Ultimate Recruitment Terminology Guide for Talent Acquisition Managers

Ultimate Recruitment Terminology Guide for Talent Acquisition Managers
a recruitment terminology

Abandon rate

The abandon rate is the proportion of applicants who start the application procedure but do not click “submit” on it, thus quitting the process.

Ability test

Ability test is a test that businesses use to see if a person can solve issues, make judgments, or apply logic and other skills required for the job.

Active job searching

An individual preparing a resume, searching for opportunities with businesses, and submitting an application to those organizations are engaged in an active job search.

Analytical thinking

Analytical thinking is a form of reasoning that uses logical deduction and induction to extract meaning from something or solve an issue.


An applicant is a person who applies for a job. Whether by submitting their resume or in some other manner.

Applicant files

A file contains all of the papers that a job applicant submits when applying for a position. An individual’s resume, personal statement, and references are just a few examples of documents that might be included in an application file.

Applicant flow data

The applicant flow data is information about the applicant that should not be considered while making a hiring decision. This involves the following details of applicants: gender, race, and religion. This kind of data is used by businesses to track their diversity and inclusiveness levels.

Applicant pool

The total number of people who applied for a specific job position.

Applicant tracking system (ATS)

Applicant tracking systems, such as SmartRecruiters – Enterprise Recruiting Software, automate parts of the recruiting process by allowing organisations to build workflows and manage large volumes of data. Before a person at the firm views an applicant’s file, an applicant tracking system will be utilised. This technology may identify the best candidates based on specific criteria.

Aptitude testing

Like ability testing, aptitude testing tests an applicant’s ability to perform specific tasks and discern how they respond to different situations.

Assessment center

An assessment center is a comprehensive examination/interview of prospects, generally in a group setting, in order to assess aptitude for various tasks linked to the position. It is considered an essential part of the hiring process for many customer-facing roles such as retail and customer support.

b recruitment terminology

Background check

A background check involves a company’s investigation of the prior work life of an active candidate, including whether they have any criminal convictions, as well as social media screening. It is a common method used to uncover any previous employment issues.

Background screening aka Pre-employment screening

A background check (as defined above) is combined with a reference check for background screening.

Balanced scorecard

A balanced scorecard is a form of a report that keeps track of an employee’s many duties and responsibilities.

Ban the box

Ban the box is a movement to eliminate the checkbox on an application asking whether the applicant has a criminal record to prevent ex-offenders from being unfairly disadvantaged.

Base wage rate

The minimum wage is the lowest amount that an employee may be paid by their employer.

Behavioural competency

It refers to a candidate’s ability to execute behaviourally in certain areas, such as teamwork, technical knowledge, people skills, and so on.

Behavioural-based interview

The behavioural interview is one in which the focus is on your past reactions to issues both inside and outside of work. These interviews assist employers in predicting how a candidate will react to future work situations, allowing them to determine whether or not the applicant is qualified for the position.

Behavioural risk management

Behavioural risk management studies factors that influence employee behaviour, especially the detrimental impact these behavioural aspects have on company productivity.

Benefits (benefits package)

Employee perks (besides money) are benefits that come with the job. This might include health insurance, dental coverage, and gym access. The benefits that an employee gets are dependent on their role in the company.

Boolean search

Boolean search is a more advanced search option that allows users to add terms such as “not,” “or” and “and.” This sort of search can be used by recruiters to quickly filter out prospects who don’t meet all of the essential requirements for a position.

c recruitment terminology

Career planning

The act of planning for a profession includes setting objectives and goals and participating in programs or courses to help you achieve these career desires.


A candidate is someone who is being considered for a job vacancy or new position.

Candidate experience

The candidate experience is the term used to describe how a candidate feels about their entire recruitment experience, also called CX.

Candidate portal

A candidate portal is an online portal where job seekers can upload their resumes, personal statements, and other information. Then they apply for specific openings or future employment opportunities at a company.

Candidate Centric recruiting

The candidate-first recruiting approach focuses on the candidate rather than the employer; the objective is to form an excellent connection with them.

Career assessment test

This is a test that people can do to learn what jobs they would like and be successful in. The questions in the test are designed to reveal a person’s talents, interests, and dislikes, as well as what profession they may be suited for.

Cognitive ability testing

Cognitive ability testing is a form of evaluation that focuses on the mental elements of the candidate, such as aptitude, performance, and timed testing.


