In recent studies, it has been revealed that trends in today’s workplace show that measuring Will Do attributes is of equal or greater significance than measuring Can Do attributes. Using candidate assessments to measure a candidate’s skills still holds relevant importance when gauging potential performance on the job but there are other important elements to measure before making a hire.

Can Do attributes are defined as knowledge and skills that would affect an employee’s performance versus Will Do attributes which are the competencies used to capture a candidate’s dependability, commitment, drive and willingness to take responsibility.

Within every business, making hiring mistakes is costly especially when these mistakes are attributed to an employee not meeting expectations. These types of mistakes indicate that there is an existing gap in the recruitment process that is allowing candidates who are not a fit to get through the process. The issue that companies face is that measuring performance has lots of complexities and to be successful you must measure and gauge a wide range of attributes.

By measuring both Can Do and Will Do attributes with candidate assessments, a company can gain a more holistic picture of the candidate and their likelihood of succeeding. Recently, more and more HR Managers and leaders are place an increasing importance on Will Do attributes, as it’s not so much about if an employee can do their job but whether they will do it based on certain key attributes that drive performance in a specific working environment.

The shift we are seeing is from knowledge and skills to competencies that measure those key Will Do attributes like commitment, drive and willingness to take responsibility as these are the differentiating factors that separate best from worst performers.

Our partner, Dr. David Jones and his HirePayoff team set out to find how important Will Do behaviours are in shaping an employee’s performance. Their team collected performance data from a wide range of business sectors and replaced market opinions and existing subjectivity with data. This included collecting data in areas like learning, trouble shooting, problem solving and communication that showcased Can Do attributes. In addition, collecting data on dependency, commitment, drive and team play to measure Will Do attributes.

The results showed that across multiple business sectors one finding was consistent, Will Do attributes carried equal and more often greater weight in determining bottom line performance than Can Do attributes.

When looking at whether an employee had the potential to advance, the results showed Will Do carried equal weight when the previous assumption was Can Do. In addition, we found that Will Do attributes are stronger in shaping a Manager’s views of overall job performance. This indicates that traditional cognitive testing needs to be revisited and candidate assessments need to capture and screen for Will Do attributes as well.