Apr 19, 2024

10 Top Skills Recruiters Look For In 2024 (Why They Need Them and How To Find Them)

10 Top Skills Recruiters Look For In 2024 (Why They Need Them and How To Find Them)

Rebecca Noori

Skills-based hiring is fast replacing traditional (read old-fashioned) recruitment methods that obsess over a job seeker’s education or background. Modern recruiters zoom in on the specific skills job candidates possess that could drive an organization to success.

Backed by research, this guide explores ten hard and soft skills employers look for in the current job market. We also offer tips on sourcing candidates with these skills and introduce you to Juicebox as the fastest way to find exceptional talent.  

Which skills should recruiters focus on in 2024? 

The skills you seek will be specific to your company and the role you’re hiring for, but the following ten skills are popular in the current hiring climate: 

AI skills 

Artificial intelligence is the fastest-adopted business technology in history, with 77% of companies using or exploring AI in 2024. Some businesses lean on AI chatbots to support employees and customers, while others use generative AI to whip up sales and marketing materials in a flash. 

The problem? Many companies are learning AI on the fly and may not be getting the most value from the technology. Yet, LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning report reveals that 4 in 5 people want to learn more about using AI in their profession. Employers can gain a headstart by hiring candidates with niche AI skills such as prompt engineering, or similar. 

Green skills 

The number of jobs requiring green skills has accelerated so rapidly that we’re expected to be in a green talent deficit by 2026. Recruiters can look for candidates with specific skills in energy efficiency auditing, renewable energies, green building, or environmental engineering to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint and meet specific sustainability goals. 

Leadership skills 

Since Gallup’s revelation that managers account for up to a 70% variance in employee engagement levels, investing in your leaders has never been as important. Many managers are promoted into their roles without the skills to nurture their teams. To combat this, recruiters may seek people that have completed leadership certifications, or demonstrated leadership skills in their current role. 

Problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills 

Zety’s Resume Skills report notes an uptick in people highlighting soft skills on their resumes in 2023 compared to previous research in 2018. Strong problem-solving skills are now the standout skill, with critical thinking and analytical skills in ninth and nineteenth places, respectively. Employers seek talent with these overlapping skill sets to tackle challenges head-on and turn obstacles into opportunities for business growth and innovation. 

Teamwork and collaboration 

With the rise of remote and hybrid work environments, it’s no surprise that effective communication skills are essential for collaboration. The ability to be a team player with excellent social skills is highly valued, and considered the second most important skill, according to Zety. Hiring teams can seek candidates with experience working in diverse teams, who are adaptable to different work styles and communication methods. 

Active listening 

Collaboration isn’t just about verbal communication skills; it’s also about giving those around you the space to contribute. Active listening encourages peers to tune in to their peers and give them the floor in a psychologically safe environment. When your workforce feels free to speak up and offer new ideas, a joint KCL and University of Jerusalem study finds that the company benefits from the resulting creativity and innovation. 


Micromanagement has had its day. Now, employees with excellent self-motivation are highly desirable to recruiters. Candidates with strong time management skills who know how to maximize their productivity and prioritize tasks appropriately can drive the team and business forward. Employers who find these self-motivated employees will benefit from their initiative and potential improvements to their internal processes and operations. 


Since the pandemic, agility has been critical to businesses that have pivoted in every which direction to survive the changing market. Zety finds that being “flexible and adaptable” is now the eighth most listed resume skill, a category that didn’t even reach the top 20 in 2018. Recruiters must find potential applicants with the versatility to expand their roles, take on new challenges, and align with changing business objectives. 

5 ways for recruiters to find relevant skills 

Scour the following sources to identify whether a prospective candidate has the skills you’re looking for before you invite them to apply for your role. 

Social media 

Platforms like LinkedIn enable people to endorse the skills of fellow professionals in their network. An endorsement from someone flagged as being “highly skilled” in a soft or technical skill is a great sign, as in the example below. Similarly, profiles that mention specific skills in their bios, job titles, or recommendations are worth considering.

(Image source

Talent pools 

Employers that regularly engage with former job applicants or people who have actively shown an interest in the company may have pre-vetted candidate skills. If you’ve already reviewed work samples or tested numeric or cognitive skills, this is an excellent source to lean on. 

Published papers 

People with niche expertise often have their names and professional skills published in research papers. Check out Google Scholar, ResearchGate or similar to search for people with the skills you need. For example, Dr. John D. Halamka, the current President of the Mayo platform, is a prominent figure in healthcare information technology. A recruiter might read one of his papers on the practical applications of technology in healthcare and reach out to him about a related role. 

(Image source

Referral programs 

Employee referral programs can stall diversity initiatives by inviting “more of the same” to join your ranks. Yet, tapping into your employees’ existing networks can be effective in finding people with the skills you need. Perhaps one of your workers remembers an excellent project management lead from a previous employer or goes to the gym with an internal comms expert. Incentivize your workers to see what gems they can find. 

Webinars and virtual workshops 

One unusual way to attract skilled talent to your organization is to host or attend online workshops, which might attract the people you’re looking for. This interaction gives you a first-hand look at their expertise and communication skills before you reach out to them about a specific role. 

Find highly skilled talent with Juicebox 

Instead of manually combing the Internet and putting out feelers with your professional network, there is a faster way to locate individuals with the specific skill sets your business needs. 

Juicebox, powered by PeopleGPT, is a leader in AI-powered talent sourcing and is loved by forward-thinking companies like ByteDance, Noom, and Bubble. 

The process is as follows: 

  1. Recruiters use natural language to describe the person they’re looking for in terms of role, skill set, experience, etc. No Boolean operator knowledge is required; type as if you were talking to a friend. 

  2. Juicebox will return a list of potential matches.

  3. Recruiters apply filters such as company name, location, current role titles, minimum and maximum years of experience, etc. 

  4. Recruiters scroll through suggested candidates, ask more specific questions, and review profiles in more detail. 

  5. Juicebox will refine the profile results, from which recruiters create a shortlist. 

  6. Recruiters can contact shortlisted candidates with the option to send or adjust an AI-generated email message. 

Ready to elevate your candidate sourcing strategy? Watch a quick product tour to learn how to speak to PeopleGPT and get started with a free Juicebox trial