In exchange for an individual working for, or providing a service to, a firm, compensation is provided. This is simply another word for ‘salary’ or ‘wages.’

Compensatory time-off plan

This is an option for businesses that don’t want to pay staff overtime. Instead of paying employees for overtime, the extra hours they work are added to their paid time off.

Contingent staff

Contingent workers are those who work for a firm temporarily. They can be freelancers or temporary contract employees. Suitable candidates are often sought from staffing agencies for temporary workers roles.

Core competencies

Core competencies are fundamental qualities (rather than qualifications) that will decide your suitability for a job. Different organizations require varied core abilities, including decision-making, problem-solving, people skills, collaboration, and communication skills.


Cost-per-hire is the typical cost of recruiting a new employee for a firm.


A counteroffer is a request that is made as an alternative to one that has previously been rejected.

Cover letter

A cover letter is a document that summarizes the contents of other documents. In this example, it would be the candidate’s resume. It might also explain why they decided to submit their CV and work for that firm.

Criminal History Check

Generally seen as a component of background checks. Criminal history checks can be mandatory in some roles where employees may be responsible for handling personal data, have high levels of delegation authority or are in the Banking/Fintech sector.

d recruitment terminology

Defined benefit plan

A defined benefit plan is a pension mechanism that provides a predetermined amount of money upon retirement, based on a set formula that considers an employee’s length of service, age, and previous earnings.

Direct hire

Direct hire is how most organisations prefer to fill positions. Specifically made without a recruitment firm acting as an intermediary.

Direct placement

Direct placement one-on-one interaction between a job applicant and an organisation typically involves an employer communicating with the potential employee over the phone or in person.

Depends on Experience (DOE)

Instead of a fixed salary, this is a requirement that employers may impose on a job application rather than a specified wage; the applicant’s pay is based on their experience in the field.

e recruitment terminology


E-learning is the use of online technologies to enhance or expand one’s education. This might include taking online courses and obtaining internet credentials.

Employee assessments

These are tests used to evaluate the performance of current or potential employees and assist businesses in finding methods to enhance employee engagement and production.

Employee referral program

Employee referral programs enable businesses to discover new potential employees by asking current staff for recommendations.

Employer branding

Employer branding entails developing a distinct corporate identity that will reach potential applicants and, perhaps more importantly, make the company seem desirable to them.

Employment agency

An employment agency is a business that links job seekers to potential employers.

Employment history

A person’s employment history is a collection of all the jobs they’ve had, as well as the times when they were unemployed.

Entry-level job

An entry-level position does not require any experience in the field. It is often the lowest job within a firm or the first employment available after obtaining a degree in a specific subject.

Equal employment opportunity (EEO)

EEO is a procedure or movement to address gender, sexual orientation, race, and other issues during the recruitment process.

f recruitment terminology

Facebook recruiting

This is a type of recruitment in which potential candidates are found and engaged on Facebook throughout the attraction and engagement phases of the hiring process.

Factor comparison

The Factor Comparison is a job evaluation that ranks a position based on skills, mental effort required, responsibility, and working conditions.

Fixed-term employment

Fixed-term employment is temporary work in which the employment period will end either on a fixed date or when a particular event or activity has been completed.

Flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements allow workers to modify their regular schedule or working hours as long as they keep up with their duties. An employee, for example, has flexibility in terms of when they perform their tasks and how early they begin and end work as long as they fulfil the agreed-upon quantity of hours under the contract.

Full life cycle recruiting

The whole process of recruiting is referred to as the recruitment cycle. This covers everything from the process to identify candidates to interviews of qualified candidates to choose which applicant would be selected and hiring them.

Full-text search

When a search engine, database, or document is fed with all of the queries in this kind of search, it performs a text analysis on them.

Full-time equivalent

This measurable quantity represents an employee’s workload, making it easy to compare to others.

Functional job analysis

Functional job analysis is a form of analysis that helps gather information about a position and the outcomes that may be utilised to write a job description. Math, data, worker instructions, reasoning, and language are examples of job-related variables that may be investigated during this sort of study.

Functional resume

A functional resume emphasises a person’s skills, talents, and competencies rather than their job history and professional background.

g recruitment terminology

Geographical differentia

The differences in salaries paid to individuals who do the same job or have comparable employment due to their varying costs of living based on where they reside are known as geographical differentials.

