9 In-Demand Skills to Look For in 2024

Mar 1, 2024
Applicant Tracking, HR and Recruiting Industry Information, Recruiting Best Practices

When you’re looking to bring on top talent, you may find yourself scanning resumés for specific skills. We’re outlining nine of the most in-demand skills to look for in 2024, including both hard and soft skills and how they differ.

What are Hard and Soft Skills?

Hard and soft skills are unique abilities that a candidate may possess, supporting their ability to perform the duties of a specific role. Hard skills are more technical in nature, often referring to specialized knowledge that someone brings to a role. By contrast, soft skills represent how an individual approaches their work and handles specific aspects of the workplace.

Why Do Skills Matter?

Hiring for skills is valuable for a variety of reasons. Today’s employers are often looking for applicants who can get started in their roles right away and make meaningful contributions. Specific skills can support these needs and help new hires feel comfortable in what they bring to open positions.

According to a recent Pulse article on LinkedIn, while education provides foundational knowledge, skills bring an individual’s knowledge to life. These practical tools allow people to apply what they learn to real-life scenarios, boosting their value in a professional setting. When you look for people with certain skills, you may find that they’re more successful even than those who have completed educational programs.

Top 4 Hard Skills to Seek in Candidates

Here are four of the most critical hard skills that can bring great value to your organization.


As the world continues to be more and more driven by data, analytics skills are essential in the workplace. This hard skill allows for the interpretation of complex data, using that information to glean insights and make informed decisions that benefit the organization.


Whether your business sells a product or a service, it’s impossible to succeed without actually making sales. A skilled salesperson understands the core fundamentals of this role, which involve building and strengthening relationships to bring in customers. In a shifting economy, individuals with proven sales skills will stand out. The ability to leverage AI tools is an added bonus in today’s market.

Project management

Managing projects is a crucial element of keeping collaborators on track and achieving business goals. The ability to keep tasks organized and moving along is highly valuable in any workplace, and it’s a hard skill worth looking for in candidates who will be involved with projects.


Many roles require design skills, and the ability to put together something that looks appealing while conveying essential information is highly useful. Designers typically understand color theory, typography, and print layout design, and bring skills in the Adobe Acrobat suite.

Top 5 Soft Skills to Look for in Applicants

When searching for top talent, look for these five soft skills.


The ability to communicate effectively is a necessary skill in today’s workplace. As many workplaces have shifted to remote or hybrid schedules, people need to be able to utilize different platforms to collaborate and stay in contact. Even in-person work requires ongoing communication to motivate and connect.


Strong leaders are vital to the growth and success of any business. From supervisors of entry-level individuals to c-level company leaders, those who lead others must have strong skills to motivate and inspire their teams.

Customer service

Although some of the aspects of serving customers can be automated, others should be left firmly in the hands of real people. The ability to cultivate relationships, listen carefully and build trust are among the soft skills of customer service that can’t be outsourced to an AI platform. Look for people who have these skills to fill roles that include customer interaction.


Working as a team may look different than it once did, especially if your workplace has gone remote or hybrid. But even in the face of friction or unique challenges, the ability to collaborate with and support team members is highly useful. Teams that are able to work together remain better aligned, driving results.


As business leaders and employees encounter new challenges, potentially brought on by shifts in the industry or adjustments to the way they perform their duties, they need to be able to resolve them effectively. Problem-solving skills involve applying strategic and critical thinking, helping each team member to thrive.

Use ApplicantStack to Filter and Manage Candidates

The candidate management tools built into ApplicantStack make it easy to sort through resumés and identify top skills, as well as keep the leading candidates in one place. You can remain on the same page as others on the team, keeping notes about each applicant and what sets them apart. Take a look at this hiring and recruiting platform, built and priced for small business needs. You can even take it on a trial run for free.

Make Recruiting and Onboarding Easy

See for yourself! Fill out the form to start a trial today and see how ApplicantStack can improve your hiring and onboarding processes.