Recruiting glossary

There's a lot of jargon used in recruiting today - so we put together a glossary of terms to help guide you.

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Abandon rate

Abandon rate is an HR metric that shows how many job applicants that start filling company's job application for actually finish and hit "submit".

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a tool that digitally organizes your applicants’ applications, documents and data while giving you insights about the performance of your online recruitment channels.


Attrition is a gradual voluntary reduction of employees (through resignation and retirement) who are not then replaced. This means that attrition decreases the size of the workforce.

Background Check

A background check or background investigation is a review of a potential employee's criminal, commercial and financial records.

Candidate Engagement

Candidate Engagement measures how well candidates feel they were treated during the whole recruiting and hiring process. In various surveys, the majority of job seekers – around 60% – have indicated they received poor treatment during their job search.

Candidate Experience

A job seeker’s feelings about an organization’s job application process. Applicant attitudes and behaviors are important for a number of reasons and can impact abandonment rates and employer branding attitudes (an organization’s reputation as an employer).

Career Fair

A career fair (also known as a job fair or career expo) is a recruiting event in which employers and recruiters meet with potential employees and where job seekers find more about job openings at potential employers.

Career Path

Career path refers to the growth of the employee in an organization where an employee charts a course for their career path, growth and development. It includes different positions an employee might preform as they grow in an organization.

Company Culture

Company culture defines the environment in which employees work, it is the personality of a company: a combination of acceptable behaviors, actions, values and thoughts within a company.


Compensation is what companies give to employees or workers for their services towards the company, most often money. Compensation is effectively managed if performance is measured adequately.

Compensation components can be:

  • Completely fixed (per month or year) - ie salary
  • With a half fixed component - ie bonuses
  • Total variable component

Sometimes instead of giving money, companies do payments on behalf of employees, which is also referred as indirect compensation.


Diversity refers to the collective mixture of similarities and differences among company's employees such as: age, individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, cultural background, religion, race, gender, physical abilities and disabilities and sexual orientation.

Employer Brand

Employer brand is a term referred to describe the company's reputation and popularity from a potential employer's perspective and describes the values the company gives to its employees.

Employment History

Employment history refers to information about applicant's past employers and companies he/she worked for, job titles and positions held, salary, the dates of employment and attended duties.

Entry Level Job

Entry level job term refers to bottom-level employment position in the company that generally does not require experience, training or higher level of education. It is often filled by recent graduates and gives them the opportunity to learn and gain experience. Training for entry level jobs is typically provided by the company,

Hiring Manager

Hiring manager refers to a person in the company responsible for hiring employees to fill an open position. Generally it's a person from the department in which the employee needs to be hired and acts as the future employee’s direct superior.

Hiring managers work alongside recruiters and HR managers where they oversee the selection and hiring of new talent. Their main goal is to ensure that the candidate with the best qualifications and characteristics is selected and hired.

Hiring Process

Hiring process refers to the process of finding, selecting and hiring new employees to a company. This process has three key segments: planning, recruitment, and employee selection.

Human Capital

Human capital refers to the company's assets in a form of its employees and the collective skills, knowledge, experience and competencies they carry and add to the company. Human capital management is the responsibility of the HR department of the company.

Job Board

Job board refers to an online location (website) that provides a list of open job positions.

Job boards can list open positions with the relevant contact details or include a standardized application platform which allows candidates to apply directly. Recruitment companies use job boards to post open positions as part of their service to HR departments.

Labor Market

Labor market is a geographical region (local, national or international) that acts as a place of interaction in which labor transactions occur in a supply-demand fashion: employers find workers and workers find work.

Non-Compete Agreement

Non-compete agreement refers to a contract between an employer and an employee in which the employee gives consent not to use the data acquired during employment period to enter into competition with the employer.


Onboarding refers to the organizational socialization process of integrating new hires into the company obliging its established culture and operations and moving them from applicant to employee status ensuring that all administration and paperwork are done and training is completed.

Passive Candidate

Passive candidate refers to individuals who are content with their work and are not actively searching for new employment opportunities. Passive candidates can be reached through a strategy of quality marketing recruiting such as inbound recruiting.

Passive Job Searching

Passive job searching refers to a process in which individuals who are currently employed and are not actively searching for new job openings are willing to learn about new career opportunities.


Payroll refers to the company's list of employees and the total compensation provided to them for a fixed time period which includes fixed salary, bonuses and deductions. Payroll taxes affect the net income of a company.

Performance Management

Performance management refers to the process of supervising, maintaining or improving employee's/department's/company's job performance through the use of performance assessment tools, coaching and counseling.

Phone Screen

Phone screen refers to the step in the recruitment process which occurs after narrowing the applicant pool through the candidate's resume and before asking them to come for an in-person interview.

Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment Marketing is the process of attracting and nurturing talented individuals to your organization by marketing to them. The main goal of recruitment marketing is to drive individuals to apply to the open positions your company has available. Recruitment marketing is the earliest stage of talent acquisition.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) refers to a form of business process outsourcing where the company outsources the recruiting process to an external service provider.

Reference Check

Reference check refers to a recruiting process method used by hiring managers/recruiters to get more information about a candidate by contacting his/her previous employers, schools etc.

Social Recruiting

Simply put, social recruiting is using social media channels for recruiting. The term refers to different ways of using social media networks (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) and websites (blogs, forums, job boards and websites like Glassdoor for example) to find, attract and hire talent.


Sourcing refers to the act of identifying potential candidates who fulfill the set criteria for a job position. It is a proactive search for qualified candidates through resume screening, identification of talent and initial candidate assessment.

Sponsored Job Board Posts

Sponsored job board posts refer to an advertisement created by an employer or a recruiter on different sites and portals in order to notify the public of an immediate or future job opening within a company.
Sponsored posts are the first thing job seekers see when they visit a specific site as it generally appears highlighted above the other content to gain maximum visibility with relevant job seekers.

Talent Acquisition

Talent acquisition is the process of attracting, finding and hiring skilled human labor for organizational needs in order to meet labor requirements.

Talent Pipeline

Talent pipeline refers to a pool of potential candidates, either company's employees who are promotion prospects or external candidates, who are qualified and ready to fill a position.

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