Group interview

This is a situation where there are numerous potential candidates, all of whom are interviewed at once.

h recruitment terminology

Hiring manager

A corporate Talent Acquisition department is like a “search engine” for job openings. Among its wide range of activities it devises recruitment processes, works on attracting candidates, and plans how to fill a job opening. The role of the hiring manager is to help identify qualified applicants who meet or exceed the requirements of open posts who could become company hires.

Hiring period

When a position is first offered to the candidate and when they are ultimately settled into the job.

Hiring process

The beginning to the conclusion of a vacant position being filled, from the point at which a new employee is required to when a job posting is posted, screening applicants, interviewing candidates, offering the chosen applicant a position, hiring a candidate, and onboarding them.

HR analytics and data-driven recruiting

These are Human Resources technology-based recruitment strategies that rely on HR data to make judgments throughout the process.

HR software

HR software is a program that allows for the automation of activities.

Human capital management

This is the study of a company’s human assets, often known as employees, and their combined knowledge, skills, and experience.

Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

HRIS is a personnel management system that handles data on the workforce.

Human resource outsourcing

Human resource outsourcing occurs when a firm decides to delegate HR responsibilities to an external party. An independent company is in charge of all HR-related activities and management.

Human resources

This is the department within a firm in charge of workforce issues such as hiring, supervision, and recruitment.

i recruitment terminology

Inbound recruiting

Inbound recruiting is about making a company seem desirable to potential job applicants by producing content and marketing social media to target skilled individuals and emphasise the firm’s competitive advantages.

Incentive pay

Incentive pay is a form of compensation provided to employers to achieve certain performance levels, such as making a specific sales quantity. This sort of reward encourages high-quality work or exceptional performance.

Independent contractor

An Independent contractor is a person or business that provides a service or performs a task for another individual or firm under the terms of a contract.

Individual employment agreement

The employer and the employee have a contract when they agree to work for the amount stated in the agreement.


It refers to an organisation using its people or other resources to do a previously outsourced task.

Internal recruiter

An internal recruiter is a company employee responsible for filling vacancies from the company’s current staff, either by promoting people or through internal transfers.

j recruitment terminology

Job advertisement

A job advertisement is a commercial that a firm places so that potential candidates can find out about and apply to open positions.

Job analysis

Job analysis is the study and gathering of data on a job’s operations, obligations, qualities, and qualifications required of a candidate who wishes to fill this role.

Job board

A job board is a web-based service that allows people to look for jobs and companies to post job advertisements.

Job classification

Job classification categorises occupations based on the duties, responsibilities, and tasks performed and the degree of power granted to an employee by their job.

Job description

A job description is a document that describes the responsibilities and tasks of a position.

Job evaluation

A job evaluation is a survey of how well a particular position ranks in terms of the amount of work it entails and its importance to the business to establish how much that job should be paid.

Job hopper

A job hopper is someone who has had a lot of different jobs, none of which have lasted for more than a few months.

Job offer letter

This letter an employer sends to a candidate informing them that they have been selected for the position generally includes the high-level details of the role.

Job requirements

Job requirements are the criteria that must be satisfied by a candidate for them to be considered competent for a position. Having specific training or expertise and speaking fluent English are all examples of job necessities.

Job requisition

A job requisition is a form that the hiring manager fills out to request a new hire. It needs an explanation of why a new employee is required and the job title and the cost of employing them.

Job search engine

A job search engine is a website that lists open positions from both job boards and directly from businesses, allowing people seeking employment to search and apply for them.


A job seeker is a person who is attempting to find employment.

k recruitment terminology

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a measurable aspect that can be measured and used to evaluate a company’s performance in a particular domain.

Knock-out question

A knockout question is a question asked in the early phases of the hiring process with the intention of ‘knocking out’ prospects who don’t meet the job’s requirements.

Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO)

This is a form of outsourcing in which businesses hire individuals who are well-versed in a specific subject. This is less expensive than employing someone with this vast knowledge base full-time.


Knowledge, skills, and abilities are three terms that are frequently used by HR teams in job ads to refer to knowledge.

l recruitment terminology

Labour cost

The total labour cost is the entire cost of a company’s workforce, including salaries, benefits, and insurance expenditures.

Labour law posting

This regulation requires businesses to post notices and posters informing employees of their rights in areas they frequently visit.

Labour market

A labor market is a place where businesses can find workers and unemployed individuals can locate employers.

