HR Terms That Every Recruiter Should Know

Everything you need to know about the most commonly used HR terms and what they mean from an employee's perspective.

Safa Asad
Reviewed by:
Javeria Khan
July 24, 2024
0 min read time
Safa Asad

Human Resources (HR) is a field filled with its own set of jargon and terminology that can often leave the average person scratching their head. These terms, while seemingly complex, are essential in the HR realm. This article aims to not only define commonly used HR terms but also shed light on their real-world significance and what they mean from an employee's perspective.

Our goal is not just to explain the terminology but to provide you with insights that will empower you in your work life, helping you navigate the complexities of the HR landscape with confidence and understanding.

Let's decode the HR language to help bridge the gap between HR professionals and the rest of the workforce!

Suggested: Get practical tips and expert advice for every step of the recruitment process using Qureos’ Hiring Guide for Employers & HR Professionals!

Common HR Terms that Every HR should Know

1. Onboarding

Starting with 'onboarding,' a term likely familiar to anyone who's ever been through a job interview, here’s what it means: 

HR Speak: Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into the organization.

Employee Perspective: Onboarding entails acquainting yourself with the company, its culture, and understanding one's role within the organization.

Suggested: Learn from the best onboarding practices and achieve impressive results.

2.Talent Acquisition

HR Speak: Talent acquisition is the process of identifying and recruiting qualified candidates for job vacancies.

Employee Perspective: Talent acquisition is simply how the company finds and brings in new team members.

Also Read: What does attrition mean in HR

3. Performance Appraisal

HR Speak: A performance appraisal is a structured assessment of an employee's job performance.

Employee Perspective: It's when your supervisor evaluates your work to gauge how effectively you are performing your job.

Read more: Learn all about the top HR Trends in UAE.

4. Compensation Package

HR Speak: A compensation package refers to the total monetary and non-monetary benefits an employee receives.

Employee Perspective: It encompasses all the rewards and benefits you receive from your job, including your salary, bonuses, and perks.

5. HRIS (Human Resources Information System)

HR Speak: HRIS is software used to manage HR-related tasks like payroll, attendance, and employee data.

Employee Perspective: HRIS is the digital system that keeps track of your work-related information, from your working hours to your personal details.

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6. Diversity and Inclusion

HR Speak: Diversity and inclusion aim to create a workplace that values and respects differences among employees.

Employee Perspective: It's all about fostering a workplace where everyone is treated equitably, irrespective of their individual differences.

7. 360-Degree Feedback

HR Speak: 360-degree feedback involves gathering input on an employee's performance from peers, subordinates, and supervisors.

Employee Perspective: It's when everyone you collaborate with shares their thoughts on how well you are doing in your role.

Read more: Learn more about what HR KPIs to track!

8. Benefits Enrollment

HR Speak: Benefits enrollment is the process of choosing and signing up for employee benefits like health insurance and retirement plans.

Employee Perspective: It's the window during which you decide on your health plan, retirement savings options, and other work-related benefits.

Read more: What is Total Quality Management?

9. Termination vs. Resignation

HR Speak: Termination is when the company ends an employee's job, and resignation is when the employee voluntarily leaves the job.

Employee Perspective: It's either being let go by the company or making the choice to leave your job voluntarily.

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10. EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

HR Speak: The EEOC is a U.S. government agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination.

Employee Perspective: The EEOC is the government agency that ensures everyone is treated fairly and justly in the workplace, protecting against discrimination.

Read more: What is Equity Theory?

11. Workplace Harassment

HR Speak: Workplace harassment refers to any unwelcome behavior, actions, or communication that creates a hostile or uncomfortable work environment.

Employee Perspective: It's when someone at work makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe due to their actions or words.

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12. Overtime

HR Speak: Overtime refers to the additional hours an employee works beyond their regular working hours, often with extra pay.

Employee Perspective: It's the extra time you put in at work, sometimes resulting in extra money in your paycheck.

Read more: Learn more about Merit Pay Vs. Incentive Pay

13. Remote Work / Telecommuting

HR Speak: Remote work or telecommuting is the practice of working from a location other than the traditional office, often from home or other remote locations.

Employee Perspective: It's the flexibility to work from home or anywhere else outside the office, allowing for a better work-life balance.

Suggested: Gain valuable insights into the Gen Z workforce!

14. Severance Package

HR Speak: A severance package is a set of benefits provided to an employee when they are laid off or terminated, typically including financial compensation and other assistance.

Employee Perspective: It's the support you receive when you lose your job, which can include money and help finding a new job.

15. Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

HR Speak: A PIP is a structured program that helps employees address and improve performance issues under supervision.

Employee Perspective: It's a plan your employer uses to help you get better at your job if your performance isn't meeting expectations.

Read more: Make the offboarding process smoother using our guide to employee offboarding process!

16. HR Compliance

HR Speak: HR compliance refers to the practice of ensuring that an organization's HR policies and actions align with relevant laws and regulations.

Employee Perspective: It's the company's commitment to following the rules and laws that protect your rights and ensure fair treatment at work.

17. Attrition

HR Speak: Attrition refers to the natural reduction in a company's workforce due to resignations, retirements, or other reasons without immediate replacement.

Employee Perspective: Attrition is the gradual decrease in the number of employees within a company, often occurring as people leave the organization for various reasons, without immediate hiring replacements.

Now that we have some generic HR jargon out of the way, let's now explore a few vital terms that have a significant impact on employment and policies in the Middle East:

18. Saudization:

HR Speak: Saudization is a Saudi Arabian policy encouraging the hiring of Saudi nationals in the workforce.

Employee Perspective: It's about boosting employment opportunities for Saudi citizens.

Read more: Guide to Saudization And The Nitaqat Program

19. Emiratisation:

HR Speak: Emiratisation is a policy in the UAE aimed at increasing the employment of Emirati nationals.

Employee Perspective: Similar to Saudization in Saudi Arabia, it's all about empowering Emiratis in the job market.

Read more: Learn how Emiratisation is boosting the private sector in the UAE.

20. Nitaqat

HR Speak: Nitaqat is another word used for Saudization. It is a Saudi Nationalization Program that requires companies, primarily in the private sector, to hire Saudi nationals.

Employee Perspective: It's a program promoting job opportunities for Saudi citizens, aiming to enhance their lives.

Final Thoughts

A clear grasp of HR jargon is indispensable for effective communication between HR professionals and employees. These terms, though initially bewildering, play a pivotal role in navigating the intricacies of the workplace and in ensuring that employee-employer relationships are marked by transparency and fairness. 

By bridging the divide between HR-speak and the employee perspective, we can cultivate a more informed, empowered, and inclusive work environment. So, the next time HR introduces a term, you'll be well-prepared to understand its significance and relevance to your professional journey.

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