Code Of Ethics
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Code of Ethical and Professional Standards in Human Resource Management
As HR professionals, we are responsible for adding value to the organizations we serve and contributing to the ethical success of those organizations. We accept professional responsibility for our individual decisions and actions. We are also advocates for the profession by engaging in activities that enhance its credibility and value.
Get Up To Speed
Browse The HR Team’s collection of articles featuring our best thinking and advice for those interested in learning about Employee Relations, HR Management and Interviewing Strategy.
- To build respect, credibility and strategic importance for the HR profession within our organizations, the business community, and the communities in which we work.
- To assist the organizations we serve in achieving their objectives and goals.
- To inform and educate current and future practitioners, the organizations we serve, and the general public about principles and practices that help the profession.
- To positively influence workplace and recruitment practices.
- To encourage professional decision-making and responsibility.
- To encourage social responsibility.
- Adhere to the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior.
- Measure the effectiveness of HR in contributing to or achieving organizational goals.
- Comply with the law.
- Work consistent with the values of the profession.
- Strive to achieve the highest levels of service, performance and social responsibility.
- Advocate for the appropriate use and appreciation of human beings as employees.
- Advocate openly and within the established forums for debate in order to influence decision-making and results.
As professionals we must strive to meet the highest standards of competence and commit to strengthen our competencies on a continuous basis.
- To expand our knowledge of human resource management to further our understanding of how our organizations function.
- To advance our understanding of how organizations work (“the business of the business”).
- Pursue formal academic opportunities.
- Commit to continuous learning, skills development and application of new knowledge related to both human resource management and the organizations we serve.
- Contribute to the body of knowledge, the evolution of the profession and the growth of individuals through teaching, research and dissemination of knowledge.
- Pursue certification such as CCP, CEBS, PHR, SPHR, etc. where available, or comparable measures of competencies and knowledge.
HR professionals are expected to exhibit individual leadership as a role model for maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct.
- To set the standard and be an example for others.
- To earn individual respect and increase our credibility with those we serve.
- Be ethical; act ethically in every professional interaction.
- Question pending individual and group actions when necessary to ensure that decisions are ethical and are implemented in an ethical manner.
- Seek expert guidance if ever in doubt about the ethical propriety of a situation.
- Through teaching and mentoring, champion the development of others as ethical leaders in the profession and in organizations.
Fairness and Justice
As human resource professionals, we are ethically responsible for promoting and fostering fairness and justice for all employees and their organizations.
To create and sustain an environment that encourages all individuals and the organization to reach their fullest potential in a positive and productive manner.
- Respect the uniqueness and intrinsic worth of every individual.
- Treat people with dignity, respect and compassion to foster a trusting work environment free of harassment, intimidation, and unlawful discrimination.
- Ensure that everyone has the opportunity to develop their skills and new competencies.
- Assure an environment of inclusiveness and a commitment to diversity in the organizations we serve.
- Develop, administer and advocate policies and procedures that foster fair, consistent and equitable treatment for all.
- Regardless of personal interests, support decisions made by our organizations that are both ethical and legal.
- Act in a responsible manner and practice sound management in the country(ies) in which the organizations we serve operate.
Conflicts of Interest
As HR professionals, we must maintain a high level of trust with our stakeholders. We must protect the interests of our stakeholders as well as our professional integrity and should not engage in activities that create actual, apparent, or potential conflicts of interest.
To avoid activities that are in conflict or may appear to be in conflict with any of the provisions of this Code of Ethical and Professional Standards in Human Resource Management or with one’s responsibilities and duties as a member of the human resource profession and/or as an employee of any organization.
- Adhere to and advocate the use of published policies on conflicts of interest within your organization.
- Refrain from using your position for personal, material or financial gain or the appearance of such.
- Refrain from giving or seeking preferential treatment in the human resources processes.
- Prioritize your obligations to identify conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof; when conflicts arise, disclose them to relevant stakeholders.
Use of Information
HR professionals consider and protect the rights of individuals, especially in the acquisition and dissemination of information while ensuring truthful communications and facilitating informed decision-making.
To build trust among all organization constituents by maximizing the open exchange of information while eliminating anxieties about inappropriate and/or inaccurate acquisition and sharing of information.
- Acquire and disseminate information through ethical and responsible means.
- Ensure only appropriate information is used in decisions affecting the employment relationship.
- Investigate the accuracy and source of information before allowing it to be used in employment related decisions.
- Maintain current and accurate HR information.
- Safeguard restricted or confidential information.