Industry Jargon

Active Candidate - Active candidates are the ones who are actively looking for work by applying to job adverts and submitting resumes.

Applicant Pool - The applicant pool refers to the collective number of people who have applied for a specific position. The employer will work through the applicant pool to create a short-list of individuals to progress to the next stage.

Assessment Centre - These are group interviews where candidates can go through a number of tasks to gauge suitability. Assessment centres can include role play, team activities and competency based questioning. Best used for volume recruitment campaigns to effectively assess lots of candidates with minimal resources.

ATS - An applicant tracking system, also known as ATS, is a piece of software recruiters use to manage and track the current applications. Similar to a CRM (customer relationship management) system, an ATS can filter applicants based on selected criteria.

Company culture - This refers to a company’s collective values, mission, ethics, code of conduct…essentially its personality. Culture will differ depending on the nature of the company and the employees themselves, but it’s increasingly something that seekers want to know about in detail before they will even apply to a job.

C-Level Executives - A C-level executive is a high-ranking executive of a company in charge of making company-wide decisions. The "C" stands for "chief." Some best-known C-level executives include the chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO) and chief information officer (CIO). Of all the C-level executives, the CIO has the most bearing in IT, as the CIO is responsible for all of the company's computer systems.

Competency Based Interview - An interview in which a candidates ability is tested to uncover their suitability for the role. This may involve asking how someone would react to hypothetical situations or situational led role play. A great tool for a role where the candidate does not have previous experience but shows the right attributes to do the job.

Contingent workforce - This refers to workers that are hired on an on-demand basis (as opposed to full-time permanent employees). This might include freelancers, contract workers, temporary employees, or consultants.

DOE - When describing the salary for a particular position in a job advert, DOE refers to ‘Depends on Experience’ and therefore means that the employer is willing to offer a higher salary for those with relevant experience.

Employee Poaching - Employee poaching is a term used when companies hire employees from their competitors. Regularly found in high-growth industries, employee poaching normally occurs when certain employees can offer a specialized set of skills.

Employer brand -Also known as employer reputation, branding refers to the value proposition that a company offers to its current and future employees. This might include company perks, mission, mandate, culture, and many other factors.

Entry Level Job - An entry level job refers to a type of job reserved for new graduates or trainees. Generally, these types of jobs are for those who have recently completed a training or degree program and is widely accepted as the entry point into a specific profession. Entry level jobs are also likely to require less experience and therefore are likely to have a lower salary.

EVP (Employee Value Proposition) - EVP is the combined rewards and benefits that an employee will receive in return for their performance. Your EVP, in tandem with your Employer Brand, will be the determining factor in attracting and retaining talent in your organisation.

FTC - An acronym for fixed-term contracts, FTCs have a specified begin and end date which is referred to as a fixed-term period.

FTE - Full-time equivalent, also referred to under the acronym FTE, is a standardized unit of measuring working hours for those who work part-time. Employees who work full-time are referred to as 1.0 and those who work half-time are referred to as 0.5. By using the FTE units, employers can standardize salaries for part-time employees by measuring them against employees who work full-time.

Headhunting - Headhunting is a recruitment technique that involves identifying and approaching a suitable candidate who is currently employed elsewhere for a specific position.

Hidden job market - This refers to the fact that only a small percentage of job openings (from five to 40 per cent) are posted online or advertised in any way. The rest of the openings are filled through networking, referrals, or other methods.

Hiring Manager - The employee who requests a position to be filled. 

Inbound Candidate - The candidate applied for a job posting.

Intake Meeting - An intake meeting is where the recruitment strategy will be discussed for the first time between the employer and the hiring manager or recruiter.

JD (Job Description, sometimes known as JS/Job Specification) - A list of the responsibilities, requirements, qualifications, preferred skills, application process, benefits and other relevant information. Often forms part of a job advert.

Job Hopper - In the modern workplace, job hopping has become more commonplace. Generally speaking, a job hopper is someone who habitually changes jobs every few years as a result of their own choice, and not being fired or being made redundant.

Job Requisition - A job requisition is the first step for departments who want to hire a new employee to replace another employee who has terminated their contract, or simply because there has been an increase in workload.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) - A value to measure performance against a target. An example of this in a recruitment context is ‘time to hire’ where the value is the amount of days to recruit from a job going live to a candidate’s offer or start date.

