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Talent Management

The Ultimate Talent Management Glossary

December 17, 2019
13 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


There are multitudes of HR and hiring industry terms, and many of them are similar with nuanced differences. However, when you consider all the subtleties in your talent management process, nuance becomes significant. To help you define and organize your company’s hiring language, we’ve compiled a glossary for all the industry terms related to talent management.


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Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an automated tracking system used by employers to manage job applications and candidates. Today’s ATS software like ClearCompany includes many features to help HR teams recruit, screen, and interview candidates.

Application Process

The series of steps between the start of the candidate application until the first interview. A – Z ^


Ban the Box

Job application questions asking if applicants have ever been convicted of a crime. Ban-the-box laws require employers to remove questions asking about criminal history. It seeks to prevent employment discrimination against individuals with criminal records. Questions that can and cannot be asked varies by state. A – Z ^


Candidate Experience

With a focus on the candidate, how candidates feel beginning at the sight of a job opening to comfortably hold the position they were hired for.

Collaborative Recruiting

The cooperative involvement of team members in the hiring process to increase job applicants and reduce employee turnover rate. Pairs or groups of team members with different skills usually present themselves to applicants, commonly seen at career fairs. A – Z ^


Depends on Experience/Qualifications (DOE/DOQ)

Criteria based on the previous experience and qualifications of the applicant that helps determine the wage/salary.

Digital Onboarding

An onboarding process where most onboarding forms are done digitally (e.g. PDFs, emails, and other digital files/documents), usually in an effort to reduce office material costs, streamline hiring with e-documents beforehand, and improve the employee onboarding experience. A – Z ^


Employee Development Plan

An individualized plan for employees to learn and develop skills for their current or prospective job roles and responsibilities within an organization.

Employee Engagement

The combination of passion employees feel about their job, the level of commitment towards the organization, and the number of effort employees put into their work.

Employee Goal Setting

The goals employees should accomplish in order to maintain performance and help the company achieve its objectives. They should also increase productivity, boost employee communication, create managerial accountability, and challenge employees. These are usually set and assisted by managers after employee reviews, at the beginning of the year, or during a project-planning phase.

Employee Onboarding Experience

A new employee’s perspective during the onboarding process that considers the amount of time to transition into the role and the company, the quality of work performed by the employee during onboarding, and the satisfaction and stress of the employee throughout the process.

Employee Onboarding

The process by which new employees learn about their position and company, obtain skills in order to complete tasks necessary for the role, and become an effective member of the team.

Employee Referral Program (ERP)

An internal sourcing method to find qualified candidates through referrals by current employees. Programs typically offer a reward or incentive for current employees to provide referrals that result in a hire.

Employee Retention

A company’s ability to retain its employees. This may include a company’s specific efforts to retain employees.

Employee socialization

Where new employees transition into the company culture, interact with co-workers and managers, and take on roles and responsibilities in their position with others.

Employee Turnover

The number of people who leave an organization and are replaced within a certain amount of time. This usually helps determine employee costs.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Compliant

Federal laws compliance that makes it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.

Employee Turnover

The number of people who leave an organization and are replaced within a certain amount of time. This usually helps determine employee costs. A – Z ^


Fixed-Term Contract

Contract-based relationship for an employee who works for a company for a specified period of time or other special agreement.

Full-Time Equivalent

The measurement, usually in hours worked by an employee on a full-time basis. This is typically used to convert the work of part-time employees to view their work on a full-time basis. A – Z ^


HCM (Human Capital Management)

The strategic set of practices for managing an organization’s workforce. This is usually set apart from other functions of the organization in order to identify if the workforce is being utilized effectively.

Hiring Process

With a focus on the employer, the process beginning when an employer receives an application, screens, selects, and tests candidates to interview, and obtains necessary information about the candidate until the candidate is legally working with completed forms filed/stored. A – Z ^


Job Requisition

The formal document managers complete to request a new employee or position in order to replace a past employee or assist in the completion of work. A – Z ^


Offer Letter

A formal document to a job candidate offering a job position from the employer.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Compliance

Businesses working with contractors and subcontractors are responsible for complying with the legal requirement to take affirmative action and not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discharging or otherwise discriminating against applicants or employees who inquire about, discuss or disclose their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations.


The process for new employees transitioning into a new role, receiving training, obtaining skills and knowledge for the role, completing the tasks and duties of the position, and becoming familiarized with the position and organization.