Labour turnover

The proportion of a company’s workforce that leaves it during the year is known as turnover.

m recruitment terminology

Mean wage

Another term to describe the average wage earned by a person in a specific role.

Median wage

This is the amount in the exact middle of a group of employees in the same company.

Minimum wage

This is the legal lowest wage an employer may pay someone.

Mobile recruiting

This is a technique of locating talent that focuses on using smartphones or a mobile device to interact with people interested in working for your company.

Mock interview

Having someone pretend to interview them to practice answering questions is a method of preparation that a candidate may utilise to prepare for an actual job interview.

n recruitment terminology


This is a negotiation in which one or both sides reach an agreement; it’s generally the salary and benefits negotiated between employee and employer during recruitment.

Non-compete agreement

This is a non-compete agreement in which an employee agrees not to compete with the company based on what they learn and discover during their employment.

Non-disclosure agreement

This is a contract that prevents restricted people from sharing information about their employer’s business.

Non-exempt employee

Employees in this category are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay, as set out in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

o recruitment terminology

Observation interview

Observational interviews are used to assess the efficiency and productivity of current employees. At the same time, they do their daily tasks and responsibilities.

On-the-spot interview

This one-on-one interview occurs when an applicant comes in for a job, and the employer wants to meet them right away.


This is the process of integrating new employees into the existing work environment and ensuring that they feel at ease with their responsibilities and roles.

On-target earnings (OTE)

On-target earnings are the total amount an employee earns, plus any extra compensation they are granted when they meet or exceed their goal, such as a commission.

Open job interview

This interview is open to everyone who wishes to apply; all applicants may submit their applications and be contacted.

Outbound hiring

Hiring managers often use an outbound approach, which implies they seek a candidate (typically from their company’s talent pool) and contact them rather than the other way round.


Outsourcing is the act of hiring someone outside of a business to accomplish something or finish a job. Outsourcing is used for finite activities that are not critical to the company’s continuous operations.

p recruitment terminology

Panel interview

A panel of two or more interviewers is used in panel interviews.

Passive candidate

A passive candidate isn’t actively seeking a new job but is nonetheless considered to fill one. The passive candidate is usually already working for the firm and is being considered for a new role.

Passive job search

Individuals who are not actively looking for jobs and are generally already employed but still browse job search engines for possible new employment opportunities are known as passive job seekers.

Personality tests/psychometric testing

A candidate’s personality and qualities can be evaluated using personality tests and psychometric testing. Employers may use this information to discover more about a candidate and whether their personality is compatible with the position they are looking for.

Phone screen

This is a preliminary examination in the early stages of the employment process, usually after eliminating applicants based on their resumes. This is a quick phone conversation to find out whether a person would be suitable for the role. The candidate is usually invited to participate in an interview after the phone conversation (if the phone screen goes well).


Pipelining is the process by which details of qualified people are brought together in a company’s talent community to fulfil existing job openings.

Pipeline speed

A talent acquisition metric that describes the time in the recruitment process between initial candidate screening and first-round interviewing.


The candidate is placed into their work position at this stage of the selection procedure. The employee will be informed about their responsibilities and limits and when they may start working. An orientation usually follows this step.

q recruitment terminology


A questionnaire is a set of questions that an interviewer might ask during a candidate’s interview or (more rarely) a list of queries that a hiring manager may offer to a candidate to complete.

r recruitment terminology

Recruiting metrics

These metrics are used by businesses to track the recruiting process and assess success to enhance the recruitment procedure and improve future hiring outcomes.

Recruitment marketing

Recruitment marketing aims to improve its reputation as a place to work and make it more appealing to prospective employees through branding and advertising.

Recruitment plan

This is the company’s overall hiring plan.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

This term refers to a business outsourcing the recruitment process to another company. Sometimes staffing agencies or retained recruiters are used for this purpose.

Reference check

This is the stage of the recruitment process. A candidate’s previous employers will be contacted by an employer or hiring manager to learn more about the candidate and their reputation for honesty and integrity.

Resume parsing

The task of resume analysis is to convert candidates’ resumes into a structured list of data stored and processed by software.

s recruitment terminology

Screening candidates

The process of determining whether an applicant becomes a candidate and enters the interview process. Applicants often need to meet a baseline of criteria in order to do this. Criteria can range from specific qualifications to location, availability, and technical competencies.