KPO (Key Performance Objective) - Objectives communicated to a candidate to offer understanding of the position. Performance objectives are what enable you to reach desired outcomes.  For instance, if you hit your sales goals through in-house tactics instead of spending money on costly trips, that could be an example of using a key performance objective to achieve an outcome.

KSA - KSA is an acronym for Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. When reviewing candidate applications, KSA can be used as a form of measurement to assess how capable each candidate would be.

Lateral Job Transfer - A lateral job transfer is when you change jobs via a lateral, or sideways, move. This is becoming more commonplace as employees recognize that moving ‘up’ isn’t always the best way to progress in their career. Lateral job transfers can happen within an organization, or between organizations.

LQ - A candidates ability to come into new situations, learn, and adapt. It’s basically being able to learn, unlearn, relearn—with a smile on your face.

Master Vendor - A recruitment solution where a nominated agency takes full responsibility for staffing requirements. This may include the use of a second tier network of alternative suppliers which is then managed by the Master Vendor.

On-Boarding - On-boarding is the process of bringing new staff on board in a new place of work. Where recruiting is the act of finding the right candidate, on-boarding is the process between awarding a candidate the job role and settling them in. Some companies find this process to be as long as two years. Creating the perfect on-boarding plan can have a big impact on new employees and also reduce staff turnover.

OTE - On-target earnings, often referred to as OTE, are usually associated with sales jobs where commission or a bonus are available dependent on performance. When creating a job advert, many companies will include OTE to demonstrate how much an individual can earn; this incorporates basic pay plus the commission/bonus.

Outbound Candidate - The candidate was found. Since 80% of the talent market is not actively looking for a new opportunity, you need to spend most of your recruiting and sourcing efforts on the Outbound talent market.

Outplacement - In the case of redundancies, a recruitment agency would provide support and guidance to these employees with the aim of finding suitable work elsewhere.

Passive Candidate - Where active candidates submit job applications, passive candidates are not actively seeking a new job and can therefore be headhunted.

PES (Pre Employment Screening) - The process of performing background checks of potential employees and validating the applicant’s work and experience. PES can also uncover any criminal history, workers compensation claims or previous employment issues.

PSL (Preferred Supplier List) - A list of eligible agencies for the external recruitment of roles within your company or group of companies. Usually under annual review, measured on performance metrics and can go to tender to encourage competition. A PSL is commonly used across the board for all Preferred Agencies as well as Approved Agency List where there is no strict review or tender process.

PTO - Paid Time Off

Purple Squirrel - In recruitment, the term purple squirrel refers to the perfect candidate for a specific role. This is someone who can provide examples of the right types of qualifications and experience that the employer is looking for. With an increase in competition for top talent, a purple squirrel can also be used to refer to the unobtainable.

RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) - A form of business process outsourcing where an employer transfers all or part of its recruitment processes to an external provider. RPO providers can manage the entire recruiting/hiring process or can manage one or two aspects of the process, essentially serving as an extension of the company’s HR department.

This can form part or full transfer of your recruitment operations to a capable recruitment agency. The nominated agency can act on behalf of the company and actively create efficiencies, cost savings and process improvements. An RPO looks at efficiencies and uses agency experience, reputation and capability to source direct candidates and implement talent pooling while reinforcing the company brand and EVP.

RTW (Right to Work) - All candidates need sufficient rights to work in the UK and this is the responsibility of the agency to ensure compliance for submitted candidate. An applicant’s original documents must be shown and checked for validity, before being held on file. RTW is enforced by the Government to prevent illegal working.

Soft skills - Professionalism, work ethic, and self confidence are a few examples of the hard-to-measure skills employers are increasingly looking for in candidates. They’re essentially personal attributes – as opposed to more quantifiable “hard” skills like language proficiency or programming certification.

Sole Supply - A company may wish to appoint one supplier to work alongside their direct recruitment processes. This will normally include exclusive discounts for sole supply due to volume and reduced competition.

Talent Acquisition - Talent acquisition is the ongoing process of attracting, sourcing, recruiting and then hiring employees.

TAL - Talent Acquisition Leader.

Talent Pipeline - The term talent pipeline refers to a pool of candidates with the correct qualifications to be employed in specific job roles that have either been newly created or recently vacated as a result or promotion or retirement.

Talent Pool - A talent pool is a collection of candidate profiles that have the required qualifications and skills and are interested in working for your company.

Transferable Skills - Transferable skills are certain skills that are identified as being flexible. Also known as soft skills, these types of skills can be applied to one situation and then transferred to be applied to another.