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HR Glossary

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W

#

360-Degree Feedback
401(k) Plan

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A

Abilene Paradox
Absconding
Absenteeism
Absolute Ratings System
Administrative Services Only (ASO)
Affirmative Action
Ageism
Agile HR
Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Appraisal
Appreciation
Apprenticeship
Aptitude Tests
Assessment Centre
Attendance Policy
Attrition

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B

Baby Boomers
Background Screening
Balanced Scorecard
Ban the Box
Base Pay
Behavioral Competency
Behavioral Interview
Behavioral Risk Management
Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)
Bell Curve
Benchmark Job
Benefits
Benefits Administration
Bereavement Leave
Blended Workforce
Blue-collar Worker
Bonus
Bottom-up Communication
Broadbanding
Bullying Bumping
Business Continuity Planning
BYOD Policy

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C

C-Suite
Cafeteria Plan
Candidate
Candidate Engagement
Candidate Experience
Candidate Journey
Candidate Persona
Candidate Portal
Candidate Relationship Management (CRM)
Candidate-centric Recruiting
Career Assessment Test
Career Break
Career Fair
Career Path
Career Planning
Career Plateau
Career Summary
Carrier
Case Interview
Casual Employment
Change Management
Churn Rate
Co-employment
Coaching
Cognitive Ability Testing
Collective Bargaining
Company Culture
Compensation
Compensatory Off
Competency
Competency-Based Pay
Confidentiality Agreement
Confirmation Letter
Constructive Dismissal
Contingent Recruiting
Contingent Staff
Contract Recruiter
Cost of Living Adjustment
Cost-Per-Hire
Counter Offer
Cover Letter
Cross-Functional Team

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D

Daily Work Records
Data Breach
Deferred Compensation
Defined Benefit Plan
Defined Contribution Plan
Delayering
Developmental Counseling
Dimensions of Diversity
Direct Hiring
Disability
Disability Income Insurance
Disciplinary Action
Disciplinary Procedure
Discrimination
Disease Management
Distance Learning
Distributive Bargaining
Diversity
Diversity Training
DOE (Depends on Experience)
Downshifting
Downsizing

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E

E-learning
E-recruitment
Early Return to Work Program
Emotional Intelligence (EI)
Employee Advocacy
Employee Assessment
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Employee Benefits Administration
Employee Churn (Turnover)
Employee Clearance
Employee Database
Employee Empowerment
Employee Engagement
Employee Lifecycle Management
Employee Net Promoter Score
Employee Onboarding
Employee Orientation
Employee Referral Program
Employee Relations
Employee Retention
Employee Satisfaction
Employee Self-Service
Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
Employer Brand
Employer Branding
Employment Agency
Employment History
Enterprise Compensation Management (ECM)
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Entry Level Job
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
Equity Theory
ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act)
Executive Coach
Executive Compensation
Executive Recruiter
Executive Search
Exempt Employee
Exit Interview
Expatriate

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F

Factor Comparison Method
Fair Representation
Fixed Term Employment
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Flexible Work Arrangements
Flexible Working Hours
Flexplace
Forced Ranking
Freedom of Association
Full-time Equivalent (FTE)
Functional Job Analysis
Functional Resume

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G

Gag Clause
Gamification
Gardening Leave
Gender Pay Gap
Generation X
Generation Y
Generation Z
Geographical Differential
Gig Economy
Glass Ceiling
Goal Setting
Golden Handcuffs
Good Faith Bargaining
Grievance
Gross Misconduct
Gross Pay
Group Dynamics
Group Interview

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H

Hawthorne Effect
Headhunter
Hidden Job Market
Hierarchy of Needs
Hiring Manager
Hiring Period
Hiring Process
HR Analytics and Data-Driven Recruiting
HR Audit
HR Generalist
HR Software
HRM
Human Capital
Human Capital Management
Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO)

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K

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Knockout Question
KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing)
KSA

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L

Labor Certification
Labor Cost
Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor Piracy
Labor Turnover
Labor Union
Lateral Recruitment
Layoff
Leadership Development
Learning and Development
Learning Management System (LMS)
Long Service Award

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N

Negotiation
Nepotism
Neurodiversity
Non-compete Agreement
Non-disclosure Agreement
Non-exempt Employee
Non-traditional Employment
Non-traditional Resume

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O

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
Observational Interview
Occupational Stress
Offer Letter
Offshoring
On-target Earnings (OTE)
Onboarding
Organizational Change
Organizational Culture
Organizational Development
Orientation
OSHA
Outbound Recruiting
Outplacement
Outsourcing

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Q

Quantified Self
Queen Bee Syndrome

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U

Unconscious Bias
Underwriter
Unfair Labor Practice (ULP)
Union
Unjustifiable Dismissal
Unstructured Interview

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V

Vacancy
Variable Pay
Veterans' Preference
Video Interview
Virtual HR
Virtual Mentoring
Voluntary Benefits

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360-Degree Feedback

It is a smart way for teams to get a more complete picture on an employee's behavior or performance by soliciting feedback from a variety of points of view - subordinates, peers, customers, and/or supervisors. In 360-Degree Feedback, 6-10 different people fill out an anonymous feedback form that asks questions about the individual's competencies. Both ratings and comments are sought. The feedback recipient also fills out a self-rating survey covering the same questions. The data is then tabulated to get a better understanding of the employee's strengths and weaknesses, giving the recipient a personalized development plan.

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401(k) Plan

A 401(k) plan, named after a section of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, is a company-sponsored retirement account that employees can contribute to. Employers may also make matching contributions.

There are two basic types of 401(k)s — traditional and Roth— which differ primarily in how they're taxed. In a traditional 401(k), employee contributions reduce their income taxes for the year they are made, but their withdrawals are taxed. With a Roth, employees make contributions with post-tax income but can make withdrawals tax-free.

A 401(k) plan has become an expected benefit and is therefore important in attracting and retaining employees. Some plans enable employees to direct their own investments. These plans can be expensive and complex to manage. It is common for companies to outsource all or part of their plan.

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Abilene Paradox

The Abilene Paradox refers to a situation when a group makes a collective decision that is counter to the thoughts and feelings of its individual members. These situations may arise because individuals may not want to ‘rock the boat’ and go against the feelings of a group they want to conform to. And since no-one speaks up, the group will make a decision that no one actually wanted. The term was introduced by management expert Jerry B. Harvey in 1974 and it comes from an anecdote that Harvey used to elucidate the paradox:

On a hot afternoon visiting in Coleman, Texas, the family is comfortably playing dominoes on a porch, until the father-in-law suggests that they take a [50-mile] trip to Abilene for dinner. The wife says, "Sounds like a great idea." The husband, despite having reservations because the drive is long and hot, thinks that his preferences must be out-of-step with the group and says, "Sounds good to me. I just hope your mother wants to go." The mother-in-law then says, "Of course I want to go. I haven't been to Abilene in a long time."

The drive is hot, dusty, and long. When they arrive at the cafeteria, the food is as bad as the drive. They arrive back home four hours later, exhausted."

One of them dishonestly says, "It was a great trip, wasn't it?" The mother-in-law says that, actually, she would rather have stayed home, but went along since the other three were so enthusiastic. The husband says, "I wasn't delighted to be doing what we were doing. I only went to satisfy the rest of you." The wife says, "I just went along to keep you happy. I would have had to be crazy to want to go out in the heat like that." The father-in-law then says that he only suggested it because he thought the others might be bored."

The group sits back, perplexed that they together decided to take a trip which none of them wanted. They each would have preferred to sit comfortably, but did not admit to it when they still had time to enjoy the afternoon.

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Absconding

An unprofessional act on part of an employee, where he/she leaves the organization without resigning or following the correct protocol of separation. An employee who abstains from their job without intimation and remains untraceable is referred to as an absconder.

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Absenteeism

Absenteeism is the habitual evasion of work, or absence from the workplace. Hence the need for a set of guidelines and procedures outlining the acceptable reasons why an employee might miss work, such as sickness, accident, or scheduled time off, as well as disciplinary actions that might be taken for excessive absenteeism or tardiness. This set of guidelines and procedures is called an Absenteeism Policy.

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Absolute Ratings System

An appraisal method where the manager assigns a specific value on a fixed scale to the behavior or performance of all team members.

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Administrative Services Only (ASO)

This refers to an agreement that companies use when they fund their employee benefit plan but hire an outside vendor to administer it. Under such an arrangement, the vendor does not assume any risk but merely carries out the specialized functions that the employer can not or does not want to do. For example, an organization may hire an insurance company to evaluate and process claims under its employee health plan while maintaining the responsibility of paying the claims itself.

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Affirmative Action

Proactive policies aimed at increasing the employment opportunities of certain groups (typically, minority men and/or women of all racial groups). Title 5, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that affirmative action be taken in employment of persons with disabilities by Federal contractors. Affirmative action was designed to rectify past discrimination and under-utilization.

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Ageism

Ageism is a term which describes the process of stereotyping and/or discrimination that occurs due to a person’s age in the workplace.

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Agile HR

Agile HR is a way of working and organizing of the HR function that supports the organization in becoming more responsive and adaptive.

