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The HR Tech Glossary (List of 50+ Terms)

Listing every HR Tech term you need to know in a handy glossary

Chris Hatler
HR tech researcher, writer and editor
October 6, 2020
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As the landscape of human resources technology continues to grow, so does the number of terms and definitions. What does HRIS stand for? How is it different from an HRMS? At SelectSoftware Reviews, we strive to clarify and be ahead of the curve on what HR Tech buzzwords are trending. As such, we started a list of important terminology that every HR team should know. 

Our list is constantly expanding, so if there is anything we may have missed, send us a note.

Last updated October 11th, 2022.

HR Tech Glossary

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A to C

Affordable Care Act (ACA) - federal statute signed into law in 2010 with the goal of providing more people with more health insurance coverage.

ACA compliance solution - software or company designed to ensure the effective supplying of 1095-C forms to employees for filing with the IRS.

AI (artificial intelligence) -  machines programmed to simulate human thinking and action.

AI Recruiting Software - software tools leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to source, screen, and hire applicants.

API (Application Programming Interface) - set of tools for building software that allows for two or more applications to interact.

Attrition rate - measure of the number of employees moving in and out of an organization over a specified period of time.

ATS (Applicant Tracking System) - software to automate hiring process including sourcing, streamlined workflows, and customizable functionality that integrates with career sites, job board distribution, candidate communications, etc.

Background check - process of verifying that a potential hire is who they claim to be, usually by reviewing criminal record, employment history and educational history.

Benchmarking - using different metrics to measure company performance in order to make future comparisons.

Candidate Assessment Tool - program used to automate the screening process by assessing candidates’ skills and culture fit, comparing results across applicant pools, and using data to make unbiased hiring decisions.

Career fair - recruiting event where large numbers of employers and potential candidates meet and network.

Cost Per Hire - the average amount of money spent on making a hire.

CRM (customer or candidate relationship management) - technology for managing all your company's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers, or hiring candidates, depending on context.

D to G

Developer Assessment Tool - program designed to allow recruiting and engineering teams to screen software engineering talent effectively.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) - the practice of promoting equality in hiring and workplace operations.

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) - see DEI above

Employee Engagement Software - programs that organizations use to increase employee satisfaction and retention.

Employee Experience - everything a worker learns, does, sees, and feels at each stage of the employee lifecycle.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) - employee-led volunteer groups that work to create an inclusive work environment that overlaps with a company's mission and values.

Employee Recognition Platform - software tools designed to build culture, retain talent and measure intangibles such as employee morale by recognizing employee achievements and providing rewards for special occasions.

Employee Referral Software - tech that allows recruitment teams to streamline hiring by analyzing and automating top-of-funnel hires in employee networks.

Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI) - a survey that asks pre-set questions with scored feedback intended to measures how satisfied employees are in the workplace

Employer Branding Software - software that allows companies to align their practices, values and marketing materials in order to convey a strong identity.

Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) - processes intended to manage and optimize an organization's performance to achieve its productivity goals

Financial Wellness - an individual’s economic security and freedom.

Financial wellness program - platform designed to help employees become more financially stable, whether through student loan refinancing programs, budgeting tools, retirement programs or others.

Full-time Equivalent - a unit that indicates the workload and remuneration of a part-time employed person by comparative measure to a full-time employee's.

H to J

HR Chatbot - virtual assistant made to automate communication with candidates and employees, often applying predictive intelligence and analytics to personalize user experience.

Human Capital Analytics (HCA) - the process of collecting and using human resources data to optimize employee performance.

HCM (human capital management) - comprehensive set of practices for recruiting, managing, developing, and optimizing employees in order to maximize their economic value.

HRIS (human resource information system) - software or website used for data entry, data tracking, and data management of all an organization's human resource operations.

HRMS (human resource management system) - systems and processes that connect human resource management and information technology through software.

HR Tech - technological tools used to automate human resources processes, ranging from payroll software to applicant tracking systems.

