HR Term Dictionary for IT Professionals

When I first started working for an HR software company, I was confused by the terms and acronyms experienced HR professionals threw around.  If you have the same confusion, below is an easy cheat sheet:

Hiring Manager (usually the person who will be the new hire’s supervisor)

The person responsible for finding the right talent to fit the job.  A Recruiter can be external, such as from a Recruiting Firm, or internal, from within the Human Resource department.

Applicant Pool
A group of applicants who have applied to a specific opening.

The practice of attracting new candidates through job boards, advertising, career fairs, social media, etc.  Similar to marketing.

Requisition (Req)
A job opening that needs to be filled, usually by just one new hire.

Requisition (Req) Approval
The process of getting a new job opening, or requisition, approved by organizational leaders.

Hiring Process – The steps involved in hiring a new employee.  This process usually starts at the request of new requisition and is completed when an offer has been accepted. This process can also be referred to as:

  • Applicant Workflow
  • Recruitment Process

Applicant tracking system, which is software designed to track applicants through the hiring process.  See:  What is an Applicant Tracking System?

Human Resources Information System, which primarily tracks employee data, such as contact information, department info, benefits and more.  Usually, but not always, payroll processing is included.  Other optional modules include performance management and eLearning.

Employee Management System, a synonym for HRIS

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, per their website: OFCCP administers and enforces three legal authorities that require equal employment opportunity.  See: Mission Statement.

Equal Employment Opportunity, a broad term that ensures opportunity for all.  Usually used when referring to the EEOC (see below).  “EEO data” usually refers to Gender, Ethnicity, Age, and Veteran status – data that is often submitted to the EEOC or OFCCP.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.”  See their Web Site.  Note that the current discrimination laws usually are only enforceable with Federal contractors (but of course, consult with your lawyer).

Affirmative Action Program, or a plan to ensure the organization is not discriminating against any of the applicants described in the above definition for EEOC.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal hiring incentive for companies that employ individuals from target populations.  For more information, see our partner, Maximus’ Web Site.

Fair Credit Reporting Act – Law designed to protect individuals, by promoting accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of every Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). Companies that perform pre-employment screening services are governed by the FCRA, as are the employers that use background screening services.

Time to Fill
A metric that measures the number of days it takes from the time the applicant first applies, to the time hired.  Usually this metric is averaged out across multiple requisitions.  See an Example Report.

Measuring the age of a requisition, i.e. how long a requisition has been “open.”  Reports will usually identify the number of requisitions that have been open for 30-59 days, 60-89 days, and 90 days or more.

Cycle Time or Sub Cycle
Similar to Time to Fill, Cycle Time measures the number of days it takes to cycle an applicant through the hiring process.  Not necessarily limited to just hired candidates, cycle time can be broken down into Sub Cycles, to measure the number of days through each step of the hiring process.  For example, an organization might report on the number of days from initial application to interview, or from interview to a complete background check.

The process of bringing a new hire “on board” with the organization.  OnBoarding software helps facilitate that process by automating the delivery of New Hire forms and other data collection.  See myStaffingPro’s OnBoarding Module.

The process of terminating an employee’s employment with the organization.

Talent Management
This term is still really being defined in the industry, but roughly, it includes managing an organization’s internal and external talent pool to ensure talent is plugged into the best job.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, but the term has been broadened to apply to any type of consumer, client, or “shareholder”, not necessarily just the customer.  Within HR, CRM systems help automate and manage communication with both passive and active applicants to ensure the relationship is positively maintained.

– Jennifer Brogee, Chief Information Officer

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