The Agile mindset has its roots in software development. In 2001, a group of programmers met in Portland to figure out how to speed up their development in the face of complex and ever-changing customer requirements. They developed a set of principles, called The Agile Manifesto, to greatly speed up and improve the software development process. The Agile mindset believes in building a minimum viable product rather than a fully-fledged product catering to every user requirement. It is centered around the idea of iterative development, with requirements and their solutions evolving through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

Examples of Agile HR strategies:

  • Training leaders to act as hands-on coaches, rather than "managers"
  • Designing the organization into small, high-performance teams that set their own targets
  • Allow for customer interactions with all groups and functions in the company
  • Delivering a unifying philosophy to keep everyone aligned
  • Creating transparent systems - awareness of goals, responsibilities, expertise of team members
  • Implementing "systems-of engagement" not just "systems of record," i.e., collaboration, information-sharing, project management
  • Focus on continuous learning at all levels
  • Employer branding to attract the right type of people
  • Building a team of experts, not general managers
  • Encouraging and teaching people to give each other direct feedback
  • Creating programs for peer-to-peer rewards and recognition
  • Fostering diversity in teams

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Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)

An informal process to resolve disputes without litigation. Involved parties meet with a trained third party who assists in resolving the problem by arbitration, mediation, negotiation or other methods. ADR in the work setting is important to maintaining the mission and goals of an organization. Dealing with conflict constructively results in thoughtful and researched decisions that move the organization toward obtaining their objectives.

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is part of a federal law that prohibits discrimination against someone with a disability, defined as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” Disability is decided on a case-by-case basis and does not include conditions such as substance abuse. This law applies to the whole employment cycle, from application through advancement and termination.

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Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment and hiring needs. A good ATS helps recruitment professionals and their partners across the organization move through the stages of hiring swiftly and seamlessly. The software accepts applications from job and resume boards and filters them automatically based on specific criteria such as keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience and schools attended.

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Appraisal

An appraisal is a regular review of an employee's job performance and contribution to the organization. It provides employees with a formal opportunity to analyse their performance and discuss their career plans. Performance appraisals are also used to determine compensation increments and bonuses. The outcome of the appraisal process is formally communicated by the HR department through an appraisal letter.

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Appreciation

A form of recognition or a way to give thanks to an employee for an attitude, a view, an action or a behavior in the work place. Appreciation is a key component to an employee engagement strategy.

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Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship is an on-the-job training program for individuals who desire to become recognized practitioners of a specific trade or craft and do so in a way that adheres to the most current standards. A person who undertakes this training is known as an apprentice. Training is administered by a seasoned trade or craftsman and an apprentice usually receive pay during their apprenticeship.

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Aptitude Tests

Aptitude tests are tests employers use to assess whether a candidate has the level of competency necessary for a particular type of job. In general these tests will measure critical thinking skills, attention to detail and problem-solving skills. Aptitude tests are often used as part of an interview process, particularly for graduate jobs, entry level jobs and jobs in Finance.

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Assessment Centre

An assessment center is a method used by organizations to identify management potential of team members and determine their suitability for higher functional positions.

Candidates are put through a combination of group and individual exercises that simulate the conditions of the role in question. The assessors evaluate the candidate’s personality traits and abilities to predict their suitability.

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Attendance Policy

A set of rules related to the attendance of employees. It includes rules about absenteeism i.e. number of leaves allowed – sick leaves, casual leaves, vacation leaves or other types of leaves authorized by the company. It outlines the eligibility criteria for leaves, how and when one needs to apply for it, and the consequences of exceeding the number of leaves, or for lapses and falsification of one's attendance record. The attendance policy also indicates time of reporting to work, duration and time of breaks, and number of hours of work expected every day.

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Attrition

Attrition refers to the gradual but deliberate reduction in staff numbers that occurs as employees retire or resign and are not replaced. This includes resignations that follow involuntary terminations.

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Baby Boomers

Baby boomer, or boomer, is a term used to define people born from 1946 to 1964, during the post–World War II baby boom. The baby boomer generation makes up a substantial portion of the world's population, especially in developed nations. It represents 21% of the population of the United States, as of 2019. Because of their high numbers and the relative prosperity of the U.S. economy during their careers, the baby boomers are an economically influential generation. They are often the focus of marketing campaigns and business plans. Today, baby boomers are reaching retirement age and face some key challenges, including funding their retirements.

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Background Screening

Also known as pre-employment screening, it is a process undertaken by employers to ensure that they are hiring qualified and honest employees and that a prospective employee is capable of performing the functions required by the job. The screening can involve criminal background checks, verification of Social Security Number, past addresses, age or year of birth, affiliations, bankruptcies, liens, drug screening, skills assessment and behavioral assessments. If an employer outsources pre-employment screening, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that there must be a consent and disclosure form separate from an employment application.

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Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard, referred to as the BSC, is a strategic performance management tool – a set of measures that gives top managers a fast but comprehensive view of the business. The Balanced Scorecard was developed in 1992 by Dr. Robert Kaplan and Dr. David Norton.

The balanced scorecard includes financial measures that tell the results of actions already taken. And it complements the financial measures with operational measures on customer satisfaction, internal processes, and the organization’s innovation and improvement activities—operational measures that are the drivers of future financial performance.

Think of the balanced scorecard as the dials and indicators in an airplane cockpit. For the complex task of navigating and flying an airplane, pilots need detailed information about many aspects of the flight. They need information on fuel, air speed, altitude, bearing, destination, and other indicators that summarize the current and predicted environment. Reliance on one instrument can be fatal. Similarly, the complexity of managing an organization today requires that managers be able to view performance in several areas simultaneously.

The balanced scorecard allows managers to look at the business from four important perspectives.

  • How do customers see us? (customer perspective)
  • What must we excel at? (internal perspective)
  • Can we continue to improve and create value? (innovation and learning perspective)
  • How do we look to shareholders? (financial perspective)

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Ban the Box

Ban the Box is a campaign by advocates for ex-offenders, aimed at removing the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record from hiring applications.

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Base Pay

Base pay is an employee's standard rate of pay, not including benefits, bonuses, or raises. It is the minimum fixed rate of compensation an employee receives in exchange for services. An employee's base pay can be expressed as an hourly rate, or as a weekly, monthly, or annual salary.

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Behavioral Competency

Behavioral competency refers to the assessment of the behavior attributes and/or personality traits of a person, such as knowledge and skill set, which can help determine how successful he/she will be at the job they are applying for. It can help define employee's behavioral strengths for the future success in the workplace. Employers often look for specific competencies for certain roles.

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Behavioral Interview

Behavioral interview is an interviewing technique in which candidates are asked about how they have acted and/or reacted in different situations in the past. This information is then used to predict their future performance. Check out our set of Behavioral Interview Questions.

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Behavioral Risk Management

Behavioral risk management is the process of identifying and analyzing workplace behavioral issues and ensuring that the potential for damage from risk is mitigated. Behavioral risks include those arising from stress, conflicts, violence, substance abuse, work overload, work insecurity, organizational changes etc. These can lead to poor communication, lack of motivation, decreased quality of work, and absenteeism.

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Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) is an appraisal system that requires evaluators to list the key dimensions of a particular position and collect information regarding the critical behaviors that distinguish between good and bad performance. These critical-to-performance behaviors are then categorized and given a numerical value which is used as the basis for rating performance.

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Bell Curve

Bell curves, also called Gaussian distributions and normal distributions, is a graph which has a shape that resembles a bell. Bell curves represent the standard distribution of a rating, result or test score in that the top of the ‘bell’ is the most likely event, with other possible events evenly distributed around the most likely event on both sides. Bell curves are often used to explain performance i.e. most people will fall into a specific range clustered around the average, and there will be a small number of very high performers and a small number of very low performers.

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Benchmark Job

A well-defined job found in the workforce for which pay and other relevant data is readily available. Benchmark jobs are used to make pay comparisons and job evaluations.

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Benefits

Benefits are a form of compensation paid by employers to employees over and above the base pay. Companies offer a variety of benefits is to attract good employees, improve employees' morale and to enhance the image of the company. Some of these are insurance, leaves, retirement plan, child care, maternity leave, hotel stays, allowances, incentives, and gym memberships.

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Benefits Administration

Benefits administration is the process of assembling and managing the benefits an organization provides to employees. This complex and otherwise time-consuming tasks is usually automated and streamlined with a software that helps companies manage and track employee participation in benefits programs such as healthcare, flexible spending accounts, pension plans, etc.

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Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave (also known as compassionate leave or grievance leave) is time-off (paid or unpaid) taken by an employee following the death of a relative or friend. This time, generally ranging from 1-3 days, is given so that the employee can make arrangements, attend the funeral and attend to other matters related to the deceased. Some companies even provide time-off for their employees when their pet passes away.

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Blended Workforce

A blended workforce is a staffing strategy that combines the planned use of both full-time direct-hire personnel and part-time workers within the gig economy to meet the strategic and tactical challenges of the organization. Some use cases of a blended workforce are:

  • Addressing short-term needs for specialized skill sets
  • On-demand scaling and optimization of physical office space
  • Designing an agile organization
  • Reduced dependence on one talent acquisition process

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Blue-collar Worker

A blue-collar worker is a working class person who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled labor.

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Bonus

Bonus is the financial compensation that is given above and beyond the normal paycheck of the employee. A company may use bonuses to reward achievements, to show gratitude to the employees who meet longevity milestones, or to entice not-yet employees to join a company's ranks.

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Bottom-up Communication

Bottom-up communication is a collaborative process that revolves around the inclusion of all employees, their ideas, and their perceptions of the business in order to make the most informed decisions.

