Every year, new recruitment terminologies spring up, making them tricky to understand or keep up with. This glossary is all you need to get started and stay updated with the most recent terms in the HR industry.
As recruitment is an integral part of any organization, it is necessary for recruiters and HR to know the jargon behind the process. While keeping up with the various recruitment terms and phrases that appear every year can be tasking, knowing these terminologies can provide you with more know-how about recruitment and help you communicate efficiently.
To help you, we have created this recruitment glossary list to serve as your go-to resource. This list will refresh your knowledge and help you stay up to date on the latest recruiting and HR terminologies.
Before we go further, let us introduce you to the strategic A.S.I.O.H recruitment process.
Here's how it works:
- 1. Attract potential candidates
- 2. Screen out the unqualified applicants
- 3. Conduct interviews
- 4. Offer professionally
- 5. Hire the most-fit talents
Now that we know how the process works, here are the HR and recruitment terminologies associated with each stage.
Step One: Attract
- Active job search: An active job search happens when an individual is looking for employment. Examples of activities an individual might undertake during this period include posting resumes to job boards and searching for vacancies at companies.
- Applicant: An applicant is someone who formally applies for a job, by sending in their resume or through other means.
- Applicant files: Applicant files are the documents an individual submits when applying for a position. Examples of documents in an applicant could include a resume, reference lists, personal statement, etc.
- Applicant pool: This pool consists of all the applicants who are applying for a specific position.
- Applicant tracking system (ATS): Applicant Tracking System is a tool used by companies in the recruiting process. Examples of its functions include centralizing applicant data, sorting out candidates based on selected criteria, etc.
- Benefits: Employee benefits are a form of compensation (aside from salary) that comes with a position given by employers to employees. Examples of benefits are health insurance, gym, and vacation.
- C-Suite: This term is used to describe the executive team members with the letter C in their title. Examples of C-Suite positions are the chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), and chief information officer (CIO).
- Candidate: A candidate is an individual who applies and is being considered for a particular job position.
- Candidate experience: The candidate experience is the candidate's perception of an employer, based on their overall experience during the recruiting process. This experience includes all forms of communication and points of contact during the application process, interview process, and onboarding.
- Candidate portal: This is a virtual system provided by the company where applicants can apply for positions by submitting their cover letters, resumes, and other information.
- Company culture: This defines the environment in which employees work. A company’s culture is the combination of acceptable norms, values, and thoughts within a company.
- Compensation: Compensation is what an employer gives to an employee in exchange for their service to a company. In some organizations, compensations mean wages or salaries.
- Cover letter: This is a letter sent to summarize the contents of a candidate’s resume. It may include an explanation of why they want to work at that particular company.
- Employee referral program: Employee referral program is a recruitment strategy in which companies find new potential employees by encouraging and rewarding pre-existing employees to refer qualified candidates.
- Employer branding: Employer branding is the identity a company has that sets them apart from other similar companies. This identity is needed to make the desirable to job candidates
- Entry-level job: Entry-level jobs usually require no or minimal professional working experience in a particular field. Entry-level jobs are usually the lowest position within a company and open the door to larger, work-related opportunities for a candidate.
- Flexible work schedule: This kind of work arrangement allows an employee to customize their work hours in a way that is convenient for them as long as they perform their responsibilities.
- Functional resume: A functional resume is a document that highlights a candidate’s abilities, skills, and qualifications instead of their job experience and career history.
- Hiring process: This is the entire process that results in a vacant position being filled. It starts with when there is an identifiable need to fill a vacant position and continues through the A.S.I.O.H process until onboarding.
- Internal recruiter: This is an employee within a company whose job it is to fill positions in the company from the company’s existing workforce, either by promoting individuals or by conducting internal transfers.
- Job board: A job board is an online service where employers can advertise their job positions and where potential candidates can use to look for jobs. Examples of job boards are Indeed, Glassdoor, etc.
- Job description: This is the written description of the formal responsibilities, requirements, and job benefits associated with a listed position.
- Job requirements: These are the conditions that have to be met by a candidate to be suitable for a position. Examples of job requirements include qualifications, technical skills, or being proficient at using certain tools.
- Job search engine: This site lists job vacancies, both from job boards and employers. It allows job seekers to browse and apply for these jobs. Examples of job search engines include Google for Jobs, LinkedIn, Dice, etc.
- Passive candidate: A passive candidate is usually an employed individual who is not actively looking for a new job, but is still considered to fill a position by an employer.
- Recruitment marketing: Recruitment marketing is a strategy used to increase the reputation of the company and make it more attractive to potential candidates through branding and advertising.
- Recruitment plan: A recruitment plan is an overall strategy that a company employs to hire new employees.
- Skillset: This is the total range of skills, abilities, qualifications, and work experience a candidate possesses.
- Social media recruiting: This is a method of recruitment that focuses on using platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. to attract candidates.
- Sourcing: Sourcing is the process of seeking and identifying candidates that may meet the required standards to fill a particular position.
- Talent engagement: This is the interaction between a company and candidates applying for a position. It includes phone calls, email exchanges, interviews, and every other act of relationship bonding activity between a company and potential employees.
- Total remuneration: The sum total of the salary, perks and non-monetary benefits an employee earns over the course of a year is known as total remuneration.
Step Two: Screen
- Automation: This is the use of technology to streamline the day-to-day processes of your organization. For example, tools like Grove HR, Asana, Hubspot, etc. can be used to automate HR, management, and marketing functions.
