In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, we’ve gathered insights from industry leaders, including founders and COOs, to shed light on the pivotal digital skills for 2024. From understanding automation tools relevant to your field to mastering essential office skills and practical assessments, this article offers a comprehensive guide to preparing candidates for tomorrow’s digital challenges.

Automation Tools Relevant to Your Field

The top digital skill I’d recommend candidates develop going into 2024 is familiarity with the common AI and automation tools and systems used in your field. This doesn’t mean every candidate needs to understand how to create or train algorithms, but rather that you should have a working knowledge of the technology as it applies to your role.

For example, a marketing professional should know how to use AI tools for predictive and targeted advertising, how to set up and make use of chatbots, content creation using generative AI, and similar applications. For someone in HR, having knowledge of AI-based resume screening systems, talent pipelines and automated candidate communication tools will make your resume more “future-proof” and help you stand out in the talent market.

As far as how to cultivate these capabilities, there are ample learning resources available online, often for free, that can help you gain these AI-related skills. I also recommend that job seekers utilize their networks. Talking to other professionals can help you identify the top AI tools that are in current use, or are about to become more widespread in your field. Other professionals can also share tips, advice and best practices that can help you master these systems to further your career.

Rob Boyle
Marketing Operations Director, Airswift

Hands-On Experience with Niche Tools

In 2024, the demand for technical skills in specific tools and niches is expected to rise. For instance, in sales, having experience with specific tools like Salesforce or Tableau is becoming essential. Businesses are increasingly specific about their requirements, and candidates with hands-on experience in these areas will have an advantage. I’ve found that real-world experience is unparalleled in mastering these skills

Therefore, candidates should seek out internships, freelance projects or any opportunity that allows them to gain practical experience in their chosen field.

David Rubie-Todd
Co-Founder and Marketing Director, Glide

Coding for Online Business Presence

A key digital skill everyone should be aware of in 2024 is basic digital back-end coding and website management. The world lives on the internet now, and businesses want to ensure that they are visible and give potential clients an idea of how they work and why they’re the best at it.

This isn’t rocket science—having an employee with skills to help create an effective online presence is always welcome, especially if the business can’t afford to hire a full-fledged IT team. So, learning the coding language will help.

Manasvini Krishna
Founder, Boss as a Service

AI Tool Proficiency Across All Roles

The key digital skills that candidates should possess in 2024 will depend on their role within your company. After all, it’s unlikely that your receptionist needs to know how to write code.

A general digital skill that candidates should possess is the ability to understand and use AI tools. There’s always going to be a bit of a learning curve because you may use different AI tools than what other businesses are using, but candidates should show some level of understanding of technology and, in particular, using these types of tools. 2024 is going to be the year of AI, and that means that more and more businesses will be adopting AI and refining their uses for the technology.

Most employees are therefore going to come into contact with AI tools for some reason or another, meaning they’ll need to know how to use the tools and, at a very basic level, understand AI.

Lauren Carlstrom
COO, Oxygen Plus

Data Literacy for 2024

For 2024, candidates should level up on data literacy and AI basics. Understanding data trends and having a grasp of how AI impacts your industry is becoming essential. Also, skills in remote collaboration tools are key in our increasingly digital workplace.

To assess these skills, we include scenarios and problem-solving questions that require data interpretation during interviews. To cultivate these skills among current employees, we’ve rolled out continuous learning programs. This includes online courses and workshops on data analysis and AI trends.

Zephyr Chan
Founder and Growth Marketer, Better Marketer

SEO Mastery and Strategic Digital Thinking

Digital skills in 2024 will revolve around adaptability, strategic thinking, and mastery in SEO and performance marketing. Understanding consumer behavior and effective communication strategies within the ever-evolving digital platforms will be crucial.

At Grooveshark, we saw the power of SEO firsthand. We soared from 2,000 daily users to over 5,000 in a week by addressing indexing issues and other technical SEO handicaps. That’s a 2.5 times increase in traffic, thanks to well-executed SEO strategies!

Assess these skills through tangible deliverables and measured outcomes. Track performance indicators such as conversion rates or churn rates. With part of my team at Harmonic Reach, we ensured that campaigns continuously improved through weekly check-ins. Our marketing leadership was data-driven, outcome-focused and able to adapt to changing market conditions.

Strategic thinking should not just bring a temporary boost, but it should have the foresight to help the company steer in the right direction in the long run. That’s what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.

Sam Tarantino
Founder, Harmonic Reach

Essential Office Skills and Practical Assessments

Applicants should be well-rounded. They should be really good at making spreadsheets and know how to use Google Documents fully. They should be able to reply to customers, know how to do research online for specific products and services, and be able to write back to customers quickly. Nothing fancy is needed to assess a candidate—just a quick test or demo that requires the application of multiple skills.

Derek Capo