Human Resource Glossary for HR Terms

HR Glossary

Explore our comprehensive glossary of human resource (HR) terms, designed to provide clarity for HR professionals in Nigeria and worldwide. Feel free to utilize and share this valuable resource. If you have any suggestions for terms we may have missed, don't hesitate to contact us. We're always updating to ensure the most relevant content.


A person, who submits the necessary recruitment materials to a company, such as a curriculum vitae, letter of cover, expression of interest or application form. Certain standards clearly defined by the employer need to be met by the applicant.

A tracking system for applicants (ATS) is a type of recruitment software that helps streamline an organization’s hiring process from start to finish. It typically handles tasks such as uploading job openings for several jobs boards, storing data from applicants and screening applications. An ATS may also enable recruiters to remark on applicants in a single database so that everyone participating in the recruitment process can easily work together

A standard form for prospective new hires that makes comparing applicants more straightforward. Usually gathered together with a resume and/or cover letter.

Apprenticeships are training practices in which rookies work closely with an expert so that they can acquire the required experience to achieve success in a particular industry or skills set. Internships are the white collar and professional equivalents of apprenticeships

Human Resources has a section where you may set up employee availability. For the production of schedules, Availability aligns perfectly with the Scheduling application. When precise employee availability is available, the Scheduling application may take the information in the system and generate a detailed schedule with a single click. The organization’s work hours and work standards relevant to that location, and the employee’s given readiness, are used to determine availability.

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The background check, also known as pre-employment checks or bckground verification, frequently entails checking criminal records, confirmed prior addresses, individual and career reference checks, drug checks, checking for bankruptcy and appraisal of behavior.

A process before employability to assure organizations that they hire reliable, reasonable persons who are able to do the necessary work. This screening is necessary since terminating an employee is harder than ending the recruiting process.

A tool to plan and facilitate internal business operations, profitability, customer relationship and self–advocacy. It compares stated objectives with real outcomes and links the business operations to a wider mission statement and objectives. Dr. David Norton and Dr. Robert Kaplan introduced the balanced scorecard in the 1990s and since then it has been updated several times over.

The basic wage, also known as basic wage, is the amount of money routinely earned by an employee prior to any add-ons or deductions to his wages. Additions to the basic wage may have a major effect on the size of an employee’s paycheck. The adjustments may include additional bonuses or deductions for the healthcare premiums of the employee

Behavioral-based interview questions are a sort of inquiry used by interviewers to learn more about a job candidate’s background. Interviewers ask candidates for examples from their prior experience that exemplify the attributes the position demands, rather than asking yes/no questions about the competencies specified on the job advertising

While benefits aren’t the main factor in attracting and retaining top talent, Benefits include any extra advantages that encourage employees to work a little bit harder to achieve objectives, foster a feeling of community, and increase employee happiness. An espresso machine in the tea room, a staff-only gym, savings on business items, or daily morning tea given by the company are all examples of this. Small bonuses can go a long way toward motivating employees. The benefits are based on monetary awards and are designed to promote your organisation as a desirable employer.

Part-timefull-time, and casual employees, as well as third-party contractors and employees on fixed-term contracts, make up the corporate workforce.

While the term “white-collar” was coined because office workers were more likely to wear suits and thus white shirts, blue-collar workers are known for wearing heavy-duty overalls that are mostly colored blue to hide dirt. In contrast to ‘white collar jobs,’ which are largely office-based, most ‘blue collar jobs’ include a high level of physical activity or manual labor.

Extra compensation given to an employee for meeting specific performance targets or indicators, either individually or as a group. Paid on top of the regular salary. The employee’s bonus is frequently included in their salary. It’s a token of the company’s gratitude to its employees

The act of developing values and target markets around a company, product, or service is known as branding. If a company’s branding is successful, potential clients will link it with the ideals they want to promote. Brands must be updated throughout time or they will lose their resonance with current and potential customers.

What exactly is a “breach of contract”? A contract of employment is an agreement between you and your employer that is legally binding. When either you or your employer violates one of the provisions of the contract, such as when your employer fails to pay your salary or you fail to work the agreed-upon hours, this is known as a breach of contract.

The HR budget refers to cash allocated by HR to all HR processes within the organization. Funds for hiring, salarybenefitstalent managementtraining, succession planning, worker engagement, and employee wellness planning will all be included in the HR budget.

When a business decides to allow or compel workers to use personal devices for work-related tasks, this is known as a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. BYOD rules can range from allowing employees to use remote tools on their own phones to mandating employees to bring their own laptop or computer to work.


career path is a list of milestones in your career to progress to various or higher responsibilities in the workplace. They are a number of occupations and experiences which assist people achieve their ultimate career goals and future aspirations. Employers also profit from employees who are more committed to their job and to long-term business relationships. This not only promotes employee morality, it also enhances employee productivity

code of conduct establishes how a company’s personnel should conduct themselves on a daily basis. It encapsulates the company’s everyday activities, essential beliefs, and general culture. A deep understanding of the organization, its culture, and its goals is required when writing a superb code of conduct.

