Recruiting Terms To Know: 100+ Essential Concepts

Recruiting Terms To Know: 100+ Essential Concepts

This guide provides the top recruiting terms every HR professional, recruiter, and hiring manager should know. Additionally, the guide should be useful for anyone curious about the recruiting process. We cover essential terms across the recruiting field, from industry standards to modern trends.

Recruiting term categories:

Recruitment process

The recruitment process includes the entire journey of attracting, selecting, and onboarding a new employee. It's the foundation of building a strong workforce, ensuring the right candidates are identified, engaged, and brought into the company.

  1. Applicant tracking system (ATS). A software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs, streamlining the hiring process by sorting and ranking candidates.
  2. Candidate experience. A candidate's overall perception and reaction to an organization's hiring process, from application to interview and onboarding.
  3. Employment branding. Tactics and strategies that help shape perceptions of what working for the company is like, focusing on the brand’s perceptions as an employer.
  4. Job description. A detailed description of a job, including responsibilities, requirements, and qualifications.
  5. Offer letter. A formal job offer to a candidate, outlining the terms of employment.
  6. Onboarding. The process of integrating a new employee into an organization and its culture.
  7. Pre-boarding. The process of engaging with a new hire between the offer acceptance and their start date.
  8. Recruitment funnel. A model that outlines the stages of the recruitment process, from initial candidate awareness to onboarding.
  9. Screening interview. An initial interview to assess the basic qualifications of applicants.
  10. Sourcing. The process of identifying and attracting potential candidates for job vacancies.
  11. Talent acquisition. The process of finding and acquiring skilled labor for organizational needs and to meet any labor requirement.
  12. Talent pool. A database of potential candidates who might fit future job openings.
  13. Time-to-hire. The duration between a job vacancy being posted and a candidate accepting the job offer.

Recruitment strategies

Recruitment strategies are the methods and approaches used to attract and hire top talent. This section explores various tactics, from leveraging employer branding to engaging passive candidates.

  1. Contingency recruiting. A type of recruitment in which the recruiter only gets paid when they successfully place a candidate in a job.
  2. Diversity hiring. The practice of hiring candidates using a process free from biases for or against any individual or group of candidates.
  3. Employer branding. The process of promoting a company as the employer of choice to a desired target group.
  4. Freelance recruiting. The process of hiring independent professionals for short-term engagements.
  5. Headhunting. The process of recruiting highly skilled and talented individuals for specialized roles.
  6. In-house recruiting. The process of an organization's internal HR team conducting the recruitment, rather than outsourcing to third-party firms.
  7. Passive candidate. An individual who is not actively looking for a job but may be interested if the right opportunity presents itself.
  8. Recruitment marketing. The strategies and tactics an organization uses to find, attract, engage, and nurture talent before they apply for a job.
  9. Retained recruiting. A recruitment service where the recruiter is paid an upfront fee to fill a position, regardless of the outcome.
  10. Social recruiting. Using social media platforms to recruit potential candidates.

Recruitment technology

Technology is pivotal in modern recruitment, offering tools and solutions to streamline hiring processes. This section introduces innovations in recruitment technology that are transforming how companies find and engage with candidates.

  1. AI recruiting. The use of AI tools and algorithms to automate parts of the recruitment process, such as screening resumes.
  2. Automated resume screening. The use of software to analyze resumes and CVs to automatically filter out unqualified candidates.
  3. Candidate relationship management (CRM). Tools and strategies companies use to manage and improve relationships with current and potential future job candidates.
  4. Recruitment chatbots. AI-powered virtual assistants used to engage candidates in conversation, answer their questions, and guide them through the application process.
  5. Digital onboarding solutions. Tools that facilitate the remote onboarding process for new hires, ensuring they have all necessary information, training, and resources before their first day.
  6. Integrated hiring tech stack. The combination of technological tools and platforms used to streamline the recruitment process.
  7. Machine learning. A type of AI that allows software applications to become more accurate at predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so.
  8. Predictive analytics. The use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data.
  9. Remote interviewing. The use of remote communication technology to conduct job interviews, allowing for interviews from any location.
  10. Skill assessment software. Tools designed to evaluate candidates on their professional qualifications.

