25 HR Words (and Acronyms!) You Need to Know

Author Mike Marschke Date Oct 21 2021

Welcome to our list of commonly used high volume HR words! The world of high volume Talent Acquisition is constantly evolving, which means it can be tricky to keep up with the newest industry jargon. That’s why we’ve put together this handy-dandy High Volume Talent Acquisition Glossary so you can stay up to date with the latest HR words, terms, and acronyms used in recruiting!

Tip: Be sure to bookmark this post so you can easily reference our High Volume Talent Acquisition Glossary.


An applicant is someone who is currently applying for a job or has recently applied.

Applicant Tracking System

An Applicant Tracking System (or ATS) is a software application that Talent Acquisition teams use to manage recruitment. An ATS can manage everything from receiving job applications to hiring employees.

Background Check

An investigation that a company conducts into a candidate’s life. This may include (but is not limited to) checking for a criminal record or screening social media accounts.

Blind Screening

Blind screening is a practice used during the hiring process in which any personally identifiable information is removed from a candidate’s application to eliminate bias.


Once an applicant has been approved for the hiring funnel, they become a candidate.

Candidate Experience

Candidate experience refers to the various interactions candidates have with a company during the hiring process.

Contingent Workforce Management

Contingent Workforce Management (or CWM) refers to the hiring and management of non-permanent workers.

Culture Add

Culture add is a way of thinking within hiring that prioritizes a candidate’s potential contribution to an organization rather than their alignment with the pre-existing organizational culture.

Culture Fit

Culture fit is a way of thinking within hiring that prioritizes a candidate’s alignment with pre-existing organizational culture and values.

Employee Assistance Program

An Employee Assistance Program (or EAP) is a benefit program that assists employees with work-related or personal problems that may impact their well-being.

Employer Brand

Employer brand refers to an organization’s reputation in the eyes of job seekers.

Exempt Employee

An exempt employee is a worker who is not entitled to minimum wage or overtime compensation. Exempt employees are paid by salary rather than hourly.

Human Resources Information System

A Human Resources Information System (or HRIS) is a software application used to track data related to Human Resources, payroll, and other accounting needs.

Human Capital Management

Human Capital Management (or HCM) refers to a set of people resource management strategies applied to the following three categories: workforce acquisition, workforce management, and workforce optimization.

Job Board

A job board is a website on which Talent Acquisition teams can place ads for their job openings.

Non-exempt Employee

A non-exempt employee is a worker who is entitled to minimum wage and overtime compensation. Non-exempt employees are paid hourly rather than by salary.


Onboarding refers to the activities organizations put in place to welcome new employees and help them get acclimated to their new roles.

Purple Squirrel

A purple squirrel is a job candidate that meets all of an employer’s requirements.

Referral Incentive

A referral incentive is a cash bonus or gift given to employees who refer candidates.


Time-to-fill is a metric that tracks the average time it takes to fill a position.


Time-to-hire is a metric that tracks the time that passes between initial contact with a candidate to when the candidate accepts a job offer.

Social Recruitment

Social Recruitment is a strategy in which organizations use social media sites to advertise their open positions.


A W-9 is a form that provides taxpayer information to the person who is required to file an information return with the IRS.


A W-2 is an income tax form issued by employers.


A W-4 is a tax form employees complete to let employers know how much money to withhold from their paycheck for federal taxes.

We hope this comprehensive list of HR words is a useful tool for your day-to-day duties as a high volume Talent Acquisition professional!


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About the Author

Director, Strategic Programs

Mike Marschke

Mike Marschke is Fountain's Director of Product who has a passion for innovation and optimizing talent acquisition strategies, enhancing candidate experiences, and driving organizational growth.