Try WeCP today

50 Common Recruitment Terms That Tech Recruiters Should Know

Employers, HR managers, and employees should be familiar with HR terms to effectively interact in professional environments. To help you learn the landscape, we’ll be covering some common HR terms in the list here, including expressions specific to HR tech recruitment.

HR Recruitment Metrics

A technical skills screening tool is a software that contains a rich library of technical assessment tests, including questions and answers for recruiters to screen and evaluate candidates.

The assessments created on these platforms are used to evaluate candidates before employment by technical recruiters or hiring managers.

Why are so many companies using technical skills screening?

Recruitment metrics help HR teams understand their recruitment funnel’s success. These metrics include:

1. Time to fill

The time to fill helps employers estimate how long it will take to fill an open position. The duration is measured from the moment the job description goes live, till you are hired.

2. Time to hire

This metric is more specific than the time to fill. The time to hire basically spans from the moment you approach an applicant with an offer until they take the job.

Organizations generally aim to minimize their time to hire, to avoid losing top talent to competitors.

3. Interview to hire ratio

This metric is self-explanatory; it’s a ratio of how many interviewed candidates are offered a position.

Determining your interview-to-hire ratio helps identify the efficiency of your hiring process. If the ratio is too high (i.e., typically more than 3:1), it usually indicates that the candidates are not aptly screened before reaching the interview stage.

4. Selection ratio

This ratio is broader than the interview to hire. The selection ratio is simply the number of hired candidates divided by the total number of applicants.

The selection ratio thus indicates your recruitment funnels’ overall efficiency.

5. Cost per hire (CPH)

Cost per hire is a vital recruitment metric for understanding your recruitment funnel’s performance. CPH is the estimated costs an organization incurs when filling a new role, including costs for job advertising, screening and assessing candidates, agencies, and interviewing applicants.

Minimizing the cost per hire is crucial for every organization.

Recruitment Terms

These terms pertain to acquiring and managing talent.

6. Talent acquisition

The process of recruiting, onboarding, and training candidates to work at your organization.

Optimizing your talent acquisition process is important to discover and hire the best candidates.

7. Talent pool

A talent pool is a group of carefully vetted candidates from which employers recruit. HR managers optimize and nurture talent funnels to improve the quality of hires and maintain meaningful relationships with potential applicants.

8. Succession planning

Succession planning helps you and your organization prepare for eventualities, including when more advanced roles are created, or when existing positions open up.

As brands grow, they may require a more specialized workforce. In succession planning, talent managers plan how to prepare existing employees to assume more advanced roles, e.g., by providing them with gradual training.

Succession planning also ties in with your talent pool nurturing, in case new roles need to be filled externally.

9. Hybrid workforce

This term is used to describe workforces comprising of both remote and in-office employees.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has gained traction, increasing the popularity of hybrid workforces.

10. Restructuring/Downsizing

The official terminology for when an organization plans to lay off employees to reduce their workforce.

11. Talent management

The entire process of attracting, recruiting and retaining employees. Talent management is a continuous process where managers continually add value and help team members develop professionally.

Time and attendance terms

These terms cover distinctions in work hours and corresponding pay eligibility.

12. Off-Duty

The duration in which employees are free from professional obligations and are busy pursuing their personal lives.

13. Overtime

Overtime includes work that an employee does beyond their designated working hours. Employees are typically paid on an hourly basis for their overtime.

14. Paid Time Off (PTO)

As the name suggests, PTO is an employee benefit that lets you, as team members, take days off and still be compensated. Organizations generally give employees a set number of PTO days per year, which covers sick leaves, holidays, etc.

15. Loss of Pay (LOP)

Loss of Pay generally refers to an employee’s leave duration that exceeds their PTO. So, if a team member has used up their vacation days and takes a weekend off, they will incur LOP.

Employees can also be subject to LOP for other reasons, such as a fine. Before issuing LOP, it’s important for you to check the legal specifics and official policy – it’s usually not deducted from the total salary, for example.