Screening matrix

A screening matrix is a method for comparing candidates based on their qualifications and various criteria.

Self-funded (self-insured) plan

This is a policy in which businesses, rather than paying for employees’ health insurance, take responsibility for their workers’ healthcare and pays for it personally if the employee requires it.


A person’s skill set comprises all of their skills, talents, licenses, and work experience.

Skills gap

The term “skills gap” is used to describe the distance between a position’s requirements and the skills and qualifications possessed by an applicant.

Social media background screening

This is a form of examination where the employer looks at a candidate’s social media sites to find issues or traits that might disqualify them from getting a job.

Social recruiting

This is a strategy of recruitment that focuses on leveraging social media sites to attract possible people and then converting them into employees.


The process of looking for and identifying individuals who fulfil the requirements to accept a job to achieve a specific role is known as sourcing.

Sponsored job posting

Promotional job postings are used by businesses to guarantee that their employment ad appears at the top of a job board or search engine in exchange for paying a fee to these sites.


This is the function of attracting, selecting, hiring, and maintaining connections with workers.

Stay interview

This type of interview with present staff assesses their feelings about the firm, what makes them want to continue working there, and whether anything could improve their work environment.

Strategic Human Resource Management

Human resource management is a form of workforce management that focuses on retaining and rewarding current employees and attracting outside talent.

t recruitment terminology

Talent acquisition

Talent acquisition attracts and hires talented, trained people into the workforce, which begins with recruiting and ends with onboarding.

Talent community

A talent community is a company’s effort to establish a community that will quickly identify capable individuals if jobs become available. The community is generally formed from unsuccessful applicants who have nevertheless impressed the hiring manager.

Talent intelligence

Talent intelligence is the study and collection of data about your company’s employees and those from other companies.

Talent management

This is the management of everything with employees, from hiring to retaining them and ensuring that workers are developed and improved over time while they work for you.

Talent network

Individuals can join a talent pool through a talent network if they are not prepared to apply for roles immediately. They may be called upon for future opportunities if they aren’t ready to apply for jobs right away.

Talent pipeline

The talent pipeline of a firm comprises employees who are eligible for advancement and external candidates within the company’s talent pool that meet the position’s requirements and are ready to accept it.

Talent pool

This is a group of individuals linked with a firm that the business thinks may one day be prospects.

Talent relationship management

This is the procedure of developing and nurturing connections with employees and prospective employees.

Time to fill

This is the time it takes from when the initial job request was received to when the chosen applicant accepts the offer.

Time to hire

The time it takes for a company to choose and hire a candidate is called “hiring velocity.”

Total compensation

This is the sum of what employers provide to their employees, including money, benefits, and perks.

Total remuneration

The total of everything employees receives, including regular pay, financial incentives like incentives, and bonuses, non-monetary benefits like yoga memberships.

Training needs analysis

This is a study of employee performance to determine whether they require further training or instruction.

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are abilities that may be beneficial to many occupations or areas in an individual’s life.

Turnover costs

The turnover cost is the expense of replacing an employee.

Turnover rate

This is the proportion of employees that quit a company over a year.

u recruitment terminology

Unstructured interview

This is an unstructured interview in which the questions are not prearranged. The interviewer may ask to start with some high-level scenarios and keep the interview conversational.

v recruitment terminology


A vacancy in a position that is empty and needs to be filled.

Virtual HR

Virtual HR is a middleman that connects workers to the Human Resources department. It enables employees to enter information directly into the HR system without dealing with a staff member, saving time and money.


Voluntary reduced work time is a contract in which an employee accepts a gradual reduction of hours worked, accompanied by a proportional reduction in pay and benefits.

w recruitment terminology

Work/life employee benefits

Employee benefits linked to a person’s lifestyle may include free childcare, gym memberships, and access to free counseling.

Workers compensation

This form of insurance reimburses employees for losses incurred while working, including any medical expenses and wages while on disability.

Workforce planning

The primary goal of a workforce planning system is to predict and analyse the present and future requirements of the company in terms of labor, ensuring that they are fulfilled.

Work-life balance

This is the idea that an appropriate balance is struck between how much time and effort a person spends on their work-life versus their non-work life. To reduce stress and burnout while increasing happiness, an excellent work-life balance must feature a moderate amount of energy and time spent on both aspects of one’s life.

y recruitment terminology

Yield ratio

This is the proportion of applicants who proceed to the next phase of the selection procedure.

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