Traditional Methods And Limitations

personality assessment

Human resource professionals who want to assess an individual have two choices; they can invest in a psychologist’s appraisal, which is comprehensive, but is time-consuming and not inexpensive; or they can use one of a myriad of quick and inexpensive assessment tools available, which are significantly more limited in their accuracy and efficacy.

Popular methods, such as DISC and Myers-Briggs, were developed more than 50 years ago. These are simple four-factor, rationally-based methods that essentially place people into sizeable categories or profile “types”, which serve as helpful handles in understanding people.

By placing people into categories, people tend to be stereotyped.
As such, a good degree of an individual’s uniqueness is overlooked because he or she may be true to type in some or many respects, but not in others. For decades human resource professionals have expressed ambivalence about such simple profiling, objecting to the “labeling” of people and its potential misuse.

Compounding this, simple methods may be susceptible to being “fixed” (particularly the most familiar ones that have been overexposed in the marketplace). More generally, the point is that these simple methods are only accurate to a certain degree, and so people can be miscast or placed in the wrong category.

In spite of their limitations, we are much indebted to these methods for facilitating a great leap in our understanding of people. Simple profiling methods can still play a useful and valuable role today. They can be used most appropriately for screening, for appraising shortlisted candidates for junior staff or support roles, or as part of a battery of measures for appraising shortlisted candidates for more senior roles.

Lacking comprehensiveness, however, simple methods have limited depth and capacity to go beyond a surface sketch of people. For example, they may:

    • indicate that a person can be good at selling, yet a candidate may be generally good at promotion and business development, but not good at direct selling, for example, of complex, big-ticket items
    • describe a person as relatively competitive, or relatively considerate, but cannot describe him or her as both highly competitive and highly considerate, or both uncompetitive and inconsiderate.
    • describe a person as generally goal-oriented, but he or she could be highly goal-oriented in the long-range strategic sense, but not in the short-range pragmatic sense.

In the modern technological world, these methods are the equivalent of simple spreadsheets having four basic quadrants. In comparison, PLM ADVANCED ANALYSIS is a uniquely powerful relational database capable of superior analysis, precision and coherence.

Can business capitalize on recent developments in the field? Is there a new technology available today that enables us to go beyond the simple profiling methods? Can this advance our understanding and appraisal of people significantly? The answer is a resounding yes to all three questions.

To find out more about how you can benefit from PLM’s ADVANCED ANALYSIS click here.


“The findings were astounding. In a very short period… an incredibly in-depth profile was established.”
M.T.A.C.L. Job Placement Center
“We have been using PLM ADVANCED ANALYSIS for over four years. It has proven to be an invaluable tool in selecting candidates. Its accuracy is phenomenal!”
Jennifer Grams, Adams Rite Manufacturing Co
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Victor Apa, Victor Apa & Associates
“I commend this method to you and also strongly endorse the analytical skills of Peter McQuaig whose even-handed and fair descriptions have “showed the light” to many in our business..”
Michael Watt, Dir. of Marketing, MDI
“Over the years, you have saved this company hundreds of thousands of dollars, particularly when it comes to hiring talented salespeople.”
Paul Gordon, J.B. Hanauer & Company
“The Analysis has been a great asset in helping us evaluate candidates applying for development and other university advancement positions.”
Joseph G. Sandman, Ph. D., Seton Hall University,
“The ultimate throttle on growth for

any great company is not markets or

technology or competition or


It is the one thing above others;

the ability to get and keep enough

of the right people.”
Jim Collins, “Good to Great”
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Sandy Lindeman, Independent Printing