Candidate evaluation

Evaluation is a critical step for candidate consideration and selection. This section covers techniques and criteria for assessing candidate skills, potential, and cultural fit.

  1. Agility measurement. Evaluating a candidate's ability to adapt and thrive in changing environments.
  2. Behavioral interviewing. A technique that asks candidates to describe past behavior as an indicator of future performance.
  3. Benchmarking. The process of comparing a candidate's potential against the average competency levels of similar roles.
  4. Candidate persona. A semi-fictional representation of an ideal candidate, based on actual data and some select educated speculation.
  5. Cultural fit. An estimation of how well a candidate's beliefs, behaviors, and values align with those of the organization.
  6. Ghosting. The practice of a candidate or employer stopping all communication without explanation.
  7. KPIs (key performance indicators). Quantifiable measures used to evaluate the success of an organization, department, employee, etc., in meeting objectives for performance.
  8. Purple squirrel. A term used to describe a candidate with the right education, experience, and qualifications that perfectly fit a job's requirements.
  9. Skill assessment. Tests and evaluations used to measure a candidate's skills and competencies.
  10. Skill evaluation. Assessing a candidate's technical skills and abilities relevant to the job.
  11. Structured interviews. A standardized method of interviewing candidates with a set list of questions.

Modern recruitment

The HR field is constantly evolving along with the latest trends and technologies, requiring innovative recruitment strategies. This section examines modern methods in how companies find talent.

  1. EVP (employee value proposition). The balance of the salary, bonuses, and other benefits employees receive in return for their performance at the workplace.
  2. Inbound recruiting: Strategy in which an organization attracts candidates organically, rather than reaching out directly.
  3. Internal mobility. The degree to which employees can apply for new positions within an organization to enhance their career development and retention.
  4. Gig economy: A labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work.
  5. Outplacement services. Support service provided by organizations, helping former employees transition to new jobs.
  6. Pipelining. The process of building a pool of candidates for future job openings.
  7. Quiet hiring. The practice of acquiring new skills without adding to the headcount, often through reskilling existing employees.
  8. Remote recruiting. The process of finding, interviewing, and hiring candidates remotely.
  9. Recruitment analytics. The data-driven approach to analyzing and improving recruitment processes and outcomes.
  10. Workforce analytics. The use of data analysis techniques to understand, improve, and optimize the workforce.

Legal terms

Understanding legal terms helps ensure compliance and effective talent management. This section covers key concepts and agreements that govern the relationship between employers, employees, and the legal framework.

  1. At-will employment. The concept that an employer can terminate an employee at any time without reason, and the employee can also leave without reason or notice.
  2. Compliance. Adhering to laws and regulations in how an organization operates, including recruitment practices.
  3. Confidentiality agreement. A legal contract between employers and employees to keep certain information confidential.
  4. Equal employment opportunity (EEO). Policies that ensure all individuals have an equal chance of employment regardless of gender, ethnicity, nationality, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected under discrimination laws.
  5. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards.
  6. Non-compete agreement. A contract between an employee and an employer, where the employee agrees not to enter into competition with the employer after the employment period is over.
  7. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance. Adhering to regulations aimed at ensuring workplace health and safety.

Talent management

Talent management involves strategies and practices for attracting, developing, and retaining skilled employees. This section highlights the importance of nurturing talent to drive organizational success and employee satisfaction.

