Hiring Manager's Glossary

TeamTrait presents this comprehensive glossary of definitions for terms related to hiring, onboarding, developing, and retaining talent, as well as other essential management concepts.

  • 360-​Degree Feedback: A comprehensive feedback process where an employee receives confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them.
  • 9‑box model: A talent management tool used to assess employees' current performance and potential for future growth. It categorizes employees into nine different boxes based on their performance (low, medium, high) and potential (low, medium, high), helping organizations identify high performers, potential leaders, and areas needing development.
  • Absence Management: The process of managing employee absences to minimize the impact on productivity.
  • Absenteeism: The habitual non-​presence of an employee at their job.
  • Absolute Commission Plan: An absolute commission plan is a compensation structure where sales employees earn a fixed amount of commission for each sale, regardless of the size or value of the sale. This plan provides simplicity and predictability in commission calculations, making it easy for sales employees to understand their earnings.
  • Accelerators: Increased commission rates that kick in once a sales employee exceeds their quota, designed to reward and incentivize top performers. This motivates employees to continue selling even after reaching their initial targets.
  • Accommodations:  Adjustments or modifications provided by an employer to enable employees with disabilities to perform their job duties effectively. These can include changes to the work environment, adjustments in work schedules, provision of assistive devices, or other supports that help ensure equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
  • Acquisition: The process of acquiring another company to build on strengths or weaknesses of the acquiring company.
  • Active Listening: Fully concentrating, understanding, responding, and remembering what is being said in conversations.
  • Audition: A hiring process where candidates are given a temporary assignment or project to complete, allowing the employer to assess their skills, performance, and cultural fit in a real-​world work environment. This method provides both the employer and the candidate with a practical experience of what the job entails before making a long-​term employment commitment.
  • Adverse Action: An action taken to discipline or terminate an employee based on their performance or behavior.
  • Adverse Impact: When a seemingly neutral employment practice disproportionately affects a protected group.
  • Affirmative Action: Policies that support members of disadvantaged groups that have previously suffered discrimination.
  • Affirmative Action Plan (AAP): A document that outlines an organization's policies and procedures to ensure equal employment opportunities.
  • Agile HR: An approach that applies Agile methodologies to HR practices, promoting flexibility and quick adaptation to changes.
  • Ageism: Discrimination or prejudice against individuals based on their age, typically targeting older employees. This can manifest in various ways, such as biased hiring practices, lack of professional development opportunities, exclusion from work-​related activities, or unfair dismissal, negatively impacting the affected individuals' careers and well-being.
  • American Disabilities Act (ADA): a federal law enacted in 1990 that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including employment, education, transportation, and access to public and private spaces. The ADA ensures that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, promoting equal participation and accessibility.
  • Applicant Flow Log: A record of the number of applications received, interviews conducted, and hires made during a specific period.
  • Applicant Pool: The total number of applicants applying for a particular job vacancy.
  • Applicant Screening: The process of reviewing job applications to determine which candidates meet the minimum qualifications.
  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS): A software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): The simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.
  • Assessment: The evaluation or estimation of the nature, quality, or ability of someone or something.
  • Assessment Center: A process where candidates are assessed to determine their suitability for specific types of employment. TeamTrait is a good option for assessing candidates fit, mindset and likely behavior.
  • Association for Talent Development (ATD): The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization that supports those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. ATD provides resources, research, education, and certification programs to help talent development professionals improve performance and advance their careers.
  • Attrition: The gradual reduction of a workforce by employees leaving and not being replaced.
  • Attrition Rate: The rate at which employees leave a workforce over a set period.
  • Background Check: The process of verifying information about a candidate's past to ensure they are suitable for employment.
  • Balanced Scorecard: A strategic planning and management system used to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization.
  • Base Pay: The fundamental compensation an employee receives, excluding benefits, bonuses, or other incentives.
  • Base Salary: The fixed amount of money paid to a sales employee on a regular basis, regardless of their sales performance. It provides financial stability and is typically paid bi-​weekly or monthly.
  • Behavioral Analysis: The systematic study and evaluation of individuals' actions, reactions, and interactions to understand and predict behavior. This approach is used in various contexts, including psychology and human resources, to improve personal development, enhance team dynamics, and inform decision-​making processes.
  • Behavioral Analyst: A professional who applies principles of behavioral science to assess and modify behaviors, often working with individuals to improve social, educational, or occupational outcomes. They use techniques such as observation, data analysis, and intervention strategies to understand and influence behavior patterns.
  • Behavioral Competencies: The attributes, traits, and behaviors that contribute to an individual's ability to perform their job.
  • Behavioral Event Interview (BEI): An interview technique that asks candidates to describe specific situations they have encountered and how they handled them.
  • Behavioral Interview: An interview technique that assesses a candidate's past behavior to predict future performance.
  • Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): A performance appraisal method that combines elements of traditional rating scales and critical incidents methods.
  • Benchmarking: Comparing an organization's practices, processes, and outcomes to industry standards or best practices.
  • Benefits: Non-​wage compensation provided to employees, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.
  • Best Practices: Commercial or professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being most effective.
