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The HR Glossary: Find the Knowledge of Key Terms and Concepts Shaping the Recruitment Process

Ready to supercharge your recruiting?

Whether you're a recruiter looking to brush up on your knowledge, or a newbie looking to understand its technical terminology, our glossary has everything you need to know. From common recruiting vocabularies to key terminologies, we've got all the definitions of every ATS term you should know.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Abandonment rate

The abandonment rate is defined as a human resources indicator that counts the number of job applicants who start their applications but never finish them and submit them. 


Apprenticeship is a system for training professionals or a new generation of practitioners with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study. 

Applicant tracking system (ATS)

An applicant tracking system, popularly known as ATS, is software that helps businesses manage their recruitment needs. It allows the collection and storing of the candidate and job-related data and the tracking of candidates' progress through all stages of the recruitment process. Find out more about what an ATS is here.

Active candidate

An active candidate is an individual who is actively looking for a job.

Application program interface

Application programming interface (API) is a way which allows our software to interact with each other with third-party solutions, enhancing the features and data of our application for a better customer and user experience. 

Application form

An application form is an official document employers want their candidates to fill in while applying for a job vacancy.

AI recruiting

Artificial Intelligence is used to streamline and automate the recruitment process. AI and ML (Machine Learning) are used to make the manual process automatic, recommend candidates for the roles that suit them best, and minimise bias and “gut feeling” while selecting candidates. 

Applicant pool

The applicant pool is the total number of applicants received for each job posting.

ATS integration

Applicant tracking system integration helps centralise the recruitment process by sharing data seamlessly between technologies. It also allows you to extract data and analytics together in a single platform of record for better reporting.

Artificial intelligence 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is intelligence - perceiving, synthesising and inferring information that otherwise would need a human to think and complete the task. AI in talent acquisition varies from interview scheduling and pre-screening questions to chatbots communicating with candidates and answering job openings queries.

Absenteeism policy

Any workplace policy that defines paid time off, vacation days, sick leaves, parental or other leave, etc., is termed an absenteeism policy.


Attrition is employees leaving an organisation (voluntary or involuntary) for any reason, including resignation, termination, retirement or death.


Basic salary

A basic salary is a defined amount given to employees by their employers in exchange for the labour provided or the discharge of the latter's official obligations.

Behavioural competency

Behavioural competencies are knowledge, skills, attitudes and actions that distinguish excellent performers.


Bonus is a financial incentive given to employees to appreciate their performance at work, for helping the organisation, and simultaneously ensure employee retention.


Burnout occurs when there is physical and mental exhaustion. It includes work stress, long working hours, and a lack of a support system that can contribute to burnout.

Business ethics

Business ethics is understanding what is acceptable and unacceptable at the workplace.

Boomerang employees

Boomerang employees leave a company for whatever reason, only to return later for a better position. 


Candidate management system (CMS)

A candidate management system (CMS) is a tool that identifies, tracks, monitors and manages candidates for open positions.

Candidate experience

Candidate experience is how an applicant feels while moving through your organisation's hiring process.

Candidate engagement

Candidate engagement is interacting with candidates, especially in the recruitment process. Recruiters must keep candidates up-to-date throughout the hiring process to maintain a strong brand image.


Cooperative is defined as associations of people working towards a common goal; it can be social, economic, cultural, or economic.

CV searching

Recruiters and HR can now search CVs to see if candidates have the right qualifications, experience and skill sets for the position.

Candidate relationship management (CRM)

Candidate relationship management (CRM) helps to connect easily with present and future job candidates to help fill positions faster. Also, CRM makes it possible to create a talent pool and efficiently market your hiring to the best candidates through emails, job recommendation portals, etc.

Contingent workforce

A contingent workforce, termed as contracted employees, is a workforce that does not have an ongoing contract with any company or organisation. They are contractors, freelancers, interns, etc.

Career break

A career break is a defined time away from work for personal or professional growth or family reasons.

Career path

A career path is a group of jobs within a domain that can help accomplish career goals and objectives.

Core competencies

Core competency is the unique competence that is characteristic of a company. They are the values, capabilities, and resources that give the business an edge over its competitors.


It is the cash and non-monetary benefits you pay your employees in return for their work or services.

Competency-based pay

Competency-based payment is when employees are rewarded for their performance in the workplace instead of their experience or position in the hierarchy.

Condition of employment

A condition of employment is anything the employee and the employer agree upon at the start of the employment.