- Background check: A background check is an investigation that a company conducts into a candidate’s life record. Examples of records investigated during a background check include criminal records, social media postings, references, etc.
- Blind screening: A blind screening occurs when key candidate information is eliminated during the process to enhance objectivity among hiring personnel and reduce biases. Examples of details commonly removed during a blind screening are name and gender.
- Employment history: This is a record of all the jobs an individual has had. It could include the years in which they held those positions.
- HR tech: This is any software that HR personnel employs to help them manage and automate their daily tasks. Examples of HR software are the Applicant tracking system (ATS) and Human Resource Information System (HRIS).
- Human Resource Information System (HRIS): This is an HR software or solution that is to gather data, track data, and manage all human resources operations of an organization. For example, with Grove HR, tasks like recruitment, onboarding, people management, etc. become automated and centralized.
- Phone screening: This is a short telephone conversation used to deduce whether a candidate could be suitable for a position. A phone screening is done early in the hiring process after filtering out candidates based on their resumes. A candidate that passes this stage may be offered a face-to-face interview.
- Pre-employment screening: Pre-employment screening is the process of performing background checks of successful candidates and validating their work and experience.
- Reference check: A reference check is done when an employer or hiring manager verifies a candidate’s references list by finding out more details about their character at their previous place of work.
- Resume parsing: Resume parsing is the conversion of information from a candidate’s resume into a structured list of information suitable for storage and analysis by software.
- Screening matrix: A screening matrix is a method or tool used to make objective comparisons to be made between candidates based on their skills, experience, or qualifications. This evaluation simplifies the process of selecting qualified candidates.
- Social media background screening: This is when a candidate’s social media platforms are viewed by the employer to spot any problems or qualities which might make them an unsuitable candidate for a position.
- Talent pipeline: A talent pipeline is a pool of candidates who meet the requirements of the position and are available to fill a particular position when it becomes vacant.
Step Three: Interview
- Ability test: An ability test is used by companies to know whether a potential employee has the logic, reasoning, or other required skill necessary to succeed in a particular position.
- Analytical thinking: The use of logical reasoning and deduction to explain something or solve a problem is known as analytical thinking.
- Aptitude test: This test is used to measure an applicant’s ability to perform specific tasks as well as know-how they are likely to respond to different situations.
- Behavioral-based interview: An interview technique used to predict the future performance of candidates based on their past responses to similar work situations. These interviews help employers know whether the candidate is suitable for the new job. An example of a behavioral question is “give an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team and explain how you dealt with it”.
- Cultural-fit: Cultural-fit refers to how much a candidate aligns with the organizational culture. That is the company’s beliefs, mission, and values.
- Employee assessments: Employee assessments are used to evaluate the performance of employees or candidates to help the company identify ways to improve engagement and increase productivity.
- Group interview: This is an interview where multiple candidates are being interviewed by a group of hiring personnel at the same time.
- Knock-out question: A knockout question is designed to stun candidates who may not have the abilities or qualifications needed to perform the roles required in the position.
- Mock interview: A mock interview is used to help candidates practice their interview skills by answering potential interview questions in an environment similar to an actual interview.
- Observation interview: This method of interview is conducted on existing employees. It is used to assess their effectiveness and productivity as they go about their day-to-day tasks.
- On-the-spot interview: An on-the-spot interview happens when an employer decides to conduct an instant interview with an applicant applying for a job in person.
- Panel interview: A panel interview is conducted by a group of two or more interviewers. This type of interview allows different parties to work together in reaching a consensus on who is best for a position.
- Personality tests: Personality tests are used to understand a candidate’s traits. This test helps employers to know whether a candidate’s personality fits the position they seek to fill.
- Unstructured interview: An unstructured interview is conducted with no set format or predetermined questions.
Step Four: Offer
- Counteroffer: A counteroffer is an alternative offer made most likely after an earlier offer has been rejected.
- Hiring period: This is the period between when a job is first being offered to the candidate and when the candidate has completely settled into the job.
- Job offer letter: This is a letter given by an employer to a candidate to inform them of their success in securing the job they applied for.
- Negotiation: A negotiation is a form of bargaining that goes on during the offer stage. It is often about the salary/benefits the candidate will get from the employer.
Step Five: Hire
- Cost-per-hire: This refers to the average sum of money a company spends on acquiring a new employee. Examples of these costs are job boards advertisement, recruitment software fees, relocation expenses, etc.
- Direct hire: This is where a particular candidate is offered a position directly by the company without the need for a third party.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): A key performance indicator is a form of quantifiable measurement that companies use to measure tasks associated with the success of their business, in this case, recruitment. Examples of recruitment KPI are cost-per-hire and time to hire.
- Placement: Placement is the process by which a selected candidate is placed in their employment position. In this stage, the candidate is told about their responsibilities and is set to work.
- Onboarding: Onboarding is the process of integrating new hires with their colleagues and into the work environment. The aim of onboarding is to ensure that new hires are comfortable and aware of their roles. Examples of ways to do that include the use of HRIS, orientation, and mentorship program.
- Recruiting metrics: These are KPIs that allow a company to analyze and monitor its recruitment process. This is done to improve the recruitment process and make better hiring decisions in the future.
- Time to hire: This is the metric designed to measure the time it takes for a company to go through the hiring process from an open position to a successfully hired position.
- Yield ratio: The yield ratio is one of the KPIs that shows what percentage of candidates from a specific source was invited for an interview. For example, the percentage of candidates applied via job posts on LinkedIn.