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Broadbanding

Broadbanding (or 'broad grades') is the consolidation of traditional pay structures, consisting of many, narrow pay ranges into a few, wider ranges or bands.

It streamlines (flattens) the hierarchy structure within the organization. For example, a college graduate could enter an organization in the same band as a seasoned professional, however at the lower end of the band. This means the graduate would earn much lesser but has the opportunity to progress to the top of the band when he/she performs well. Being able to improve your skills and performance within a broadband increases workforce interchangeability and allows lateral movement.

Broadbanding, though, reduces the opportunities for promotions - allowing organizations to increase pay and offer opportunities for training without promoting employees.

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Bullying

Workplace bullying is a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes either physical or emotional harm. It can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, and physical abuse, as well as humiliation.

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Bumping

When a business downsizes its workforce and eliminates certain positions, valued employees whose positions are being terminated may be given the option of taking other positions within the company that they are qualified for and that are currently held by employees who are not as valuable.

Thus employees get a chance to ‘bump’ another employee out of their position, so it’s the second employee that actually becomes redundant. It is a useful tool for employers who want to hold on to the skills and experience of employees who would otherwise be downsized.

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Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity planning is the management process of creating systems of prevention and recovery. It provides a strategic and operational framework which ensures the company is able to withstand any disruption, interruption or loss to normal business functions or operations.

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BYOD Policy

A BYOD policy, or bring-your-own-device policy, is a set of rules that govern the use of personal smartphones, laptops, and tablets for work. A BYOD policy can help set a business up for success — especially a small company. The pros of a BYOD policy include savings, convenience, employee preference, efficiency, and up-to-date technology. The cons of a BYOD policy include increased complexity in IT support, higher security risks, and a potential loss of privacy.

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C-Suite

C-suite, or C-level, refers to the executive-level managers of an organization e.g. Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

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Cafeteria Plan

A cafeteria plan is an employee benefit plan that allows staff to choose from a variety of taxable and non-taxable benefits - just like a customer can choose from among available items in a cafeteria.

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Candidate

Candidate is the term used for a job seeker who has applied for a specific position in the organization.

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Candidate Engagement

Candidate engagement is the process of communicating with your pool of job seekers (candidates) with the goal of building a positive relationship with them.

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Candidate Experience

Candidate experience is defined as the candidate's perception of an employer based on their interactions during the recruitment process.

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Candidate Journey

Candidate journey is the term used to describe the different stages through which job seekers go through: Awareness, Consideration, Interest, Application, Selection and Hire.

Many HR teams create a visual representation (mapping) of all interactions candidates have with the organization during their journey. These points of interaction are called touchpoints. A Candidate Journey Map is a great tool for improving your Candidate Experience. It helps you to put yourself in the candidates’ shoes and enables you to understand their needs, wants and fears in different phases of their journey.

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Candidate Persona

A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal job candidate. It is important to define candidate personas to ensure that your talent acquisition strategies are attracting the right people.

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Candidate Portal

Candidate portal refers to an online portal where candidates can apply to jobs, submit their resume for future opportunities and/or retrieve, review, and respond to documents such as offers.

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Candidate Relationship Management (CRM)

Candidate relationship management (CRM) is a method for managing and improving relationships with current and potential future job candidates. It is used to automate communication with candidates, encourage candidate engagement and improve candidate experience.

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Candidate-centric Recruiting

Candidate centric-recruiting is am approach in which candidates are put in the centre of the recruitment process with the goal of building long-term relationships with candidates.

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Career Assessment Test

A test taken to understand job and career preferences based on the potential candidate's self-assessment of his/her personality, character, habits, thoughts, education, skills and accomplishments.

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Career Break

A career break is a period of time out from employment. It is commonly used by people to take time out of their career for personal or professional development.

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Career Fair

A career fair or job fair is a recruiting event in which employers and recruiters meet with potential employees and where candidates gather information about job openings with potential employers.

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Career Path

A career path is a sequence of jobs that helps you fulfill your short-term and long-term career goals. Some follow a linear career path within one field, while others change fields periodically to achieve goals.

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Career Planning

Career planning refers to the process of planning career-related decisions, establishing career objectives and deciding on educational and developmental programs to improve the skills required to achieve career objectives.

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Career Plateau

A situation in which an employee has reached their highest position level in the company and there is little possibility of a promotion.

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Career Summary

A section in the resume that provides an overview of one's work experience, skills, and accomplishments.

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Carrier

Carrier refers to a vendor in the employee benefits space. It is a term more commonly used in reference to health care.

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Case Interview

Case interview is an interview technique in which the candidate is provided with a challenging business situation that must be studied and addressed in a logical and sequential manner.

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Casual Employment

Casual employment is the practice of hiring people on a need basis, to meet company's staffing needs during peak business periods. In casual employment, employee's service can be terminated without notice.

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Change Management

Change management is a term used to describe all methods and approaches to prepare, support, and help individuals and teams in transitioning the organization from the current state to the desired state.

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Churn Rate

The churn rate is usually calculated as the percentage of employees leaving the company over a specified time period. Although some staff turnover is inevitable, a high rate of churn is costly.

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Co-employment

Co-employment is an arrangement where two companies both have rights and obligations as an employer. Typically, one business maintains responsibilities for the worker's job duties and day-to-day functions while the co-employer manages personnel-related functions such as payroll. Businesses may use co-employment as a way to engage independent contractors without taking on the additional responsibilities of personnel issues such as payment and tax responsibility.

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Coaching

Coaching is a form of development in which an experienced person, called a coach, supports a learner, sometimes referred to as a coachee, in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance.

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Cognitive Ability Testing

These are tests which assess one's thinking abilities e.g., reasoning, perception, memory, verbal and mathematical ability, and problem solving. Such tests pose questions designed to estimate applicants' potential to use mental processes to solve work-related problems or to acquire new job knowledge.

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Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees aimed at agreements to regulate working salaries, working conditions, benefits, and other aspects of workers' compensation and rights for workers.

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Company Culture

Company culture, or organizational culture, is the collection of values, attitudes, beliefs and practices that guide and inform the actions of team members. Think of it as the collection of traits that characterize your organization's unique social and emotional work environment. A great culture exemplifies positive traits that lead to improved performance, while a dysfunctional company culture brings out qualities that can hinder the organization.

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Compensation

Compensation is what employers give to employees for their services towards the company, most often money.

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Compensatory Off

This is a leave that an employee is entitled to take on a working day as compensation for working on a holiday or weekend at the employer's request. When an employee works overtime at the request of his/her employer, then later he/she can take time off or compensatory off from their work.

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Competency

Competency is a set of demonstrable characteristics and skills that enable, and improve the efficiency of performing a job. Unlike skills that are acquired, competencies are inherent qualities an individual possesses. During job interviews and assessments, competencies are used as benchmarks against which assessors can evaluate candidates.

Competencies usually fall into three categories:

  • Behavioral Competencies – an expression of the softer skills involved in an employee’s performance.
  • Technical Competencies – usually concerned with the effective use of IT systems and computers, or any hard skills necessary for a job.
  • Leadership Competencies – an expression of the qualities that make a good leader, turned into measurable behaviors.

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Competency-Based Pay

Competency based pay is a compensation system that recognizes employees based on the skills, knowledge and experience they apply in the workplace rather than their job title or position. It is also known as skill-based pay or knowledge-based pay. It is common in fields that require professionals with specialized knowledge.

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Confidentiality Agreement

A confidentiality agreement, or a non-disclosure agreement, is a legally binding contract that establishes a confidential relationship. It is used to restrict employees from disclosing confidential or proprietary information of the company.

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Confirmation Letter

Confirmation letter is an official congratulatory letter handed over to the employee confirming his employment at the organisation at the end of his/her probation period.

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Constructive Dismissal

Constructive dismissal, also called constructive discharge or constructive termination, occurs when an employee resigns as a result of the employer creating a hostile work environment. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is, in effect, a termination.

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Contingent Recruiting

Contingent recruitment is a type of recruitment that is being carried out for the company on a contingent, or project-by-project basis. The main difference between contingent recruitment and retained recruitment is that the contingent recruiter only gets paid a placement fee if they successfully place a candidate in an open vacancy.

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Contingent Staff

Contingent staff refers to temporary workers in casual employment who supplement a company's workforce.

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Contract Recruiter

A contract recruiter is a professional employee recruiter who works with a number of client companies placing candidates for a set period of time or project.

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Cost of Living Adjustment

A cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is an increase in salary to keep up with inflation.

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Cost-Per-Hire

Cost-per-hire is an important and commonly used recruitment metric. It refers to the total cost of bringing a new employee to the company, including the expense of recruitment process, equipment, travel costs, administrative costs and benefits.

Cost-Per-Hire = (internal recruiting cost + external recruiting cost)/ total no of hires in a given time frame.

Internal recruiting costs are expenses related to internal staff and organizational costs of the recruitment function. These include:

  • Recruiter salaries
  • Employee referral bonuses
  • Interview costs
  • Fixed costs such as physical infrastructure (e.g., office rental)

External recruiting costs include candidate-related costs such as:

  • Travel costs
  • Relocation costs
  • Signing bonuses

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Counter Offer

A counter offer is a proposal made by a job applicant to an employer in response to an unsatisfactory job offer. Typically, this happens when the candidate feels that the salary being offered does not meet his/her expectations.

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Cover Letter

A letter that is often submitted with a resume to provide additional information on skills and experience and to explain the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position.