In exchange for the services, compensation refers to the payment of an employee. The level of remuneration offered depends on a variety of criteria, which include wages paid for similar tasks by similar organizations, the skills of the employee and productivity, and the financial strength that the company currently forecasts.

A legally binding contract that bans the employee from talking to anybody else about commercial confidence or any other sensitive information. This can be defined as those outside the company, but can also mean that no information is disclosed to others; (such as in the case of a workers compensation settlement or disciplinary action).

This occurs when an employee leaves on ostensibly voluntary terms as a result of a hostile environment or terrible working conditions. These are called discharge, discharge and termination because, although the separation is consensual, it is actually unintentional.

The basic abilities and credentials that an employee needs to play a role successfully. This also concerns the key strengths of the company, which distinguish it from competitors in the industry. Those of the employees are the fundamental competencies of the company.

It’s a term used to describe an organization’s working environment. HR departments frequently strive to build a healthy corporate culture, and Digital HRMS is meant to assist HR departments in this endeavour.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business strategy that enables a firm to be socially responsible to its employees, community, and stakeholders. This business model aims to make a beneficial impact on society, the economy, and the environment. Companies may alter their business to practice corporate social responsibility

cover letter is a one-page document that summarizes a job seeker’s employment experience, professional qualifications, and personal motivation for applying for a position. A cover letter’s main aim is to supplement the content of your resume.

Job applicants provide a CV, which is comparable to a resume, in which they outline their knowledge, experience, abilities, and other pertinent information for the recruitment staff to review. A CV is often longer than a resume and includes educational history, major career achievements, and any other information relevant to the employment. In more professional, white-collar industries, this is frequently utilized.


A standard procedure followed by management or a company to deal with violations of employee contracts or enterprise agreements. This gives managers with clear direction, business protection, and employee clarity.

These are expressions that signal a company’s intention to downsize its workforce and lay off people. It’s also known as a layoff. Downsizing affects not just the employees who must leave the company, but also the remaining employees who may fear being in a similar scenario in the future.

Dress codes are used to communicate to employees what is considered proper work wear by the organization. An employer’s dress code or appearance policy helps them to set expectations for the image they want to project. Dress codes might be formal or relaxed, and uniforms may be required.


Daniel Goleman, a psychologist, popularized the concept of emotional intelligence in the workplace with his book Emotional Intelligence, which was published in 1995. A standardized exam that provides an emotional quotient, or EQ, can be used to determine an individual’s level of emotional intelligence (as opposed to IQ, which refers to cognitive intelligence).

Anyone who performs services for an individual or company (employer) under Common Law, where the employer has authority over what is done and how it is done. This is true even if the person is given complete autonomy.

Employee experience refers to how employees absorb and understand their contacts with their company, as well as the context in which such interactions take place.

Employee management software refers to systems and applications that are designed to help you manage your employees, rosters, and pay more efficiently. In essence, it will be in charge of all human resources and workplace administration. The ideal personnel management software will be able to automate the complete employee lifecycle, including job postings, candidate evaluations, roster creation, time and attendance calculations, and payroll.

The quantity or proportion of employees that leave an organization and are replaced by new employees is referred to as employee turnover. The rate at which an employer loses employees is referred to as turnover, staff turnover, or labor turnover in the context of human resource management. It denotes the average length of stay for employees.

Employee engagement, in general, is a workplace strategy aimed at improving an employee’s feelings and emotional attachment to the firm, their job responsibilities, their position within the company, their coworkers, and the company culture.

Business management software is a collection of connected programs that manages a variety of data sets across an organization. Sales data, financial and human resource activities, corporate governance analysis, and marketing data are all examples of this. Because this is frequently deployed locally on enterprise IT systems, SaaS and cloud-based applications are becoming increasingly popular.

Expatriates are employees who are sent to work for extended periods of time in another country. Employees deployed to set up a new office or senior managers dispatched to manage or establish a new site are examples of this. Expat communities are self-contained groups of expatriates who meet, socialize, and live in either a formal (gated communities) or informal (frequent meet-ups) context.


Regular assessments, positive feedback, improvement plans, and informal discussions between supervisors and employees about job goals and as-needed assistance concerning duties and responsibilities are all aimed to measure employee job performance.

The definition of full-time hours is a legal classification that establishes a reasonable norm for working hours and specifies the maximum number of hours that hourly workers can work in a week before becoming eligible for overtime pay. Employees who work full-time hours are often entitled to additional perks


Aims or objectives that can be specific and measurable or broad enough to identify the overall direction in which the company wants to go. These objectives could include hopes for more diversity in a team through recruitment and hiring, corporate social responsibility objectives, or any other business objectives. Business initiatives or benchmarking programs are generally more rigid and iterative.

The phrase “grey-collar worker” refers to the non-white and blue-collar workers who make up the majority of the workforce. Grey-collar is a term that is sometimes used to characterize elderly people who are working past retirement age, as well as vocations that combine characteristics of both blue- and white-collar employment.

