HR Glossary Should Have These Recruitment Terms

Employers, when hiring new recruits, are more alert and often one finds them speaking a totally different language thereby making the opposite party aware who the boss is. There are many recruitment terminologies that are commonly used, yet there are some which top the list. Following are the recruitment terms that should be available in every HR glossary list:

1. Applicant tracking system (ATS): This is a latest addition to the numerous technological tools available and is trusted by hundreds of global users. The main goal of this software is to make life easier for recruiters. With so many resumes that they receive, it is not feasible to go through each one. An ATS software helps them filter and file the resumes received. The applicant tracking system is designed to quickly scan resumes for specific information and identify the closest match as per the job description. ATS makes searching easier or automated, saving time while avoiding human error. This tool also benefits the job seekers where they can customize their resumes by using tactics that include relevant keywords to match the job they are vying for.

2. Company culture: Company culture, also known as corporate culture, defines the environment in which the employees work. Broadly speaking, it includes a variety of elements like work environment, values, ethics, goals and expectations. Some companies have a team-based culture emphasizing teamwork, while others encourage employees to work in a hassle-free atmosphere. Looking for the right “cultural fit” has become the norm for both employers and job seekers.

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3. Contract worker: Contractors are highly skilled workers having technical or professional experience. These independent contractors or contract employees are retained by a company only for specific projects and for a predetermined period.They are usually paid higher than their temporary counterparts.

4. Employment contract: An employment contract or contract of employment is a law binding document that attributes rights and lays out the binding terms and conditions  between an employee and an employer.

5. Employer brand: Employer branding may be defined as all the activities that affect a company’s reputation with potential employees. The internal employer brand is the way employees perceive working for the organization. The external employer brand is communicated to job seekers through word of mouth, on job boards, via social media and employment sites.

6. Freelance worker: A freelance worker is a self-employed professional and not necessarily committed to a particular employer long term. He is the one who works independently for a company or individual client. While freelancers do take on temporary contract work for companies or organizations, they often set their own working hours and pay; however, the flow of work may not always remain steady.

7. Job board: A career website on which employers or recruiting firms place ads to attract suitable candidates for their open roles is known as a job board.

8. Lateral hiring: A lateral hire is a hired candidate who, at his or her previous organization, was at the same level of experience and responsibilities.

9. Non-compete: A non-compete based on non-competition is an agreement between an employer and an employee wherein the employee is legally bound to not work for a competing company for a specified period of time after leaving the organization he/she is currently employed at.

10. Recruitment marketing: The advertising activities or social media communications done by an organization to attract talent to its workforce is known as recruitment marketing.  

11. Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO): Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is defined as the process of hiring an external agency to act like the company’s own recruitment department to hire the right talent for the organization. This is different from traditional external hiring firms, which means that the RPO firm is entirely responsible for the recruiting process and may assume the identity and recruiting technologies of the client.

12. Recruitment management system (RMS): A recruitment management system is a software designed to automatically manage all areas of recruitment such as attracting the right talent, assessment of profiles and the hiring of the employees. 

13. Soft skills: Soft skills are the intangible and hard-to-measure skills that characterize one’s ability to adapt to the organizational culture. Some soft skills include interpersonal skills, communication skills, cognitive and emotional empathy, leadership traits, teamwork and management skills. A research done by CareerBuilder concluded that soft skills are as significant to employers as hard (or technical) skills.

14. Temp-to-hire: The term temp-to-hire is used for individuals who are hired on a temporary contract basis but may be hired full-time. The hiring usually depends on the need of manpower, the performance of the individual as well as the budget allowance.

15. Talent acquisition specialist or partner: A Talent acquisition specialist is an individual who approaches recruitment in a strategic manner so as to abide by the dynamic business requirements. They work with the leaders of the organization to be able to form strategies and to source, interview and bring onboard employees after recruitment.

16. Talent management: The ability to attract, hire and retain suitable employees keeping long-standing business goals in mind is known as talent management.


  • “10 Terms Everyone In Recruitment Should Know” by Tribepad on January 18, 2016
  • “ The Complete glossary of recruitment terms & phrases” by Katie Sawyer, May 10, 2019
  • “A glossary of recruiting terms every job seeker should know” By Mary Lorenz, June 14, 2017

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