Common HR terms related to payroll

These terms are pertinent to payroll and salaries.

16. Minimum Wage

This is the minimum amount that an employer can pay an employee per hour. The minimum wage in the U.S, for example, is around $11 (although it can vary across states), and it’s approximately $10.33 in Canada and $10.63 in Germany (source).

17. Adjustments

The adjustments include changes to an employee’s salary that don’t fall under mainstream salary changes (like those due to promotions or merits).

You can make these adjustments for reasons such as internal salary compression, or to incentivize an employee to stay with your organization.

18. Merit

Merit includes adjustments to an employee’s salary based on an individual measure, like their outstanding performance.

19. Market rate/value

The approximate benchmark salary for a given role; market value is also referred to as the ‘going rate.’

20. On-Call Pay

On-Call Pay is additional compensation awarded to employees who are ready to work on an ad hoc basis. The term ‘on call’ is used because you as employees typically must keep yourselves available via phone or pager.

21. Overtime Pay (OVE)

This includes higher hourly rates paid to employees that work beyond their working hours.

22. Reassignment

When an employee’s salary range/grade is changed based on changes like:

  • New responsibilities
  • Different duties
  • Minimum qualifications

23. Red Circle Rate

Red Circle Rates are higher than the maximum salary for a given position. The employees who are awarded this rate are not eligible for further raises.

24. Shift differential

Shift differential refers to additional compensation employees receive for working outside of traditional daylight hours. Unlike overtime, shift differential payment is awarded to employees for their designated working hours – the hours themselves are unconventional, e.g., for employees that work the night shift.

25. Transfer

When an employee is moved from one department to another, which may be accompanied by a change of duties and responsibilities.

Common HR terms for evaluation

These are terms HR managers and recruiters should know to vet candidates accurately.

26. Cultural fit

Cultural fit refers to how likely it is that a given candidate will successfully integrate with your organization’s values, vision, and work culture.

Assessing candidates for their cultural fit is vital because it helps reduce employee turnover and increases the quality of hires.

27. Communication & interpersonal skills

These skills include a candidate’s proficiency in communicating, expressing themselves, and getting along with other professionals. Evaluating candidates for their communication and interpersonal skills is important because they will need to work with a team and contribute meaningfully to the organization.

28. Skills assessment tests

Candidates are evaluated using these tests for a variety of skills. For example, in tech, candidates are assessed for key skills like programming proficiency, familiarity with databases, etc using skills assessment tests.

29. Phone/mobile screening

As the name suggests, candidates are evaluated using phone screens, usually during the initial stages of the recruitment funnel.

Phone screening can help recruiters shortlist candidates for further evaluation. A mobile interview could be a simple verification test or a more comprehensive technical interview.

30. Remote interviewing

While phone screening also falls under remote interviewing, it more commonly refers to interviewing a candidate with video meeting software, like Zoom or WeCP.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote interviewing has gained a great deal of traction.

HR technology terms

These terms cover technology, software, and tools used to optimize HR processes.

31. Applicant tracking system (ATS)

ATS software is used to streamline the recruiting process by helping HR managers, and recruiters collaborate seamlessly, easily access candidate data, and conveniently move applicants along the recruitment funnel.

Also, there are many advanced ATS software with their own distinct features to suit different recruitment needs.

32. Employee self-service software

As the name suggests, this software lets employees manage HR tasks on their own. These duties could be as simple as updating their personal data, or more advanced functions like applying for vacation time or salary adjustments.

33. Human resource information system

Various HR processes are carried out by this process, including:

  • Self-service operations (where employees can update their personal information, apply for leave, etc.)
  • Data tracking and analysis (to optimize hiring, onboarding, and training processes)
  • Managing compensation and employee perks

34. Human resource management system (HRMS)

HRMS are an entire suite of tools and software used to manage HR functions and monitor HR data. With HRMS, organizations can handle various tasks, including talent management, payroll, recruitment, attendance, perks, and much more.

HRMS are robust, highly efficient software that streamlines hiring processes. As a result, enterprises use them frequently to manage their extensive workforce.