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Cross-Functional Team

A cross-functional team is a group of people with different functional expertise working toward a common goal. It may include people from finance, marketing, operations, and human resources departments.

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Daily Work Records

Daily work records is a log of the daily tasks carried out by employees. Daily work records help an employer keep track of the work that has been completed and is often used as to analyze productivity. This record also helps an employee visualize his/her day and how he/she utilizes time.

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Data Breach

Data breach is a security incident where sensitive, protected or confidential data/information by someone without authorization. Precautionary steps that can be taken to prevent data breach include: patching systems and networks; educating employees and enforcing IT policies; implementing security measures; creating contingencies.

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Deferred Compensation

Deferred compensation is a part of an employee's compensation that is set aside to be paid at a later date. This is usually done to defer tax to a future date when the rate is lower. Forms of deferred compensation include retirement plans, pension plans, and stock-option plans.

Deferred compensation plans are used by employers to hold onto key employees. These plans are best suited for high earners. However, the primary risk of deferred compensation is that if the company goes bankrupt, the employee may lose everything put away in the plan.

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Defined-Benefit Plan

A defined-benefit (DB) plan, also referred to as pension plan, is an employer-sponsored retirement plan in which employees benefits are computed using factors such as age, earnings and length of employment. Unlike defined-contribution plans, the employer, and not the employee, is responsible for all of the planning and investment risk of a defined-benefit plan.

The benefits can be distributed as fixed monthly payments like an annuity or as a lump-sum payment. The surviving spouse is often entitled to the benefits if the employee passes away.

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Defined Contribution Plan

Defined Contribution (DC) Plan is a retirement plan, like a 401(k) or a 403(b), in which employees contribute a fixed amount or portion of their salary to a retirement account. The employer will, at times, match a portion of employee contributions as an added benefit. Defined-contribution (DC) retirement plans allow employees to invest pre-tax dollars in the capital markets where they can grow tax-deferred until retirement. These plans place restrictions on when and how the employee can withdraw from these accounts.

Unlike a defined-benefit (DB) plan, a DC plan does not come with any guarantees. Participation is both voluntary and self-directed.

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Delayering

Delayering is the process of eliminating multiple levels (typically, middle managers) of hierarchy in an organisation with the objective of boosting operational efficiency, decreasing the wage bill and making the organization agile. For delayering to have the desired impact, it is combined with other measures such as engagement programmes and cross-divisional collaboration.

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Developmental Counseling

Developmental counseling involves the identification of an employee's strengths and weaknesses to choose interventions that can help him/her resolve performance-related issues and align their individual career goals to company goals.

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Dimensions of Diversity

Dimensions of diversity refers to the diversity in traits, backgrounds and abilities of an organization's employees. The dimensions of diversity include age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability, marital status, parental status, and education. Understanding and leveraging the diversity in talent is important for organizations to tackle the complexity of the world they operate in.

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Direct Hiring

Direct hiring, or drect placement, refers to the process in which a company hires a candidate and offers him/her the job without the use of a third party. While companies may use an agency to carry out the screening and recruitment process, the hired candidate becomes a permanent employee of the employer, not the agency.

This structure is different from temporary (typically less than a year) or contract positions in which a staffing agency supplies and employs the talent.

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Disability

Disability is a physical or mental condition that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Disability discrimination is incorporated into equality employment acts as it is illegal in most countries.

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Disability Income Insurance

Disability Income (DI) insurance provides supplementary income (typically no more than 60%) in the event an illness or accident results in a disability that prevents the individual from working at their regular employment. Benefits are usually paid monthly so the insured can maintain a comparable standard of living and pay recurring expenses.

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Disciplinary Action

Disciplinary action is a method of dealing with employees who cause problems or do not follow company rules and policies. Companies use a range of disciplinary procedures depending on the severity of the transgression - suspendsion without pay; temporary pay-cut; termination; employee demotion; relocation; loss of privileges.

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Disciplinary Procedure

Disciplinary procedure is a process that an organization commits to when dealing with a worker who causes problems or does not obey company rules. It's important for the company to create a standardized and fair process to address any breach of the terms of employment in order to avoid discrimination - which could further lead to legal charges.

Given below are the correct steps for disciplinary procedures:

  • Get an initial understanding - Establish the facts as soon as you can. Get the employee’s side of the story before you decide on next steps.
  • Proceed to investigate thoroughly - If the offence is more substantial, or it is not the employee’s first, you may need to resort to formal procedure.
  • Invite the employee to a disciplinary meeting - This should be done in writing. Advise them of their right to be accompanied and provide copies of all the evidence you hold against them for their review. Explain the conduct that the disciplinary matter will discuss and the potential outcome (If the meeting may result in their dismissal)
  • Conduct the disciplinary meeting - Run through the allegations and let the employee respond. Review the evidence and offer the employee an opportunity to add comments.
  • Decide on the action to be taken - whether it doesn't warrant taking further action, or it requries a warning or dismissal
  • Confirm the outcome in writing - along with all details
  • Right to appeal - The employee must be given an opportunity to challenge your decision.

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Discrimination

Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of an individual or group on the grounds of race, age, sex, or disability.

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Disease Management

Disease management is a system of coordinated heath care interventions and communications for defined patient populations with conditions where self-care efforts can be implemented. It empowers individuals, working with other health care providers to manage their disease and prevent complications. Effective disease management can mean decreased healthcare costs.

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Distance Learning

Distance learning is a formalized educational program of individuals who may not always be physically present in the class and uses instructions via video, audio tapes or computers.

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Distributive Bargaining

Distributive bargaining, also called "claiming value," "zero-sum," or "win-lose" bargaining, is the process of dividing up the pie of value (such as money, resources, assets) through negotiation. In distributive bargaining, one party gains only if the other party loses something.

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Diversity

Diversity refers to the collective mixture of similarities and differences among workers such as age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability, marital status, parental status, and education.

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Diversity Training

Diversity training in an organization is a program designed to foster positive interactions between diverse sets of employees, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and to teach employees with diverse backgrounds how they can work together effectively.

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DOE (Depends on Experience)

The acronym DOE, usually found in job descriptions, indicates that compensation "Depends on Experience."

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Downshifting

Downshifting is the trend of individuals leaving their financially rewarding but stressful career or lifestyle for a less pressured and less highly paid but more fulfilling one.

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Downsizing

Downsizing is the permanent reduction of a company's workforce by removing unproductive workers or divisions. It is generally implemented during a recession and/or when revenue is declining. Employees who are asked to leave are often compensated by paying a fixed amount or a few months salary.

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E-learning

E-learning or electronic learning is a method of delivering education, training and development using electronic methods like the Internet or other computer related resources. It is commonly referred to as online learning or web-based learning or virtual classroom training.

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E-recruitment

E-recruitment, or online recruitment, refers to the use of a web app to handle the various stages of recruitment - posting jobs, applicant tracking, screening, assessments and on-boarding.

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Early Return to Work Program

An early return to work program is an initiative designed to help employees who have been out of work due to injury or illness to return to work sooner by giving them easier jobs until they regain their full capacity.

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Emotional intelligence (EI)

Emotional intelligence (EI), emotional quotient (EQ) and emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ), is a measure of someone's capability to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and adjust emotions to adapt to environments. EI is typically associated with empathy.

The term gained popularity from the 1995 best-selling book Emotional Intelligence, written by science journalist Daniel Goleman. Goleman defined EI as the array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance. Studies have indicated that people with high EI have greater mental health, job performance, and leadership skills, although no causal relationships have been established.

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Employee Advocacy

When used in an HR context, employee advocacy is an employer branding tactic involving the promotion of an organization by its employees. Employees use a variety of media such as social media, discussion forums, emails, and chats, to promote the employer brand.

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Employee Assessment

Employee assessments are performance appraisals or periodic reviews used to evaluate employees' performance and productivity.

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Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

An employee assistance program (EAP) is an employer-sponsored program designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting the employee's performance. e.g. alcohol or substance abuse. Contemporary EAPs cover a wider range of issues such as child or elder care, relationship challenges, financial or legal problems, wellness matters, workplace violence, nurse advice lines, adoption assistance. EAP services are usually extended to the employee and his/her family members.

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Employee Benefits Administration

Employee benefits administration is the process of assembling and managing the benefits an organization provides to employees. This complex and otherwise time-consuming tasks is usually automated and streamlined with a software that helps companies manage and track employee participation in benefits programs such as healthcare, flexible spending accounts, pension plans, etc.

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Employee Churn (Turnover)

Employee churn is the overall turnover in company staff as existing employees leave and new ones are recruited. The churn (or churn rate) is usually calculated as the percentage of employees leaving the company over a year (or over a specific specified time period). Although some staff turnover is inevitable, a high rate of churn is costly and undesirable.

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Employee Clearance

Employee clearance is a procedure that needs to be followed by an employee when he/she resigns from a job. The employee must settle all debts and obligations, including return of company properties or documents, to be cleared of any accountability. He/she must obtain a clearance document from the IT, finance, admin, HR departments prior to his/her exit.

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Employee Database

An employee database is a record of critical personal and company-related information (such as their payscale, hire date) of employees. The database can be used by the management to better understand its employees and make data-driven decisions to push the company forward.

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Employee Empowerment

Employee empowerment is defined as the ways in which an organization provides employees with a certain degree of autonomy and control in their day-to-day activities. Research has regularly demonstrated that when employees feel empowered at work, it is associated with stronger job performance, job satisfaction, and commitment to the organization.