The Cost Per Hire is the average sum of money spent on each new employee hired. 


Data migration

Data migration is the process of transferring data from one system to another. The recruitment software transfers existing, valuable clients and candidate data from one technology to another.


Deduction or payroll deductions is a payment the employer makes on their employee’s behalf out of their earnings.

Deferred compensation

Deferred compensation is an amount of an employee’s salary that is kept aside for later payment. This is kept aside in the form of insurance, stock options, retirement funds, etc.


Discrimination happens when an employee or a candidate is mistreated based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or gender.

Disciplinary procedure

A disciplinary procedure is a well-defined approach that assists organisations in managing concerns about potential wrongdoing employees may engage in while on the job.



Earnings are the profit or bottom line of a company.

Employee advocacy

Employee advocacy is the promotion of a company by its employees.

Employee assessment

Employee assessment is an examination that both current and potential hires take to understand the candidate’s talents better.

Employee generated video content

Employee-generated video content is video content that features your employees, in which they discuss their on-the-job and overall experiences within your organisation.

Employee referral program

An employee referral program helps attract new candidates by rewarding present employees for quality candidate referrals.

Employee onboarding

Employee onboarding is taking a new hire from applicant to employee status and ensuring that paperwork is completed, benefits administration is underway, and orientation is done.

Employee training program

An employee training program is a standardised routine that assists new hires in learning and understanding their job responsibilities and the procedures to do their job correctly and efficiently.


E-Recruitment is a synonym for online recruitment. E-recruitment is an approach to attracting and recruiting candidates for specific job openings. It allows recruiters to digitally communicate, manage and track candidates during the hiring process.

Employee empowerment

Employee empowerment is defined as a management strategy focused on providing workers with the information and tools necessary to make self-assured decisions in the workplace without monitoring.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is the extent to which employees devote their cognitive, emotional, and behavioural resources to achieving successful organisational results.

Employee engagement surveys

These allow you to get valuable feedback from your team, and build a stronger company culture, automatically.

Employee management

Employee management is the process that assists employees in performing to their full potential and achieving the company's goals.

Employee relations

Employee relations is the relationship between a company and its employee.

Employee retention

Employee retention refers to the organisational practices used to retain their best employees for the long term.

Email marketing

Email marketing allows you to interact with candidates regularly throughout the hiring process. In addition, it will enable you to promote new roles, content, newsletters and updates to passive and active candidates and the entire community.

Exit interview

Exit interview is the final meeting with a resigning or terminated employee.


Full time equivalent

An FTE is the number of hours a full-time employee works for an organisation.

Factor comparison

Factor Comparison is a scientific method for ranking employment positions based on a breakdown of characteristics instead of the role as a whole.



The European Union’s GDPR focuses on strengthening the security and protection of personal data and replaces the 1995 European Union Data Protection Directive. The regulation applies to organisations headquartered within the EU and those headquartered outside of the EU  offering goods and services to EU businesses.

Gag clause

A gag clause is a condition in a contract that forbids employees from discussing sensitive information about the company, its operations, its physical assets, and any potential inventions.

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is the difference in pay between men and women in the same role.


Grievance or employee Grievance is a formal complaint raised by an employee against a fellow employee, manager, or even the employer.

Gross wages

Gross wages are the employee’s earnings before taxes and deductions withholdings.


Human resource information system (HRIS)

An HRIS gathers, stores and maintains an organisation’s employee and HR-related information.

Human resource management system (HRMS)

An HRMS is a software application that combines different human resource functions, like recruiting, benefits and payroll, into one package, allowing organisations to manage and report on these functions.

Human resource software

HR software provides an accurate view of all HR activities, including recruiting, performance management, onboarding, training, and development. Besides, this software minimises the workload of the HR department while maximising efficiency by standardising and automating HR processes.


Hiring is the company's procedure where they contractually employ an individual for an agreed payment.


Incentive pay

Incentive pay is the financial incentive for performance and the compensation based on the hours worked.


Induction is introducing your new hires to the organisation, its employees, and all details necessary to settle and get started with their job role.


Job description

A job description defines the significant responsibilities of the role for which the candidates would apply.

Job board

A Job board is a website where employers post job openings in their company to attract the right candidates.

Job board integration

Candidate management systems can easily integrate with different job boards to advertise and post vacancies. This involves setting expiration dates on specific vacancies in comparison to other roles that might be ongoing.

