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Recruitment Ethical Issues: Jeffrey Lay’s Case Report

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Updated: Jul 14th, 2021


The present report covers the issue with a recruitment policy for a new cross-functional team within the bank. It analyzes the critical ethical issues faced in the process of candidate selection, stakeholder needs and behavior, polices, and possible resolutions. Finally, the report provides recommendations on decision-making and future governance of such problems.

Ethical Issues

From the standpoint of ethics, Jeffrey Lay’s judgement and decision-making on several matters is questionable. First of all, it raises discrimination concerns for refusing to promote a handicapped but suitable, capable, and diligent person is forbidden by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC, n.d.). Secondly, Lay’s decisions feature nepotism, as he actively seeks promotion for his friend negating the qualities of other candidates. Thirdly, it is ethically unacceptable for a manager to deny promotion by racial or national qualities as it is also classified as discrimination by EEOC (n.d.). Fourthly, allowing personal intolerance to criticism to cloud one’s judgment as it was the case with Ford is not only an ethically but also professionally ill-advised practice.

Finally, the intimidation of other employees through using one’s position in the organization as leverage to furthering one’s decision can also be considered ethically inappropriate. All these issues could not only endanger the success of the endeavor but also subject the bank to risks of legal pursuit for discrimination and unethical behavior of its employees.

Stakeholder Needs and Behavior

There are five critical stakeholders including the bank itself, Lay, Patel, Cruz, and Ford. The bank is interested in the deployment of its organizational capabilities, which is directly related to the success of a new team (Bailey, Mankin, Kelliher, & Garavan, 2018). Naturally, the bank owners want that the team to work effectively and consist of the finest professionals. Such a need is justified as new recruits will be sufficiently rewarded and placed in the positively-challenging environment. Thus, the bank’s expectations are understandable and logical.

Patel’s needs are mostly physical and health-associated. Her disability requires professional care, which warrants her sick leaves. Yet, in relation to performance, these factors may be considered as minor. One reason for this is her outstanding talents in employee training, collaboration, leadership, and research. Patel possesses all qualities that the position requires, which makes it imperative that the company allows her all the necessary time to address her needs.

Cruz may feel the need for promotion and self-actualization in the new role. It is natural to expect a reward for a well-performed task and continuous service as a banking employee. In addition, he may experience the need to identify himself as a citizen of a multinational country that is free from discrimination and racial bias. As guaranteed by the U.S. equal opportunity laws, such a right must be granted by any organization and must not be disregarded.

Ford’s needs include recognition of input and objectivity in a reward policy. Such requirements interfere with Lay’s desire for power. While Ford’s needs are more favorable from the standpoint of employees willingness to perform, Lay’s demands seem to be destructive in terms of everybody else’s.

HR Policies for the Bank

One of the HR policies that could be implemented in the current setting is to value each team member’s contribution. According to Armstrong and Taylor (2017), it is a positive practice that allows for higher levels of motivation. In addition, future team leaders should consider establishing team goals and values. Ensuring that every member understands his or her role and place in the group and recognizes what activities should be driven by is essential for collaboration. Another vital HR practice pertaining to the case is to implement training initiatives to form necessary ethical skills and competencies (Gruman & Saks, 2011).

Situation Resolution and Future Recommendations

A core recommendation is to relieve Lay from his service. An executive that disregards internal and external principles of proper conduct is underserving of a position that requires informed, weighted, and unbiased decision-making. This solution would resolve both the current and future issues with a hiring policy by preventing the outcomes of discrimination, nepotism, intimidation, and unhealthy desire for power. Decision-making in the organization should be based on value added and ethical consequences. Both factors will directly affect performance and productivity and relieve the company of the threats of adopting improper practices.

Similar situations could be avoided if the company adheres to the ethical conduct. To establish such an environment, it needs to assess its needs, resources, and weak spots. Based on the analysis of those factors, the bank needs to adopt an ethical compliance program which should be expressed in writing and delivered to all employees through training. Evaluation criteria and initiatives on ethical conduct should also be present to track performance and avoid major issues (Bratton & Gold, 2017). Finally, disciplinary fines and punishments should be established for non-compliance. This system will help the bank avoid such dilemmas in future.


The core ethical issues were discrimination by the principle of nationality and disability, disregard for critique, and nepotism. Core employees’ needs were physical, recognition, self-actualization, fairness, and power. Proposed team development practices might include input recognition, establishment of goals, values, and professional boundaries. The resolution of the issue requires the dismissal of Lay from his post. To prevent further misconduct, the bank needs to recognize value added and ethical factors in its decision-making and establish a comprehensive ethical environment.


Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2017). Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice: Building sustainable organisational performance improvement (14 ed.). New York, NY: Kogan Page.

Bailey, C., Mankin, D., Kelliher, C., & Garavan, T. (2018). Strategic human resource management (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Bratton, J., & Gold, J. (2017). Human resource management, 6th edition: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Oxford, UK: Palgrave.

Gruman, J. A., & Saks, A. M. (2011). Performance management and employee engagement. Human Resource Management Review, 21(2), 123-136.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (n.d.). . Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Recruitment Ethical Issues: Jeffrey Lay’s Case." July 14, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/recruitment-ethical-issues-jeffrey-lays-case/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Recruitment Ethical Issues: Jeffrey Lay’s Case'. 14 July.

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