The must have skills of any candidate in 2024

February 13, 2024
Authored by

We are currently experiencing quite the challenging times for candidates in the recruitment market, due to the current New Zealand economy causing organisations to put a hold on hiring, as well as a low unemployment rate, the number of candidates far outweighs the available jobs. In this type of recruitment landscape, the competition can be fierce for candidates looking for new roles. On top of this, the constant need for job seekers to upskill along with rapidly improving tech in many industries is leaving some skills obsolete, making this a stressful time to be a job seeker in Corporate or IT industry roles.
With this in mind, we asked Find Recruitment Director Julian Greaves and Senior Consultant Sif Arnardóttir what are the most important skills candidates should have in this competitive job market to find the most success in their job hunt.

It’s a challenging time for candidates currently in the job market, both in New Zealand and globally. Increased competition for in-demand roles due to hiring freezes and low unemployment makes it challenging to stand out, thereby increasing competition. Rapid technological advancements and economic change make some skills outdated, with many jobs now requiring specific skillsets that not all candidates possess, necessitating continuous upskilling to stay competitive. Lack of experience is often becoming a roadblock for entry level candidates, with employers hesitating to invest in training people with no prior track record.

Navigating these challenges can be difficult for anyone, no matter how far along you are in your professional journey. In light of these challenges certain skills have become increasingly essential for candidates to have in 2024, not only to navigate the competitive market but to thrive in constantly changing working environments. We talked to Find Recruitment Director Julian Greaves and Senior Consultant Sif Arnardóttir to find out what they’re looking for in successful candidates in this dynamic time of recruitment.

Ability to lead/work through change

We are currently going through the most dynamic employment environment we’ve had since 2011. Following the global financial crisis of2008, the ability to work through this change and lead others remains an essential skill for all to have in order to successfully navigate ongoing uncertainty. As organisations adapt to new environments marked by technological advancements and economic fluctuations, candidates who can effectively navigate and lead through these changes become highly sought after. In this highly competitive market, employers aren’t only seeking people with static skillsets required to get the basics of the job done, they’re seeking those who possess the resilience and leadership acumen to thrive amidst uncertainty. Candidates who are able to demonstrate the capacity to personally adapt to changing situations and guide others, stand out above the rest, proving themselves to be valuable assets in an evolving professional landscape. This gives your employer confidence in confronting new challenges and instils a sense of trust in your ability to contribute to the organisation’s success.

Problem solving proficiency

The ability to solve complex and often ambiguous problems in your work is a standout ability for a candidate in any industry. Wherever you work or in whatever industry, there are always new problems and challenges to solve that you and your colleagues might never have faced before. People who can troubleshoot and solve complex problems are always in high demand. Candidates who possess a strong foundation in their respective field but can also navigate intricate challenges with innovative thinking are indispensable to an organisation’s success in the face of uncertainty. This type of skill can future proof your career as technology evolves, industries shift, and unforeseen challenges arise. Employers will always seek individuals who can navigate uncertainty and find creative solutions.

Story Telling

When you think of storytelling, you might not put it in the same category as your professional career, but in the contemporary professional landscape, the ability to build a compelling narrative from complex data can be a highly useful skill. The ability to communicate information and data in a simple yet informative way can help you influence and inform your audience, move people to take action, and engage with your content to make critical decisions. When you can articulate your ideas with clarity and engage others, for example your managers or stakeholders, through compelling narratives, it creates a connection making information more accessible and memorable. The ability to get your point across and convince people of the points you’re trying to make is a universal skill. Story telling is also an essential part of leadership, the ability to convey information through story telling helps build trust, adds value to your data and insights, helps your audience be more receptive to your ideas, and builds your credibility as a thought leader in your industry.

Effective Communication

Good communication is an essential skill for any candidate looking for a job in any industry, it’s the basis for building positive relationships between colleagues, clients, and everyone in between. Beyond the ability to articulate your thoughts and ideas clearly, candidates who excel in communication have the ability to seamlessly translate between teams, bridge the gap between technical and non-technical stakeholders, and facilitate understanding between a range of audiences.
Good communication in the workplace also has many other benefits:

-Mitigates conflict.
Conflict typically comes down to misunderstandings/feeling misunderstood, not understanding how others communicate, or someone feeling their emotional needs are not being met or disregarded. Regardless of the conflict, an issue with communication is commonly an underlying factor.

-Increases Employee Engagement
Good communication is also essential for maintaining employee engagement, connecting with your people. Employees are typically more engaged in their work and better aligned with company objectives when there is a good culture of communication established.

-Creates better client relationships
For client facing employees, good communication can be the difference between a successful company and a struggling one, as interactions with clients play a pivotal role in maintaining the perception ofprofessionalism and trustworthiness.

-More productive and talented workforce
Employee engagement is a significant factor in the productivity of a workforce, so better communication results in employee engagement which then results in a more productive and talented workforce. Communication results in a better understanding of your team and their skills, more innovation and creative thought, and better strategic team building, all which lead to a more productive and talented workforce.


In the current ever changing professional landscape of New Zealand, the ability to adapt and role with the punches isn’t just a nice to have skill, it’s essential. Whether it’s adapting to new people, new processes, new systems, or whatever is required of you, adaptability is a critical skill candidates must learn. Those who thrive amongst uncertainty, ready to embrace new changes and challenges with a proactive approach position themselves front and centre in the eyes of employers, always ready to contribute to the resilience and success of their organisation.


The corporate workplace of today is a faced passed environment, with a culture of hard work, tight deadlines, and constantly managing relationships. In every job, fluctuations are inevitable, and the inclination to navigate the lows rather than hastily jumping ship is a quality that sets exceptional candidates apart and builds the foundation for long-term success in an organisation. Being resilient is a key trait for any good candidate who wants to be a part of a successful company in the long term. Resilience helps you tackle stress, workplace conflicts, the competitive job market, and come out on top of challenges on the job. Employers are always looking to build a resilient workforce, so how you handle stress is a strong indicator of your resilience in the long run.

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