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Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the strength of the mental and emotional connection employees feel toward the work they do, their teams, and their organization. An “engaged employee” is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests - resulting in greater productivity, and improved ability to attract and retain, both, customers and talent.

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Employee Lifecycle Management

An employee goes through various stages in an organization - outreach, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and separation. These stages sum up the employee life cycle. Each stage of the employee lifecycle has its challenges. It’s important for HR professionals to create processes by visualizing how an employee engages with the company at each of these stages. This method of nurturing and developing the company’s human resources - across their life cycle - is called employee lifecycle management.

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Employee Net Promoter Score

The Employee Net Promoter Score (or eNPS) is a metric used to measure employee engagement and loyalty towards a business. It is derived from the Net Promoter Score (NPS) measure which is commonly used in customer satisfaction surveys.

How do you measure eNPS?

  • The eNPS is very simple to measure. The key question to ask your employees is ‘How likely are you to recommend your employer to others as a place of work?’. Employees are asked to give their score on a 0 to 10 scale, where 0 is not at all likely to recommend and 10 is very likely to recommend.
  • Those who give a 9 or 10 are called Promoters, and are advocates of your business. Their positive experiences mean they are engaged with staying and growing your business, and their enthusiasm and ideas should be harnessed for your future business plans.
  • Those that rate their place of work in the range 0-6 are called detractors. Typically detractors are looking to leave their place of work in the near future. Addressing their issues and concerns can help you to prevent employee churn.
  • The overall eNPS for a business is calculated by subtracting the % of detractors from the % of promoters. This will leave you with a score of between 100 and -100 and is your eNPS.

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Employee Onboarding

Employee onboarding is the process of inducting employees into an organization, familiarizing them with the organization's policies, work environment, culture, and the employee's roles and responsibilities. The primary purpose of onboarding is to help a new employee feel part of the company and become productive as quickly as possible. To strengthen your onboarding program, do refer our Employee Joining Kits page and catalog.

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Employee Orientation

Employee orientation refers to a process of introducing new employees to the workplace and familiarizing them with its policies, benefits and culture. It equips the employees with the information needed to feel prepared for their new team, department, and role within the company.

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Employee Referral Program

An employee referral program is a recruitment strategy in which employers encourage employees, through rewards, to refer qualified candidates for job openings. Research has shown that referred employees are more affordable, are more engaged, and have a higher retention rate. Hence, an employee referral program is considered to be one of the most effective recruitment strategies.

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Employee Relations

Employee relations refers to an organization’s efforts to create and maintain a positive relationship with their employees. By maintaining positive, constructive employee relations, organizations hope to keep employees loyal and more engaged in their work.

There are two key principles for organizations when it comes to employee relationship management: 1) keep your promises and 2) be both clear and honest in your communication.

Best practices include: open communication, get your team behind your vision, invest in your people, give constant feedback, recognize and appreciate great work and don’t play favorites.

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Employee Retention

Employee retention refers to the ability of an organization to retain its employees. Employee retention can be represented by a simple statistic - retention rate. A retention rate of 80% usually indicates that an organization kept 80% of its employees in a given period. Many professionals also refer to the term employee retention to describe the strategy and efforts by which employers attempt to retain the employees in their workforce.

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Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction, or job satisfaction, is the extent to which a worker is happy with their job and the role it plays in their life.

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Employee Self-Service

Employee self-service is a feature available in HR software that allows employees to perform administrative tasks such as being able to update their personal information, apply for leave and change payroll details.

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Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

An employee value proposition (EVP) is the value a company offers to employees in return for the value they bring to the organization. It’s the benefits and rewards offered to employees in return for their commitment, skills and capabilities. According to Gartner, the five fundamental elements that make up an EVP are: compensation, work-life balance, stability, location, and respect.

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Employer Brand

Employer brand is the organization's reputation as an employer. In simpler terms, it's what job seekers and employees really think of the organization.

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Employer Branding

Employer branding, or employment branding, is the process of managing and influencing an organization's reputation as an employer among job seekers, employees and key stakeholders. Employer branding becomes extremely important when faced with a limited pool of talent.

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Employment Agency

An employment agency is an organization which matches employers to employees. Companies hire employment agencies to help with their staffing needs. Apart from searching and shortlisting candidates for a position, many employment agencies also assist in the negotiation process.

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Employment History

Employment history is a record of all the previous jobs of an applicant - the organizations they worked for, the length and period of employment, their roles and responsibilities, and their key achievements. This information is used to assess the experience and skills of a potential candidate and to perform a background check.

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Enterprise Compensation Management (ECM)

Enterprise compensation management refers to the organization, optimization and automation of strategic compensation policies for employees in large companies.

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) refers to a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations. ERP systems tie together a multitude of business processes and enable the flow of data between them. A complete ERP suite also includes enterprise performance management, software that helps plan, budget, predict, and report on an organization’s financial results.

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Entry Level Job

Entry level job term refers to a beginner employment position in the company that generally does not require experience, training or higher level of education.

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Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

An internal policy that protects employees against discrimination at the workplace. As the name suggests, it states that all individuals are given equal consideration for a job, and that the employer does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability or sex.

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Equity Theory

Developed in the early 1960s by behavioural psychologist John S. Adams, equity theory is concerned with defining and measuring the relational satisfaction of employees. Adams posited that employees try to maintain a balance between what they give to an organisation (output) against what they receive (input), and base satisfaction with their own balance on perceptions of the same balance in colleagues. It is based on the principle that peoples' actions and motivations are guided by fairness and that discrepancies in this fairness in the workplace will spur them to try and redress it.

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ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act)

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 is a federal law that governs pension and welfare employee benefit plans. ERISA requires plans to provide participants with plan information including plan features and funding. ERISA sets minimum standards for participation, vesting, benefit accrual, and funding of retirement plans. It also requires that plans provide fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage and control assets. It grants participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.

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Executive Coach

An executive coach is a qualified professional that works with individuals (usually executives, but often high-potential employees) to help them gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, and act as a sounding board. They usually refrain from giving advice or solving their clients' problems. Instead, they ask questions to help executives clarify and solve their own problems.

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Executive Compensation

Executive compensation, also known as executive pay, are compensation packages that are specifically designed for business leaders, senior management and executive-level employees of a company. These include items such as base salary, bonuses, short term and long term incentives, stock options, perquisites, insurance and other related compensation and benefit provisions.

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Executive Recruiter

Executive recruiter, or executive headhunter, is a professional who focuses on searching and recruiting individuals for senior-level managerial or professional positions.

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Executive search, or headhunting, refers to the use of an agency to assist an employer with searching and recruiting individuals for senior-level, managerial or professional positions.

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An exempt employee is one who does not receive overtime pay or qualify for minimum wage. Exempt employees are paid a salary rather than by the hour, and their work is executive or professional in nature.

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Exit Interview

An exit interview is a meeting conducted by the HR department with an employee leaving the company. This is done to understand why employees are leaving, what they liked about their employment and what areas of the company need improvement.

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Expatriate

An expatriate, or ex-pat, is an individual living and working in a country other than his or her country of citizenship.

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Factor Comparison Method

A scientific method designed to evaluate a job role based on a breakdown of factors rather than the role as a whole. The objective of using factor comparison is to assign a financial value to different parts of each job role i.e. the amount of compensation offered for that part of the role.

Factor comparison breaks down a job into its key factors, such as effort, skill, responsibilities, knowledge and working conditions. The next stage is to identify benchmark jobs, which are well-known positions that retain consistency across different companies and organisations. Each job is then assigned a salary, which is further broken down for each factor.

An example of how the Factor Comparison Method works is given below:

Job Role Wage Rate Physical Effort Mental Effort Skill Responsibility Working Conditions
Cleaner 30 9 (4) 6 (4) 4 (5) 6 (4) 5 (4)
Electrician 60 11 (3) 14 (1) 15 (1) 12 (1) 8 (2)
Fitter 50 14 (1) 10 (2) 9 (2) 8 (2) 9 (1)
Laborer 25 8 (5) 4 (5) 6 (4) 3 (5) 4 (5)
Welder 40 12 (2) 7 (3) 8 (3) 7 (3) 6 (3)

Suppose the job of a ‘Painter’ is found to be similar to a Welder in physical effort (12), Fitter in mental effort (10), Electrician in skill (15), Cleaner in responsibility (6), Laborer in working conditions (4). The wage rate for this job would be (12+10+15+6+4) = 47.

Advantages of factor comparison include its broad application – it can be applied to a wide range of job roles and industries, and can also be applied to new roles in order to compare them to similar positions. Distilling the value of the job in monetary terms can also help organisations make sure their recruitment methods provide a decent ROI. One of the main disadvantages is that someone may make an arbitrary decision on the relative worth of each factor e.g. someone may believe knowledge is worth more than skills and assign a higher value to this factor.

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Fair Representation

Fair representation is the obligation to represent all employees fairly, in good faith, and without discrimination. The duty of fair representation is incumbent upon U.S. labor unions that are the exclusive bargaining representative of workers in a particular group.

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Fixed Term Employment

Fixed-term employment is a contract in which an employee agrees to work for a company for a specific period of time. The contract can be renewed depending on the requirement. In a fixed-term employment, the employee is not on the payroll of the company.

