions e.g., is there an ethical dilemma, what alternatives are there, etc., this solution analyzes the case scenario about the hiring process and selection. Supplemented with an article on the applicant assessment process.

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