  1. 360-degree feedback. A review system in which employees receive feedback, some of which is confidential and anonymous, from their customers, subordinates, peers, and supervisors.
  2. Career pathing. The process by which employees chart a course for their career within an organization, including progression and development.
  3. Diversity and inclusion programs. Initiatives for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment in which all employees feel valued and integrated into the company culture.
  4. Employee engagement. The level of an employee's commitment and connection to an organization.
  5. Employee referral program. A program in which existing employees are rewarded for referring qualified candidates for employment.
  6. Employee turnover. The rate at which employees leave a company and are replaced by new employees.
  7. Exit interview. A meeting with a departing employee to discuss their reasons for leaving, and to gather feedback.
  8. Glass ceiling. An invisible metaphorical barrier that prevents someone, especially women and minority groups, from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of qualifications or achievements.
  9. Learning and development. Programs or activities that provide learning and growth opportunities for employees.
  10. Leadership development. Programs or activities that enhance leaders' skills, abilities, and confidence.
  11. Performance management. The ongoing communication process between a supervisor and an employee to identify, measure, and develop the employee's performance.
  12. Succession planning. Identifying and developing new leaders who can replace others when they leave.
  13. Talent retention. The efforts by an employer to keep desirable workers to meet business objectives.

Global recruiting

Recruiting on a global scale presents unique challenges and opportunities. This section explores the basics of international recruitment.

  1. Expat hiring. The process of recruiting expatriates, people living away from their native country, for employment.
  2. Expatriate management. The process of managing employees working outside their home country, including recruitment, relocation, and adaptation to new cultures.
  3. Global mobility. The capability of employees to move to different locations or countries for work assignments.
  4. Global talent pool. The worldwide market of potential employees with the skills and abilities to meet the needs of employers.
  5. Immigration compliance. Adhering to legal and regulatory standards for employing individuals in a country where they are not citizens.
  6. International labor standards. Guidelines and regulations governing global labor practices and conditions.
  7. International recruitment. The process of finding and hiring candidates from other countries for employment in a home country or another country.
  8. Localization. Adapting business strategies, including recruitment, to fit the cultural, linguistic, and business norms of a specific country or region.
  9. Relocation assistance. Support services an employer provides to help a new employee move from one location to another for work.

Compensation and benefits

A competitive compensation and benefits package is crucial for attracting and retaining talent. This section examines the elements of total rewards that contribute to employee satisfaction and loyalty.

  1. Bonus structure. The system outlining how bonuses are determined and distributed within an organization.
  2. Compensation benchmarking. The process of comparing an organization's pay levels and compensation practices against those of other organizations.
  3. Employee benefits. Non-wage compensations provided to employees in addition to their normal wages or salaries.
  4. Health insurance benefits. Different plans and policies offered to employees to cover medical expenses.
  5. Living wage. The minimum income necessary for workers to meet their basic needs.
  6. Pay equity. The principle of ensuring that employees receive equal pay for work of equal value.
  7. Profit sharing. A plan that gives employees a share in the company's profits.
  8. Salary negotiation. The process in which an employer and a job candidate discuss and agree upon the salary for a position.
  9. Stock options. A benefit in which the employee can buy company stock at a discounted price.
  10. Total rewards. The complete package of compensation, benefits, professional development, and work environment offered by an employer.

Workforce planning

Strategic workforce planning ensures an organization has the right people in the right places. This section discusses the processes and analyses used to forecast and meet future staffing needs.

  1. Demand forecasting. Predicting future employee demand based on business trends, market analysis, and other factors.
  2. Furlough. A temporary leave given to employees due to a company's particular needs, which may be due to economic conditions.
  3. Labor market analysis. The examination of the supply and demand for labor used to inform workforce planning and development strategies.
  4. Layoff strategy. Planning and implementing workforce reduction in response to business needs.
  5. Organizational design. The process of shaping an organization's structure and roles to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  6. Resource allocation. The process of distributing resources, including human capital, across an organization to meet its objectives.
  7. Skills gap analysis. Assessing the difference between the skills an organization's workforce currently has and the skills needed in the future, enabling targeted development programs and hiring strategies.
  8. Strategic workforce planning. The process of aligning an organization's human capital needs with its business goals.
  9. Succession planning: The proactive process of identifying and developing potential leaders within the organization to fill key positions and ensure leadership continuity as transitions occur.
  10. Talent scarcity. A situation in which the demand for skilled workers exceeds the supply in the labor market.
  11. Workforce optimization. The strategy of continually improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the workforce.

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This article is intended for educational purposes and should not be viewed as legal advice. Please consult a professional to find the solution that best fits your situation.


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Recruiting Terms To Know: 100+ Essential Concepts
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