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Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

A flexible spending account (FSA), also known as “flexible spending arrangement,” is a type of savings account that allows employees to contribute a portion of their earnings to pay for qualified medical expenses. Funds contributed to the FSA, set up by an employer for it's employees, are not subject to income and payroll taxes. The money in an FSA must be used by the end of the plan year, but employers can offer a grace period of up to two-and-a-half months, through March 15 of the following year. The IRS limits how much can be contributed to an FSA account per year.

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Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible work arrangements, also known as flextime, are work arrangements wherein employees are given greater scheduling freedom in how they fulfill the obligations of their positions. The different types of flex arrangements include telecommuting, remote working, condensed workweeks, customized working hours, part-time positions, job sharing, and flexible vacation time.

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Flexible Working Hours

Flexible working hours refers to a work schedule that allows employees to start and finish their workday when they want.

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Flexplace

Flexplace refers to an arrangement in which employees are allowed to work away from the office, either at home or some alternative location.

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Forced Ranking

Forced ranking is a controversial management practice by which employees are graded against each other instead of being judged against performance benchmarks. Also known as forced distribution, stack ranking, vitality curve, and “rank and yank,” the practice was championed by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who insisted that GE identify and remove the bottom 10 percent of the workforce every year.

In practice, it takes several forms. A group of 100 workers can be ranked one through 100. More commonly, employees are grouped into three, four or five “baskets,” usually of unequal size, indicating the best workers, the worst and one or more classifications in between. While some companies fire workers in the bottom, others may choose to issue a warning and/or put them through a performance improvement program. Promotions are awarded to those at the top of the rankings.

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Freedom of Association

Freedom of association refers to an individual's right to associate, join or leave groups such as unions, and to bargain collectively.

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Full-time Equivalent (FTE)

Full-time equivalent, or whole time equivalent, is a unit that indicates the workload of an employed person in a way that makes workloads or class loads comparable across various contexts. FTE is often used to measure a worker's involvement in a project, or to track cost reductions in an organization.

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Functional Job Analysis

Functional job analysis is a qualitative method of gathering specific data regarding job information. It was developed by the Employment and Training Administration of the United States Department of Labor.

Functional job analysis uses seven scales to describe what workers do in jobs: (1) Things, (2) Data, (3) People, (4) Worker Instructions, (5) Reasoning, (6) Math, and (7) Language.

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Functional Resume

A functional resume is a resume format that focuses on your professional skills rather than each job you held and when you held it. The biggest difference between a functional resume and a standard chronological resume is that a functional resume groups your experience under skill categories instead of job titles.

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Gag Clause

A gag clause is a contractual stipulation that prevents employees from disclosing certain sensitive information about the business, its operations, trade secrets, intellectual property, physical assets, and future plans.

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Gamification

In the HR context, gamification refers to the process of making systems, processes or other employment-related activities more enjoyable and motivating through game design elements. For example, using game elements to make a mundane activity like benefits enrollment more enjoyable. Gamification has been applied to recruiting, learning and development, employee surveys and many more areas of talent management.

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Gardening Leave

Gardening leave is a protectionist measure whereby an employee leaving a job is instructed to stay away from work during the notice period, while still remaining on the company's payroll. Gardening leave is a term most commonly used in the financial industry.

The primary reason for doing so is to safeguard against possible detrimental actions or behavior that the employee might indulge in during their notice period. The company may fear that the employee may negatively influence the environment and other employees. The company may also prefer that the employee limit contact with clients who may be persuaded to follow them to their new employer. The gardening also prevents the leaving employee from getting access to up-to-date information that could be beneficial to competitors.

The leave is called gardening leave because that's all the employee can do: they can't come in to work and they can't work for anyone else. All they can do is work in or sit in their garden.

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Gender Pay Gap

Gender pay gap is the difference between the average remuneration received by working men and women. There are two distinct numbers: the unadjusted pay gap and the adjusted pay gap. The former simply differentiates between the average wages of the two genders, the latter takes into account differences in factors such as occupation, education and job experience. An often-cited number in this context is the unadjusted salary of the average female in the US, which is 78% of the average male salary, whereas the adjusted figure is 80-98%.

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Generation X

Generation X, sometimes shortened to Gen X, is the demographic cohort following the baby boomers and preceding the millennials. Researchers and popular media use the early-to-mid-1960s as starting birth years and the late 1970s to early 1980s as ending birth years, with the generation being generally defined as people born from 1965 to 1980.

  • Gen X is also sometimes referred to as the "latchkey generation" as they were often left unsupervised at home after school until their parents came home from work.
  • It has been defined as an "in-between" generation. The group's earning power and savings were compromised first by the dotcom bust, and second by the financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession.
  • Gen X accounts for just 16% of the nation’s wealth, while baby boomers hold more than half (56%), an analysis of Federal Reserve data by economist Gray Kimbrough shows. In 2008, at a median age of 35, Gen Xers owned just 9% of the nation’s wealth, less than half of what baby boomers had when they were 35.
  • Members of this group are approaching the middle of their working careers and potential peak-earning years. The generation is on track to become the first generation to be worse off in terms of being prepared for retirement than their parents.
  • In terms of social and political power, Generation X is sandwiched between the baby boomers, who came of age during the Vietnam and Reagan eras and the millennials of the Obama era.
  • Notable members of Generation X include Jeff Bezos, Tiger Woods, and the late Kurt Cobain.

The name "Generation X" comes from a novel by Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, published in 1991.

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Generation Y

Millennial, or Generation Y (Gen Y), is the name given to the generation born between 1981 and 1996. The millennial generation follows Generation X, and in terms of numbers, has edged out the Baby Boomers as the biggest generation in American history.

  • Millennials are so named because they were born near, or came of age during, the dawn of the 21st century—the new millennium.
  • As the first to be born into a digital world, members of this group are considered "digital natives." Technology has always been a part of their everyday lives—it's been estimated that they check their phones as many as 150 times daily.
  • The millennial generation is the most ethnically and racially diverse in U.S. history. Gen Y tends to be progressive in their political views and voting habits and less religiously observant than their predecessors, Gen X. They are skeptical about authority and prone to question social and cultural issues.
  • Millennials face the most uncertain economic future of perhaps any generation in America since the Great Depression - thanks to the combination of wage stagnation and record debt (mainly from student loans).
  • Millennials often see their career trajectories and retirement differently from the way their parents and grandparents saw theirs. They want to pursue ambitions now, whether that means going for a dream job right out of college, working for someone else's promising start-up or creating a location-independent business.

Note: Millennials are unique. They think differently. They speak differently. They see the world differently. It takes a different kind of approach to connect with them. That's why we have this category of awards just for millennials; your workplace probably has a few. Reach out to them, with a little assistance from us. You can see the entire collection here.

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Generation Z

Generation Z, also known as zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Most members of Generation Z are children of Generation X.

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Geographical Differential

Geographical differentials refers to the difference in pay for similar jobs in different geographical locations.

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Gig Economy

The gig economy is a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. The rise of the gig economy has coincided with the emergence of online platforms that connect workers with customers. The gig economy can benefit workers, businesses, and consumers by making work more adaptable to the needs of the moment and demand for flexible lifestyles. At the same time, the gig economy can have downsides due to the erosion of traditional economic relationships between workers, businesses, and clients.

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Glass Ceiling

The glass ceiling is a metaphor referring to an invisible barrier that prevents women and minorities from being promoted to managerial and executive positions within an organization.

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Goal Setting

Goal setting involves the development of an action plan designed in order to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal. It is a major component of personal-development and management literature. Studies by Edwin A. Locke and his colleagues, most notably Gary Latham, have shown that more specific and ambitious goals lead to more performance improvement than easy or general goals. The goals should be specific, time constrained and difficult. Difficult goals should be set ideally at the 90th percentile of performance assuming that motivation and not ability is limiting attainment of that level of performance. As long as the person accepts the goal, has the ability to attain it, and does not have conflicting goals, there is a positive linear relationship between goal difficulty and task performance.

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Golden Handcuffs

Golden handcuffs refers to financial allurements and benefits that encourage highly compensated executives to remain with a company instead of moving to a competitor.

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Good Faith Bargaining

Good faith bargaining refers to a type of negotiation in which all parties want and try to achieve a reasonable agreement with a positive outcome for all included parties.

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Grievance

A grievance is a formal complaint that is raised by an employee against the employer. Reasons for filing a grievance include a breach of the terms and conditions of an employment contract, raises and promotions, or lack thereof, as well as harassment and discrimination. A grievance usually represents the gap between what the employee expects and gets from the company. If left unaddressed, a grievance can demotivate an employee and have an adverse effect on their performance.

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Gross Misconduct

Gross misconduct refers to unacceptable or improper behaviour of a very serious kind, especially by an employee or professional person. It calls for the individual's summary dismissal without the usual contractual obligations of a notice period.

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Gross Pay

Gross pay is the amount of money paid to an employee before taxes and deductions. The gross pay figure helps the employee benchmark his/her compensation with the market. It also serves as a measure to determine the employee’s payment capacity, to engage in any debt commitment.

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Group Dynamics

Group dynamics refers to a process of group interaction which determines how the group functions and how effective it is.

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Group Interview

A group interview is when an employee or team of employees interviews multiple candidates at the same time, or when a team of employees forms a panel to interview one candidate. It offers the interviewer an opportunity to compare candidates side by side. On the other hand, it provides the interview little time to get to know the individual candidates. A group interview requires strong interviewing skills and is advantageous to the most dominant candidates in the group. This may not necessarily be the best person for the job. Group interviews are more suitable when recruiting for roles that require alpha-type personalities, such as sales or management roles.