Onboarding Goals

Pre-determined goals to measure the effectiveness of the onboarding process. These are usually focused on improving the employee onboarding experience.

Onboarding Plan

The process for new employees transitioning into a new role, receiving training, obtaining skills and knowledge for the role, completing the tasks and duties of the position, and becoming familiarized with the position and organization.

Onboarding Process

The process when new employees begin a new position, receive and complete training, obtain skills and knowledge, and complete duties efficiently and effectively enough to fulfill the position standards.

Onboarding System

An onboarding system refers to the tools and/or software your company uses to onboard new employees. Onboarding systems provide tools that streamline and standardize onboarding processes for HR teams and new employees. Onboarding systems like ClearCompany integrate with your other software tools for seamless integration of payroll, benefits administration, background checks, and more.

Onboarding Templates

Replicable guides used to simplify the creation of an onboarding process.

Organizational Goals

Strategic objectives the company should accomplish, usually by the end of the year. They’re meant to support the vision and mission of the company, and they are attained through the company’s activities and efforts. A – Z ^


Paperless Onboarding

A digital onboarding process without the use of paper, staplers, pens, and other office materials in an effort to save on costs and improve the employee onboarding experience.

Passive Candidate

A candidate who is not actively seeking a new job.

Performance Appraisal System

Performance appraisal system refers to your company’s method for evaluating employee performance and analyzing trends in performance. The performance appraisal system also includes actions taken as a result of performance data findings.

Performance Assessment

Assesses an employee's skills, achievements, and growth, and identifies any deficiencies.

Performance Evaluation

Evaluates an employee's skills, achievements, and growth and addresses how or why an employee may have fallen short.

Performance Gap

The discrepancy between a goal that’s set and what an employee achieves; the difference between expected performance and actual performance.

Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

A formal document designed to identify issues with an individual’s past performance and set achievable improvement goals for the employee to realign with company expectations. A PIP allows an underperforming employee to improve along a set timeline without facing immediate consequences.

Performance Management

A process that provides feedback, accountability, and documentation for performance outcomes. It enables employees to channel their skills toward company goals.

Performance Management Software

Software that helps companies better understand their employees’ performance and productivity. It allows leadership and managers to easily track, analyze and evaluate workers, ensuring goals are met or trending issues are addressed preemptively.

Performance Measurement

The process of collecting, analyzing, and/or reporting information regarding the performance of an individual, team, or company.

Performance Metrics

Quantitative measurements on employee performance used to see how well they are on track with their performance management plan, goals, and tasks.

Performance Monitoring Plan

A tool designed to help an individual set up and manage the process of monitoring, analyzing, evaluating, and reporting progress toward achieving objectives.

Performance Review

Face-to-face employee reviews on performance, usually covering a year’s worth of work. These are typically conducted at the end of the year, from the date of the employee’s hiring, or on a set frequency (e.g. six-month review, annual review, etc.)

Pre-hire Onboarding/Pre-boarding

The preparation between a candidate’s acceptance of an offer and their first day at the company. Company policies required forms and documents, and other necessary information is completed/communicated with the employee during this time.

Professional Development

Career growth through experience, obtaining new knowledge, and developing skills. Employees develop through courses, academic degrees, projects, research, and other learning opportunities. A – Z ^


Recruitment Management System (RMS)

A set of tools (usually software) to manage and automate an organization’s recruiting and staffing processes.

Recruiting Software

Software that focuses on the recruitment process, which includes posting job openings, screening candidates, and selecting appropriate talent for the positions. A – Z ^



an evaluation performed by an individual where they reflect on and assess their own performance. Self-assessments are meant to be an opportunity for internal reflection.

Stay Interview

An interview designed to examine why employees continue to work for the company. Stay interviews may also be used to identify why employees may want to leave. A – Z ^


Talent Acquisition

The process of finding skilled workers and acquiring them into the organization as human capital.

Talent Management System (TMS)

A set of tools (usually software) to manage the organization’s recruitment processes, employee performance, and development, and retain employees.

Talent Management

Attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining high-performing employees which includes the onboarding process.

Talent Pool

A place or database where human resources and recruiters store all their job candidates for available job openings. A – Z ^


Workforce Management (WFM)

The set of the process an organization uses to manage the productivity of its employees through forecasting, employee scheduling, reports, etc. A – Z ^


360-Degree Feedback

360-degree feedback is feedback collected from peers, supervisors, direct reports, and other colleagues. 360-degree feedback creates a more complete understanding of employee performance and contributes to fair performance reviews. A – Z ^

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