35. Learning management system (LMS)

These systems are used to train and educate employees so they can develop professionally and assume higher roles. LMS software is usually cloud-based.

LMS software typically comes with content delivery and management tools, tracking and reporting functionality, administrative tools, and more.

36. Payroll software

Payroll software is used to manage and automate employee payments. The software varies in functionality; advanced payroll systems cater to enterprise needs, and thus come with more robust features. Smaller businesses typically use simpler software.

Payroll software also stores payment records and history, tax information, and pay structure, to streamline HR processes.

37. Recruitment software

Recruitment software includes tools and features to optimize talent acquisition. Depending on the type, recruitment software may consist of screening, interviewing, and even assessment tools.

For example, tech recruitment software like WeCP (We Create Problems) contains skills assessment testing features, video proctoring, and video interviewing, among other functionalities.

38. Talent management software

This software is used to track and develop employees’ performance. Talent management software helps employees look beyond the basics of annual reviews and gain deeper insights into their workforce’s day-to-day activity and development.

HR legal terms

Knowing legal terms is important in HR to protect all involved parties. Some common HR terms pertaining to legal matters include:

39. Associative discrimination

Associative discrimination occurs when someone is associated with a third party who shares one of the Equality Act the 2010s protected characteristics. For example, not employing a parent because their child has special needs.

40. Atypical worker

A term for someone who does not work a typical full-time week. Those on a fixed-term contract, those who work part-time, freelancers, casual workers, shift workers, consultants, and those who work from home.

41. Breach of contract

Breaking or failing to comply with one of the contract’s agreed-upon conditions (of employment). A fundamental breach of contract is a major breach of contract that affects the core of the employment relationship. 

If the employer is responsible for the breach, the worker may be entitled to resign and claim constructive dismissal. If done by the employee the employer may be able to terminate them without notice.

42. Comparator

This refers to an employee to compare a discriminated employee, to confirm the latter was indeed treated unfavorably. Discrimination against an employee by treating them less favorably due to a particular characteristic, such as their race, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation, is unlawful (except for a few exceptions).

43. Compulsory maternity leave

This does not apply in every country, but the leave requires employees to take a mandatory two weeks off from the day their child is born. During this two-week period, it is unlawful for an employer to allow the employee to work, or mistreat them because of their absence.

44. Constructive dismissal

This refers to a situation when an employee resigns because their employer engaged in a repudiatory breach of contracts, such as providing poor working conditions or a change in management.

In this scenario, the employee is treated as ‘dismissed.’

45. Continuous employment

To be eligible for certain perks and rights, employees must fulfill a minimum period of ‘continuous employment’. These rights/benefits can include statutory maternity pay, unfair dismissal, and statutory adoption pay.

46. Effective date of termination (EDT)

An employee’s tenure of continuous employment ends on their effective date of termination, which is usually the last day of employment, although it could be at a later date.

Employees must be clear on their EDT because it will be used to calculate the time limit for filing an unfair dismissal claim (to bring a claim forward, three months since the EDT must have passed)

47. Equal pay

Men and women in the same employment must have equally favorable contractual terms for the same work, including work that’s broadly similar or is rated of equal value/equivalent.

48. Ex gratia payment

A payment made that has no contractual requirement. Usually, employers would award the ex gratia payment to the employee; vice versa is less likely.

49. Gender pay gap

This is the difference in average hourly pay between men and women in an organization. Since it’s an average, the gender pay gap can be influenced by different factors. For example, if more men in the organization assume higher positions, the gender pay gap will widen.

50. Gross misconduct

A severe case of misconduct, usually followed by the summary dismissal of the employee. Gross misconduct varies depending on the circumstances and nature of the work. For example, a logistics worker who steals from a warehouse may be accused of gross misconduct.


Well, that concludes our list of 50 common HR terms. We hope you found it useful.

And if you need help optimizing your tech talent acquisition, reach out to WeCP. It’s what we do.


Related Articles

Close Bitnami banner