HR Terminology 101: A Quick Glossary of Commonly Confused HR Terms

HR

By Marissa Litty:

HR Terms to Know from Red Branch Media on Vimeo.

One of the main things we do here at Red Branch Media is break down HR terms for those new to the industry or for jobseekers who want an inside look at just what happens behind the scenes when they submit their resume. But, when new Branchers arrive on the Branch campus, they often have little to no HR terminology knowledge. That’s where our lunch n learns come in.

Every other week, we have lunch and learn sessions to teach other Branchers precisely what they need to know. I decided to help teach some of our more recent associates some HR terms that I’ve learned over the years as well as give them some insight into our internal parlance (say that five times fast!)

Take note of these #HR terms everyone should be aware of! Click To Tweet

While this may be old hat for those who are seasoned HR pros, they may just help that person who’s too shy to ask…what IS an RPO?

Let’s start with some easy ones…

Job Seeker: Someone who hasn’t yet applied, but is searching for a job

Applicant: Someone who has applied

Candidate: Someone who has applied and qualifies for the job.

Passive Candidate: Someone who has a job they like and an employer they are content to work for. They’re typically experienced, skilled and have a good work ethic.

Active Candidate: Someone who either doesn’t have a job or has a job they are trying to leave. Active doesn’t mean unqualified or unskilled, but they are generally lumped in with those that are.

Extra Credit: Poaching – To actively seek out and attempt to attract a competitor’s skilled employee to your own organization.

Talent Management System:

  • A system that helps manage all parts of an organization’s talent, including those that aren’t yet hired (recruitment) and those that are (performance management, development and compensation).
  • Not the same as a Performance Management System

Succession Planning: An organization’s process and procedure to prepare for internal movement; involves developing employees to be leaders and ensuring key roles are always capable of being filled

Sourcing Engine: All the components, tools and resources used to source talent

HR Specialist: HR pro who chooses to be a practiced SME in a specific area of study (workforce planning, benefits administration, employment law, etc.)

HR Generalist: HR pro with a more versatile and flexible skill set that includes multiple disciplines

Candidate Experience:The perception and reactions of applicants/candidates as they move through an employer’s talent acquisition process (sourcing, recruiting, assessing and hiring, onboarding)

Employer Brand: The perception and reputation of a company as an employer by its customers, candidates and employees. Companies take control of their EB with their value proposition, mission statement, etc.

NOTE: Different from a Corporate Brand! The all encompassing perception and reputation of a company based on its products/services, visual design, leadership, etc.

Open Enrollment

  • The period of time where any person can enroll for a health insurance plan (This year is Nov. 1 – Dec. 15)
  • Employer-based enrollment plans may have different Open Enrollment Periods

Special Enrollment Period

  • Any time outside of the Open Enrollment Period in which a person qualifies to enroll for health insurance
  • To qualify, you must experience certain life events such as getting married, having a baby, losing a job, losing access to insurance, etc.

Acronyms You Should Know

HCM – Human Capital Management (System) (source): Software that includes all pieces of HRIS and adds Talent Management tools along with global capabilities (multi-lingual, currency, etc.)

HRIS – Human Resources Information System: Software designed to manage people, policies and procedures of an organization.

CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility:

  • Business strategy of corporations focused on sustainability by supporting economic, social and environmental causes with company initiatives
  • Also called a Corporate Philanthropy Program

ATS – Applicant Tracking System

  • A technology/software that helps source job seekers, organize applications and manage candidates through the recruiting process more efficiently
  • Sometimes called a Candidate Management System. These systems can be dynamic and include everything from emailing features to internal notes and video interview abilities.

ERP- Employee Referral Program:

  • A strategy that motivates employees to refer their network to their employer.
  • These referred candidates are typically better cultural fits and have better retention.
  • Rewards for hires are the usual tactics.

CHRO – Chief Human Resources Officer: C-Level or executive leader whose focus is human capital management; Sometimes these people go by Chief People Officer

SME – Subject Matter Expert: Person who has an expertise in a specific area

Those that are commonly confused…

Sourcing v. Recruiting

  • The process of finding the right people for a job; requires in-depth knowledge of technology and the capacity to search for traits, work history, skills, etc. that aren’t necessarily made public
  • The process of encouraging a skilled talent to consider a role within an organization

Talent Acquisition v. Recruiting

  • A long term focus on attracting candidates and maintaining a healthy talent funnel
  • A process more focused on filling seats/vacancies

Job Ad v. Job Description

  • An advertisement meant to attract applicants and sell the job to candidates (external)
  • An internal resource that explains the position, responsibilities, conditions, requirements and any information that helps the team better understand the role.

Performance Management v. Talent Management

  • A strategy and assessment of employee performance as it relates to established goals and key performance indicators of individuals and teams
  • A more encompassing strategy that takes into account the business side of people management like driving operational growth and profit

Performance Review v. Performance Management

  • A formal discussion about an employee’s development and performance, focused on future growth, setting goals and creating a plan of action for issues
  • A strategy and assessment of employee performance as it relates to established goals and key performance indicators of individuals and teams

Performance Management Process v. Performance Management System

  • The formal strategy, rules and steps leaders and employees use to communicate and accomplish company goals (aka the process used to maintain and manage employee performance)
  • A tool that helps avoid overwhelming administrative burden that comes with managing employee performance

Diversity v. Inclusion

  • A balance of different genders, races, religions, cultures, etc.
  • The practice of placing equal value on all individuals, regardless of background, roles, etc. (No segregation, tolerance for favoritism, cliques, prejudices, etc.)

Cultural Fit v. Diversity

  • Commonality in work values and ethic with a similar/shared focus in professional goals and achievements
  • A balance of different genders, races, religions, cultures, etc.

Employee Experience v. Employee Engagement (SHRM)

  • The approach to designing a workplace and how it meets employee needs; this includes providing technologies and tools that help employees be productive (NOT the same as candidate experience)
  • The commitment an employee has to delivering results and meeting goals for a company; this includes perks and benefits that help employees remain motivated

Candidate Experience v. Employer Brand

  • The perception and reactions of applicants/candidates as they move through an employer’s talent acquisition process (sourcing, recruiting, assessing and hiring, onboarding)
  • The perception and reputation of a company as an employer by its customers, candidates and employees. Companies take control of their EB with their value proposition, mission statement, etc.

NOTE: There is overlap. For example, your leadership can affect your sales and your applications, and chances are your visual brand will at least be similar in both. However, both have very different goals. 1. To get interest of talent who will refer other talented people, and 2. To make a sale and returning customer

Grants Management vs CSR

  • The process of creating, awarding, managing and reporting on a foundation’s monetary gifts. Grants are donations of time, money or goods given to those that meet specific requirements.
  • Business strategy of corporations focused on sustainability by supporting economic, social and environmental causes with company initiatives

Not an HR Term, but maybe something to know:

AI vs Automation

  • A technology that creates an automatic process for tasks and processes that are repeated over and over again
  • A technology that is capable of learning from experience and adapting responses

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