Job sharing

Job-sharing is an arrangement in which two or more persons share job responsibilities ordinarily handled by a single person working full-time.

Job evaluation

Job Evaluation is a systematic evaluation of the relevance of a specific job by comparing it to other positions within an organisation.


Knowledge management

Knowledge management is identifying, analysing, capturing, categorising, and retaining the knowledge and expertise of the employees in the organisation.


Leadership management

Leadership development enhances the skills, abilities, and knowledge of employees who will perform in leadership roles in an organisation.


MI reporting

MI reporting, known as Management Information Reporting, is a communication method that presents ideas and concepts for companies to make the best-led decisions for their business.


Mentoring is a professional (or personal) relationship where the experienced mentor offers expertise and guidance to the new employees.

Minimum wage

It is the minimum legal amount an employer pays the employee for their work


Non-disclosure agreement

A non-disclosure agreement, also known as NDA, is a confidentiality agreement, or proprietary information agreement, that is a legally binding contract between 2 or more parties.


Organisational culture

Organisational culture  is values and traits that define the company.


Employee orientation is introducing new employees to the workplace, including their job responsibilities, team members, departments, etc.


Performance management

Performance management is a professional practice that helps managers evaluate employees’ performance.

Parsing (CV parsing)

Breaking down data into more minor specific data for an easy transfer to a new location, i.e. CVs can be parsed to fill in the relevant fields on an application form, is termed CV parsing.

Passive candidate

A passive candidate is an individual who is not actively looking for a change in the job role.

Payroll software

Payroll software is a complete HR solution that takes care of all payroll operations.


Quality management

Quality management oversees all activities that should be complete to scale and maintain the desired level of excellence.


Recruiting software

It is also known as Applicant Tracking Software and is used by businesses of all sizes. It helps manage applications, screen CVs, track candidates throughout the recruitment process, and many other features.


Recruitment consists of locating potential talent, screening candidates for qualifications and placing them accordingly. Next, it is finding the right talent for the right role.

Recruitment CRM

A recruitment CRM streamlines candidate management, optimises communication and enhances hiring efficiency for a seamless recruitment experience.


RecOps are two things, essentially: tactics and strategy. RecOps strategies give you the ability to utilise and expand upon your current recruitment process by spotting bottlenecks and inefficiencies at crucial points in productivity.

Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing is both the tactical and the strategic implementations which allow companies to attract and engage with job seekers in order to discover a more professional and qualified applicant.

Recruitment marketing automation

It's a tool to automate and schedule emails and campaigns for recruiters to maintain a high level of engagement with candidates.

Recruitment technology

Recruitment technology helps the Head of Resourcing, recruiters and HR to attract top talent and close the job vacancy.



The recruiter or HR can screen or test each candidate and their application based on skills, personality or experience to ensure that candidates are the best fit to fill the position.


Semantic is the terminology of understanding the meaning of words and sentence structure.

Social distribution

GoHire can post job vacancies directly on social media and career-branded job portal sites.

Software as a service (SaaS)

Software as a Service, also known as SaaS, is a method for online companies to provide products and services to the clients.

Strategic planning

Strategic planning defines a direction and a course of action for your business.

Succession planning

Succession Planning is finding employees with high potential and talent to fill top management positions and lead teams when available.



With Applicant Tracking Software, the recruiter can assign keywords, or ‘tags’, to each candidate’s profile.

Talent acquisition

Talent acquisition is the process of finding, attracting and engaging with potential candidates to attract them to apply for a job.

Talent attraction

Talent attraction is doing something critical to entice the right talent to apply for a job.

Talent pooling

When candidates apply for a job through an Applicant Tracking System, they create a profile manually by entering their credentials or parsing a CV or social media profile.

Talent management

Talent management is a continuous HR process of attracting, selecting, nurturing, developing, motivating, training, and retaining high-performing employees.


User experience (UX)

As a recruiter, you must understand the experience your candidates go through as they move through the application process.


Video interviewing

The video interview is a way for recruiters or HR to screen candidates through video. It can either be a two-way live video stream or a one-way recorded video file which can be sent or uploaded on ATS.


Wrongful termination

Whenever an employee is terminated for reasons other than their job performance, it breaches the employment contract and is considered wrongful termination.

Workforce planning

Workforce planning is analysing the organisation’s workforce to see if they have sufficient human resources for the job and plan accordingly.