Human resources (HR) - department in a business tasked with the management of everything related to employees, including payroll, benefits, recruitment, policy, and more.

Interview scheduling software - solution used to automate the remote or in-person interview process by scheduling, matching candidates with appropriate interviewers and sometimes offering interviewer training modules. 

Job board - website or database that hosts numerous open employment opportunities.

Job description - written list of what a certain job title’s duties and expectations are.

K to N

Low Code No Code - a solution for non-developers where they able to connect different pieces of pre-made components to create an application.

LMS (Learning Management System) - software for administering educational courses, training modules, and learning and development programs to organizations.

Mobile Recruiting - using mobile devices and applications to allure, nurture and hire prospective candidates.

ML (machine learning) - subset of AI that describes computer algorithms that improve from experience without any human intervention.

NLP (natural processing language) - subset of AI where a computer algorithm learns how to understand and mimic human speech.

O to Q

Onboarding - process of transitioning and training someone from new hire to employee.

Outplacement services - a service provided by a company to help former employees find new work.

Payroll - list of employees and how much money they are given for their work.

Payroll and Benefits Software - program used to streamline payroll and benefit management.

People analytics - data-driven study of the function of people as applied to business practices.

PeopleOps (People Operations or PO) - the strategic and overall management of the workforce in a company. Often used interchangeably with Human Resources (HR)

PEO (Professional Employer Organization) - outsourced vendors that provide HR services to small and medium sized businesses. 

Performance Management Software - systems designed to help managers write accurate job descriptions, create objectives that align with company goals, document performance, and write appraisals.

Predictive Preselection - using data from your current workforce to predict future hiring decisions.

Programmatic Job Advertising Platform -  automation of buying and placing job advertisements based off of keywords and demographics on job boards and search engines.

R to S

Recruitment CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) System - tool that allows hiring professionals to build and maintain relationships with job candidates while simultaneously managing the entire recruitment process. 

Retention - a company’s ability to keep its employees working for them.

RFP (request for proposal) - request for a vendor to submit a proposal showing how their product offering addresses one or more of the issuer’s business needs.

ROI (return on investment) - ratio of net profit to cost of investment used to evaluate efficiency of spending.

RPA (robotic process automation) - software programmed to do mundane, repetitive business tasks.

RPO (recovery point objective) - maximum amount of data that can be lost without causing major harm to business operations

RTO (recovery time objective) - maximum amount of time to fix a downed application or network without causing major harm to business operations

SaaS (Software as a Service) - software product where the provider hosts the application and offers it to customers over the internet, typically for purchase on a subscription basis.

Sourcing Tech - software or applications used to find and recruit passive job applicants.

Succession Planning - process of developing in-house talent to replace those in charge when they retire or move onto new opportunities.

T to Z

Talent Management System (TMS) -  software solution that follows the full lifecycle of an employee, from recruitment to performance management to succession planning.

Talent Pool - group of people with applicable skills to consider hiring for an open position, typically stored in a recruiting database. 

Talent Sourcing Tool - software that allows talent acquisition teams to reach new talent pools and engage relevant people to fill open positions.

Time to Fill - how many days it takes from a job being posted to the offer being accepted.

Video interview Software - system designed to conduct virtual interviews, whether through face-to-face video chats or candidate video recordings.

Workforce planning software - back office solutions used to streamline administrative work such as staff scheduling, task management, attendance management, labor compliance and more.

Did we miss anything? Let us know!

At SelectSoftware Reviews, we do the research so you don't have to. We aim to help our readers stay on the forefront of HR Tech by curating the most relevant news and sharing the best solutions. Whether you're looking for the best interview scheduling software or thinking about an outplacement service, we give you the best vendors, pricing info, questions for demos and a lot more in free, unbiased guides. 

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Chris Hatler

Chris was the content marketing manager at SSR between 2020 and 2021 during which time he researched and published in-depth buyer guides to help HR professionals source and buy the best software solutions for their business. He's now a highly sought-after writer and editor based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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