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Hawthorne Effect

The Hawthorne effect refers to a type of reactivity in which employees modify an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed. Research has shown that the application of employee observation through the show of concern and recognition affects their motivation as much as improving their work conditions does.

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Headhunter

A headhunter is a person who identifies and approaches suitable candidates employed elsewhere to fill business positions. Headhunters are usually hired by organizations when they are unable to find the right candidate for an opening in their organization by themselves.

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Hidden Job Market

The Hidden Job Market is a term used to describe jobs that aren't advertised or publicised by organizations. Employers might not post jobs for a number of reasons – for example, they might be trying to save money on advertising, or they might prefer getting candidates through validated referrals, or they may want to be quiet about future strategies.

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Hierarchy of Needs

Hierarchy of needs refers to a theory created by psychologist Abraham Maslow that explains human behavior in terms of basic needs for survival and growth which are arranged according to their importance for survival and power to motivate an individual.

These are the five categories of needs according to Maslow:

  1. Physiological: These refer to basic physical needs like drinking when thirsty or eating when hungry.
  2. Safety: This includes the need for a sense of security and predictability in the world.
  3. Love and Belonging: According to Maslow, the next need in the hierarchy involves feeling loved and accepted. This need includes both romantic relationships as well as ties to friends and family members. It also includes our need to feel that we belong to a social group.
  4. Esteem: Our esteem needs involve the desire to feel good about ourselves. When people’s esteem needs are met, they feel confident and see their contributions and achievements as valuable and important.
  5. Self-Actualization: Self-Actualization refers to feeling fulfilled, or feeling that we are living up to our potential. One unique feature of self-actualization is that it looks different for everyone. Essentially, self-actualization means feeling that we are doing what we believe we are meant to do.

In addition to these needs, Maslow also believed that we have a need to learn new information and to better understand the world around us. Although Maslow presented his needs in a hierarchy, he also acknowledged that meeting each need is not an all-or-nothing phenomenon. Consequently, people don’t need to completely satisfy one need in order for the next need in the hierarchy to emerge.

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Hiring Manager

Hiring manager refers to a person in the company responsible for hiring employees to fill an open position. Generally it's a person from the department in which the employee needs to be hired and acts as the future employee’s direct superior.

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Hiring Period

Hiring period refers to the total amount of time needed between offering a job to a candidate and the new employee's adjustment to the job.

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Hiring Process

Hiring process refers to the process of finding, selecting and hiring new employees to a company. The 4 important steps in the hiring process include: Develop a Hiring Strategy; Accurate, Updated Job Descriptions; Sourcing Candidates; Preparation for interviews.

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HR Analytics and Data-Driven Recruiting

Data-driven recruiting is when an organization uses tangible facts and stats to form their hiring decisions, from selecting candidates to creating hiring plans. Recruiting teams that use data are more likely to be efficient, reduce costs and improve their hiring.

How data-driven recruiting helps hiring teams:

  • Helps in allocating budget for hiring
  • Unearths hiring issues
  • Increases productivity and efficiency of the hiring manager
  • Helps the hiring manager make more objective (and legally defensible) hiring decisions

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HR Audit

HR Audit is a periodic measurement of human resources effectiveness, conducted by internal staff or with the use of an HR audit system in order to ensure they fulfill rules and regulations.

HR Audit Advantages:

  • Recognizes strengths
  • Reveals problem areas
  • Confirms compliance with latest regulations
  • Ensures effective HR policies
  • Builds confidence in HR function

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HR Generalist

HR generalist refers to a professional employee working in the HR department who is able to perform a wide variety of responsibilities and handles all the functions related to an employee. HR generalists need to be cordial, attentive and prompt in order to act as liaisons between workers, managers and executives in measuring employee engagement.

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HR Software

HR software refers to the computer programs which help manage and automate a number of the common HR tasks. These programs include a high degree of data processing, analytics functionalities like applicant search, performance reviews and training needs tracking.

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HRM

HRM or Human Resource Management is the strategic approach to the effective and efficient management of people in a company or organization such that they help their business gain a competitive advantage. It is designed to maximize employee performance in service of an employer's strategic objectives.

HRM responsibilities are as given below:

  • Job analysis and design
  • Hiring candidates
  • Training and Development
  • Design workplace policies
  • Monitor performance
  • Maintaining work culture
  • Resolve conflict
  • Rewards and Incentives

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Human Capital

Human capital refers to the collective skills, knowledge and competencies of an organization’s people that enables them to create economic value.

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Human Capital Management

Human capital management is the strategic process of recruiting, managing, and retaining the employees of an organization. Human capital management functions include recruitment, compensation, benefits and training. The goal of human capital management is to keep employees contributing to the organization's intellectual capital by offering competitive salary, benefits and development opportunities.

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Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

Human Resource Information System or HRIS are business software systems that assist in the management of human resource data (e.g. payroll, job title, candidate contact information).

Given below are the advantages of having these systems / softwares:

  • Enables the HR department to spend less time on clerical tasks
  • Helps ensuring the accuracy of employee information
  • Generates various reports
  • Helps securing employee data and keeps the information private
  • Offers analytics on important metrics such as headcount and turnover

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Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO)

Human Resource Outsourcing is a contractual agreement between an employer and an external third-party provider whereby the employer transfers responsibility and management for certain HR, benefit or training-related functions or services to the external provider.

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Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators or KPI’s are the industry standard tool to calculate numerous aspects of a business, such as profitability, costs, goals, performance, engagement, etc.

Common types of KPI’s are mentioned below:
  1. Financial KPI’s: These include cost, regional sales, expenses vs budget, revenue vs target, etc.
  2. Customer KPI: These include customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost, customer retention, etc.
  3. Business Processes KPI: This includes customer support, defective products, efficiency, etc.
  4. People KPI: This includes employee satisfaction, employee turnover, promotions vs hires, etc.

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Knockout Question

Knockout question is a question which is asked early in the hiring process in order to immediately eliminate applicants who are unable or unwilling to perform key job functions/lack required qualifications for the job.

Knockout questions are used to narrow the applicant pool and to keep hiring managers from wasting their time interviewing applicants that are unlikely to be among their top candidates.

Given below are the most common examples of Knockout Question:

  • Are you legally able to work in X country?
  • Do you have a valid driver license?
  • Do you have an X degree / certification?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • Are you willing to undergo a background check?

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KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing)

Knowledge process outsourcing is the outsourcing of core information-related business activities which are competitively important or form an integral part of a company's value chain. KPO involves high-value work like research, development, analysis and consultancy, carried out by qualified staff.

Pros of Knowledge Process Outsourcing:

  • reduces costs of the organization’s operations or products
  • makes up for a shortage of skilled employees in a particular field

Cons of Knowledge Process Outsourcing:

  • security can be compromised and proprietary information can be lost
  • takes time and resource to establish successful KPO
  • develops challenging communication due to language/cultural differences

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KSA

KSA is Human Resources (HR) shorthand for Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. These attributes can be used to describe an individual, a position, or both. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) are often used as 3 subheadings of CVs and Resumes and even job description. Writing clear and detailed job descriptions is extremely important to find high-quality job candidates.

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Labor Certification

Labor certification is a step in the immigration process in which the employer must prove that there are no qualified U.S. workers for the position being offered, and hence the same is being offered to a foreign worker. If there are qualified U.S. workers - in fact, even generally speaking if there are even minimally qualified U.S. workers - then the foreign worker cannot be offered the position on a permanent basis.

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Labor Cost

Labor cost refers to the sum of wages, benefits, taxes and insurance paid to all employees by an employer.

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Labor Force Participation Rate

The labor force participation rate is a measure of an economy’s active workforce i.e. the percentage of all people of working age who are employed or are actively seeking work.

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Labor Piracy

The practice in which a company attempts to "steal" highly skilled or talented employees from competitors or other industries by offering better pay and benefits.

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Labor Turnover

Labor turnover, also knows as staff turnover or churn, refers to the overall turnover in company staff as existing employees leave and new ones are recruited. The turnover is usually calculated as the percentage of employees leaving the company over a year (or over a specific specified time period). Although some labor turnover is inevitable, a high rate of churn is costly and undesirable.

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Labor Union

A group of workers, connected and organized with the purpose of collectively bargaining for better work conditions, pay or benefit increases, etc.

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Lateral Recruitment

Lateral recruitment is an exercise of sourcing and hiring competent candidates from an external talent pool for an organizational position. It is a specialized hiring process that involves recruiting an expert/experienced professional for the position.

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Layoff

A layoff describes the act of an employer terminating a worker for reasons other than an employee's actual performance. It differs from an outright firing, which may be the outcome of poor performance or unacceptable workplace behavior.

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Leadership Development

Leadership development is the process which helps expand the capacity of individuals to perform in leadership roles within organizations. This is done through activities that enhance skills, abilities and qualities of those in leaders.

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Learning and Development

Learning & Development (L&D), or Training & Development (T&D), is an HR function that aims to improve the performance of individuals/group(s) by increasing and honing their skill set and knowledge base. This is achieved through organized training programs.

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Learning Management System (LMS)

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs. Modern learning management systems (LMS) are often cloud-based solutions, allowing access to training and other LMS content & features online using a standard web browser.

