This paper demonstrates the validity and usefulness of a count technique to screen for potential personality dysfunctioning in NEO-PI-R ratings obtained in selection and professional development assessments. The usefulness of this screening technique for Industrial, Work and Organizational (IWO) psychologists is demonstrated in five different samples that were administered the NEO-PI-R for selection or development purposes. Three additional samples served as normative data to compute FFM PD count cut-offs that can be used for selection and career development decisions. Evidence for the construct validity of 6 out of 10 FFM PD counts was provided, and all FFM PD compound scales were significantly related to important criteria, including the final selection decision, the results of a behaviourally oriented selection interview and self-rated work competencies. The practical utility and limitations of this count technique for personnel selection and development are discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.