Gross income is the total amount of money earned by a company, employee, or contractor during a period of time. Gross income is usually calculated over a year, but businesses often report it quarterly. Gross income is the revenue from all sources minus the cost of items sold for a corporation (COGS).

Gross misconduct refers to any unethical or unprofessional activity on the part of an employee. Gross misconduct can not only impair a person’s relationship with their employer, but it can also result in immediate dismissal from their job—even if it is their first violation.


Software systems used to manage HR-related tasks, including payroll, benefits administration, and employee records

Educational programs designed to prevent and address workplace harassment, discrimination, and hostile work environments

Legal standards and requirements that employers must follow to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for employees

A comprehensive review and assessment of HR policies, procedures, and practices to ensure legal compliance and best practices.

Recruiting strategy focused on identifying and attracting top talent from competitors or specific industries for key positions.


Orientation and training for new employees to familiarize them with the company, culture, policies, and expectations.

A self-employed individual or business entity hired by a company to provide services on a contract basis, typically without employee benefits or tax withholding.

Opportunities for employees to move within the organization to different roles, departments, or locations as part of their career development.

A structured program that provides students or recent graduates with hands-on work experience, mentorship, and exposure to a specific industry or career field.

A group of individuals, including hiring managers, HR representatives, and team members, who conduct interviews and evaluate candidates for a job opening.


The process of examining and documenting the responsibilities, tasks, skills, qualifications, and requirements of a specific job or role within an organization.

A written document that outlines the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations for a particular job or position within an organization.

The process of assessing and assigning a relative value or worth to different jobs within an organization based on factors such as complexity, skills, responsibilities, and market value.

The level of contentment, fulfillment, and happiness that employees experience in their jobs, often influenced by factors such as work environment, tasks, and relationships.

A practice that involves moving employees through different roles or departments within an organization to broaden their skills, knowledge, and experiences.


Quantifiable metrics used to evaluate and measure the performance, progress, and success of individuals, teams, or projects against specific goals or objectives.

The process of transferring knowledge, skills, and expertise from one individual or group to another within an organization, often during transitions, training, or mentorship.

The combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities required for a particular job or role, often used in job descriptions, assessments, and evaluations.

A Japanese term meaning "continuous improvement," referring to a philosophy and approach focused on making incremental, ongoing improvements in processes, systems, and practices.


The temporary or permanent termination of employment for employees due to reasons such as economic downturns, restructuring, or changes in business priorities.

Software or platforms used to deliver, manage, and track employee training, development programs, courses, and certifications.

The interactions, negotiations, and agreements between management and labor unions or employee representatives regarding wages, benefits, working conditions, and grievances.

Programs and initiatives designed to cultivate and enhance leadership skills, qualities, and capabilities among managers and future leaders.


Formalized relationships between experienced employees (mentors) and less experienced employees (mentees) to provide guidance, support, and career development.

Job-protected leave granted to employees following the birth or adoption of a child, often including paid or unpaid time off.

Compensation systems that reward employees based on their individual performance, contributions, and achievements.

Organizational plans and initiatives related to employee mobility, including relocation, remote work, and global assignments.


The process of identifying and evaluating organizational needs, gaps, and opportunities for improvement, particularly related to talent, skills, and resources.

Legal contracts that protect confidential information and trade secrets shared between parties, often used in employment agreements.

Building and maintaining professional relationships and connections within and outside the organization to exchange information, resources, and opportunities.

The ability to effectively communicate, persuade, and reach mutually beneficial agreements in business transactions, contracts, and discussions.

Contracts that restrict employees from working for competitors or starting similar businesses for a specified period after leaving the company.


The process of integrating and acclimating new employees into the organization, including orientation, training, and socialization.

The shared values, beliefs, norms, and behaviors that shape the work environment and employee interactions within a company.

Support and resources provided to employees who are laid off or terminated, including career counseling, resume writing, and job search assistance.

Policies, practices, and regulations designed to promote and protect the health, safety, and well-being of employees in the workplace.

A management approach that encourages employees to communicate openly with leaders, share feedback, and address concerns without fear of reprisal or retaliation.


The process of setting goals, providing feedback, evaluating performance, and developing employees to improve productivity and achieve organizational objectives.

The management of employee salaries, wages, bonuses, deductions, and taxes, including payroll processing and recordkeeping.

Retirement savings plans funded by employers to provide income for employees after they retire, often supplemented by employee contributions.

A trial period during which new employees' performance and suitability for the job are evaluated before confirming permanent employment status.

Assessments used to measure individuals' cognitive abilities, personality traits, skills, and potential for job performance.


Information that describes qualities, characteristics, opinions, and subjective aspects related to individuals, teams, or processes, often collected through interviews, surveys, or observations.

Numerical data and metrics that can be measured, counted, or expressed in numerical terms, providing objective insights and analysis of performance, trends, and outcomes.

The effectiveness and impact of new hires on organizational performance, culture, and success, often measured by factors such as productivity, retention, and contribution.

The rate at which employees voluntarily leave a company, often used as an indicator of job satisfaction, engagement, and organizational health.