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Long Service Award

A long service award is a token of recognition to thank an employee for working with the company for a long period of time. Traditionally, long service awards are celebrated when an employee completes 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of employment. A long service award usually take the form of a certificate, award, plaque, voucher or a combination of these. It is also referred to as a Service Award, Employee Service Award, Years of Service Award, or Work Anniversary Award. For more information on our offering of long service awards, head to our Service Awards page and catalog.

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Negotiation

Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more parties with the goal of resolving an issue in a way that is acceptable to each party.

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Nepotism

Nepotism is favoritism shown on the basis of kinship e.g. hiring a friend despite more qualified candidates for the positions. The term originated with the assignment of nephews to important positions by Catholic popes and bishops.

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Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is a relatively new term that refers to people who have dyslexia, autism, ADHD, dyspraxia and other neurological conditions. Such people can have unique strengths, ranging from data-driven thinking to sustained focus over longer periods, ability to spot patterns and trends and the capacity to process information at extraordinary speeds; all of which are great qualities for a company to have.

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Non-compete Agreement

A non-compete agreement is a legal agreement or clause in a contract wherein an employee agrees not to compete with an employer for a specified period of time after employment ceases. The clause may also bar the employee from working with a competitor during the period and prohibit them from revealing any trade secrets learned during employment.

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Non-disclosure Agreement

A non-disclosure agreement, or a confidentiality agreement, is a legally binding contract that establishes a confidential relationship. It is used to restrict employees from disclosing confidential or proprietary information of the company.

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Non-exempt Employee

Non-exempt employees are those who are entitled to earn the federal minimum wage and qualify for overtime pay, calculated as 1.5x their hourly rate, for every hour they work, above and beyond a standard 40-hour workweek.

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Non-traditional Employment

Nontraditional employment is a socioeconomic term used to define a specific profession or industry in which less than 25 percent of those employed within it belong to one gender.

Some non-traditional careers for women: heavy equipment operator, automotive technician, electrician, welder, firefighter, engineer, police officer, computer technician.

Some non-traditional careers for men: kindergarten and preschool teachers, dental assistant, occupational therapist, nurse, cleaning professional, paralegal, massage therapist.

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Non-traditional Resume

A non-traditional resume refers to a type of a resume that is a departure from a general list of employment history and skills. e.g. an online portfolio, an infographic resume, a video resume.

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Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

It is a collaborative goal-setting tool used by teams and individuals to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. OKRs are how you track progress, create alignment, and encourage engagement around measurable goals.

An Objective (The "What") is simply what is to be achieved, no more and no less. By definition, objectives are significant, concrete, action-oriented, and (ideally) inspirational. When properly designed and deployed, they’re a vaccine against fuzzy thinking—and fuzzy execution.

Key Results (The "How") benchmark and monitor how we get to the objective. Effective KRs are specific and time-bound, aggressive yet realistic. Most of all, they are measurable and verifiable. You either meet a key result’s requirements or you don’t; there is no gray area, no room for doubt. At the end of the designated period, typically a quarter, we do a regular check and grade the key results as fulfilled or not. Typically, there are 3-5 of them per objective.

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Observational Interview

Observational interview refers to the process of passively observing an employee in the organization to assess their skills and job responsibilities in order to gather information for employee's further assessment and insight.

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Occupational Stress

Occupational stress or Job stress refers to the job-related nervousness and anxiety, which affect people's emotional and/or physical health.

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Offer Letter

An offer letter is a document given to a candidate communicating that he/she has been selected for the position along with details such as the designation, department, compensation and benefits.

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Offshoring

Offshoring is the process of relocating a business or business process to another geography in order to benefit from reduced labour costs or a more beneficial regulatory environment or a specialized skill set.

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On-target Earnings (OTE)

On-target earnings, also known as on-track earnings or OTE, is the forecast of potential compensation of a particular position when all performance targets are achieved. OTE is a term that is most commonly used in sales contracts that guarantee a specific commission percentage. If your salesperson has an annual base salary of $80,000 and he/she could earn commissions of $35,000 on achieving their target, their OTE is $115,000.

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Onboarding

Employee onboarding is the process of inducting employees into an organization, familiarizing them with the organization's policies, work environment, culture, and the employee's roles and responsibilities. The primary purpose of onboarding is to help a new employee feel part of the company and become productive as quickly as possible. To strengthen your onboarding program, do refer our Employee Joining Kits page and catalog.

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Organizational Change

Organizational change refers to the actions in which a company or business alters a major component of its organization, such as its culture, the underlying technologies or infrastructure it uses to operate, or its internal processes. Organizational change management is the method of leveraging change to bring about a successful resolution, and it typically includes three major phases: Preparation, implementation, and follow-through.

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Organizational Culture

Organizational culture, or company culture, is the collection of values, attitudes, beliefs and practices that guide and inform the actions of team members. Think of it as the collection of traits that characterize your organization's unique social and emotional work environment. A great culture exemplifies positive traits that lead to improved performance, while a dysfunctional company culture brings out qualities that can hinder the organization.

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Organizational Development

Organizational development is a process driven by behavioral science that helps organizations build their capacity to adapt and change and achieve greater effectiveness by developing, improving, and reinforcing strategies, structures, and processes.

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Orientation

Orientation refers to a process of introducing new employees to the workplace and familiarizing them with its policies, benefits and culture. It equips the employees with the information needed to feel prepared for their new team, department, and role within the company.

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OSHA

The Occupation Safety and Health Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor which sets health and safety standards for American workplaces. OSHA's mission is to "assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance". The agency is also charged with enforcing a variety of whistleblower statutes and regulations.

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Outbound Recruiting

Outbound recruiting refers to the effort and process of acquiring talent through a targeted, candidate-focused approach. Outbound recruiting is the traditional approach in which the company initiates contact with candidates. It involves posting jobs on your website or job boards, emailing, cold-calling, and/or advertising to present the company and opportunity to the candidate.

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Outplacement

Outplacement is a support service provided by organizations to help former terminated employees find other employment opportunities and re-enter the job market.

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Outsourcing

Outsourcing is the business practice of partnering with a party outside the company to perform services or manufacture goods that were otherwise performed in-house by the company. Outsourcing is usually undertaken by companies as a cost-cutting measure. It can affect a wide range of jobs, ranging from customer support to manufacturing to the back office.

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Quantified Self

The quantified self refers to the cultural phenomenon of self-tracking using wearables and technology. The quantified self uses tools to measure aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical).

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Queen Bee Syndrome

Queen Bee Syndrome is a phenomenon describing the behavior of women in authority or power who often take on “masculine” traits and distance themselves from other women in the workplace in order to succeed. They treat subordinate females more critically and refuse to help other women rise up the ranks as a form of self-preservation. This phenomenon was first defined by C. Tavris, G.L. Staines, and T.E. Jayaratne in 1973.

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Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias, or implicit bias, refers to the judgments made about people based on their social category (such as race, gender or disability). Since these stereotypes are made without conscious awareness, they can heavily influence recruitment and selection decisions and become a major contributor to a lack of workplace diversity.

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Underwriter

A person or organization who evaluates and assumes financial risk for another party in exchange for a fee or commission. An underwriter ensures money will be available to pay for losses. e.g. An insurance company can be considered an underwriter.

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Unfair Labor Practice (ULP)

An action carried out by an employer or union that violates the relevant employment legislation. In US, the relevant legislation is the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute - part of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and any violation of the same would be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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Union

A group of workers, connected and organized with the purpose of collectively bargaining for better work conditions, pay or benefit increases, etc.

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Unjustifiable Dismissal

This refers to the act of firing an employee in a way that is not legally justifiable (i.e. unfair or in violation of the employment contract).

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Unstructured Interview

Unstructured interview, or non-directive interview, refers to interviews that do not follow a set format. Since the questions are nor predetermined, it enables the interviewer to ask questions that seem appropriate for the respondent - allowing him/her to develop a real sense of the person's understanding of a situation.

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Vacancy

Vacancy refers to a vacant job position within an organization.

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Variable Pay

Variable pay is the portion of compensation determined by employee and/or team and/or company performance. When an employee or team or company hits their goals, variable pay is provided as a type of incentive. Base pay, on the other hand, is fixed and paid out regardless of employees meeting their goals.

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Veterans' Preference

By law, veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non veterans both in hiring from competitive lists and in retention during reductions in force. This is referred to as veterans' preference.

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Video Interview

A job interview that takes place through a video technology platform instead of in person.

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Virtual HR

Virtual HR refers to the utilization of technology and software applications to provide a range of self-service options to employees in order to connect them with HR services. It offers advantages to employees and HR professionals. Virtual HR systems allow employees the ability to input and edit certain information regarding their personal file. They can also access data related to trainings and performance appraisals. On the other hand, HR professionals can automate and delegate time-consuming tasks such as administrative duties, company newsletters, payroll inquiries, and general information sharing. With the use of an effective virtual HR system, the functioning of human resource department becomes more efficient, and employees get access to important HR information in a hassle-free manner.

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Virtual Mentoring

Virtual mentoring refers to a process of mentoring where mentors and mentees communicate through means of Internet-based tools such as e-mails, chats, social media networks, and video calls.

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Voluntary Benefits

Also referred to as "supplemental benefits," voluntary benefits are optional, employee-paid benefits. The employer pays for the costs of benefits administration (often provided by a third-party benefits provider). Examples of these benefits include life insurance, dental, vision, disability income, auto insurance, long-term care coverage, medical supplement plans and homeowners insurance.

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