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  • Writer's pictureAJ Cheponis

Objective vs. Subjective Decision-Making: What's Best for Your Company's Hiring Process?

When we process information and make decisions, we can either be subjective or objective. To measure how much someone prefers objectivity, we use a behavioral factor called Factor E. If someone has a low Factor E, they are considered subjective, and if they have a high Factor E, they are considered objective.


If someone has a low Factor E, it means they are subjective in making decisions. This happens when someone relies on emotions, intuition, or instinct to make a decision. This can be helpful when there is a lack of data to inform a decision or when there is a lack of time available to process any data. However, subjective decisions may allow for bias due to unfounded perceptions.


If someone has a high Factor E, it means they are objective in making decisions. This happens when someone bases their decisions on the available data and facts. This can be considered favorable, as there is a lack of bias from perceptions or opinions. However, to make an objective decision, time is often needed to process and interpret data or facts.

Is subjectivity or objectivity better?

It depends on the person, their job, and the type of decisions they need to make. For instance, if you are hiring for a financial, legal, analytical, or regulated job, you may want to have an employee that is more objective and comfortable deciding based on the available data. If you are hiring for innovation, graphic, or visual design jobs, you may want an employee who is more subjective. Most jobs require both subjective and objective decision-making, so there may not be a preference for one over the other.

Factor E - extremely low/high or outside the pattern

If Factor E falls on the extreme ends of the pattern, meaning highly subjective or highly objective, it's just a point of consideration. You should look at how much decision-making they will be doing in their job, if objectivity or subjectivity is needed, and if there are ways that will balance how objective or subjective they are.

If Factor E falls outside of the behavioral pattern, it is the strongest factor and therefore most strongly felt by the individual. It will play a larger role in their day-to-day.

Subjectivity and objectivity can have a significant impact on decision-making in the workplace. When considering this in the framework of Talent Optimization, we can look at it through the lens of four critical areas: people, strategy, execution, and culture.


In the people area, subjectivity can play a role in employee selection and evaluation. If a manager is more subjective, they may favor employees they like personally or employees who are similar to themselves. This can lead to a lack of diversity in the workplace and can negatively impact team performance. On the other hand, if a manager is more objective, they are more likely to evaluate employees based on their skills, experience, and performance, leading to a more diverse and high-performing team.


In the strategy area, subjectivity can impact how a company sets its goals and strategies. A more subjective approach may focus on the personal opinions and biases of leaders, while a more objective approach may take into account market trends, data, and analysis. By using an objective approach, a company can better align its strategies with its long-term goals, leading to better performance.


In the execution area, subjectivity can play a role in decision-making about how to implement strategies. An overly subjective approach may lead to a lack of consensus and disagreement on how to execute plans. By taking an objective approach, teams can align on the best path forward, leading to better execution and outcomes.


In the culture area, subjectivity can impact the values and norms of the workplace. A subjective approach may lead to a culture of favoritism, where employees feel that promotions and rewards are based on personal connections rather than merit. An objective approach, on the other hand, can lead to a culture of fairness, where employees feel that they are rewarded based on their performance and contributions.

In summary, subjectivity and objectivity can impact decision-making in the workplace in various ways. By taking an objective approach, companies can make better decisions, leading to higher performance and better outcomes. In the Talent Optimization framework, objectivity plays a crucial role in creating high-performing teams and a healthy workplace culture.

In conclusion, subjectivity and objectivity both have a role in decision-making, but the right balance is critical to success. In the context of Talent Optimization, adding science and rigor to the hiring process can help companies remove bias and subjectivity, leading to better outcomes and a more diverse, high-performing team. While subjectivity is helpful in some situations, it typically does not help in the hiring process, where objective decision-making is crucial.

If you're looking to optimize your talent and improve your hiring process, consider partnering with a certified Talent Optimization consulting firm like Straightline Consulting. With our expertise and experience, we can help your company become great by adding science and rigor to the entire hiring process, ensuring that you're selecting the right people for the right roles. Contact us today to learn more and take the first step towards a more objective, data-driven approach to talent optimization.

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