  • Bias: Prejudice in favor or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, often in a way considered to be unfair.
  • Big 5: The Big 5, also known as the Five Factor Model (FFM) or OCEAN, is a personality assessment that evaluates five broad dimensions of personality: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. This model provides a comprehensive overview of an individual's personality traits, helping predict behavior and compatibility in various settings.
  • Blind Recruitment: The practice of anonymizing candidate information to reduce bias in the hiring process.
  • Blended Learning: A training approach that combines online digital media with traditional in-​person methods.
  • Blended Workforce: A combination of full-​time, part-​time, temporary, freelance, and contract employees.
  • Boilerplate: Standardized text that can be reused in various documents without significant alteration.
  • Bonus: A lump-​sum payment awarded to employees for achieving specific goals or milestones, such as exceeding targets, bringing in new clients, or completing a successful project. Bonuses can be a significant part of total compensation and drive performance.
  • Book of Business: A book of business refers to the portfolio of clients, accounts, and ongoing business relationships managed by a sales employee. This collection of business is a key asset, often representing a significant portion of the sales employee's value to the organization and a basis for their commission and bonuses.
  • Brinkmanship: A strategy in which parties push dangerous events or confrontations to the brink of disaster in order to achieve the most advantageous outcome. It involves taking significant risks and showing a willingness to go to extreme measures, often in political or diplomatic negotiations, to force the opposing side to concede.
  • Broadbanding: A pay structure that consolidates a large number of pay grades into a few "broad bands."
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): A policy that allows employees to use their personal devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, for work purposes. This approach can increase flexibility and productivity, but it also requires careful management of security and data protection to ensure company information remains secure.
  • Burning Platform: A situation that necessitates immediate and drastic action due to an urgent and critical threat to the organization. The term is often used to describe a scenario where the need for change is so compelling that it motivates employees and leaders to take bold steps to address the crisis and implement significant changes.
  • Burnout: Physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.
  • Burnout Prevention: Strategies and practices to prevent employee burnout, which can include workload management, stress relief activities, and mental health support.
  • Business Continuity Planning (BCP): The process of creating systems of prevention and recovery to deal with potential threats to a company.
  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO): Contracting of non-​primary business activities and functions to a third-​party provider.
  • Cafeteria Benefits Plan: A benefits plan that allows employees to choose from a variety of pre-​tax benefit options.
  • Cafeteria Plan: A type of employee benefit plan that allows employees to choose from a variety of pre-​tax benefits.
  • Candidate Experience: The perception a job seeker has about an employer based on their interactions during the hiring process.
  • Candidate Pipeline: A pool of potential candidates who are qualified and interested in future job openings.
  • Candidate Sourcing: The process of finding and attracting potential candidates for job openings.
  • Career Coaching: A partnership between a coach and an employee aimed at helping the employee achieve their career goals.
  • Career Development: The lifelong process of managing learning, work, and transitions to achieve personal goals.
  • Career Ladder: A structured sequence of job positions through which an employee progresses in an organization.
  • Career Pathing: The process of planning an employee's career trajectory within an organization.
  • Career Transition: The process of moving from one career or job to another.
  • Case Management: A collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's health needs.
  • Casual Employment: Employment that is not regular or permanent and typically does not include benefits.
  • Change Agent: An individual within an organization who promotes and supports new ways of working.
  • Change Management: The approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations to a desired future state.
  • Chief Diversity Officer (CDO): A senior executive responsible for overseeing an organization's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
  • Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO): The highest-​ranking HR executive responsible for overseeing all aspects of HR management.
  • Chief People Officer (CPO): A senior executive responsible for managing an organization's human capital and ensuring employee satisfaction.
  • Clawback: The repayment of previously earned commissions or bonuses if certain conditions are not met, such as a client canceling a contract or failing to pay. Clawbacks protect the company from financial losses due to unfulfilled agreements.
  • Climate Survey: A tool used to assess the employees' perceptions of their work environment.
  • Coaching: Professional coaching is a structured, goal-​oriented process where a trained coach or manager works with individuals to enhance their personal and professional development. Through one-​on-​one sessions, the coach helps clients identify their strengths, set objectives, develop strategies, and overcome obstacles, ultimately aiming to improve their performance, skills, and career satisfaction.
  • Cognitive Diversity: Inclusion of people with different ways of thinking, viewpoints, and skill sets.
  • Collaborative Leadership: A leadership style that encourages working together and sharing responsibility and decision-making.
  • Collaborative Learning: An educational approach involving joint intellectual effort by students or workers.
  • Collective Bargaining: The process by which employers and a group of employees negotiate terms and conditions of employment.
  • Commuter Benefits: Employer-​provided programs that help employees reduce the cost of commuting to work.
  • Company Culture: The beliefs, values, and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact.
  • Commission: A variable component of sales compensation that is earned based on the sales made by the employee. It incentivizes employees to maximize their sales efforts and directly links their earnings to their performance.
  • Commission Rate: The percentage or fixed amount of sales revenue that a sales employee earns as commission. Commission rates can vary based on product type, sales volume, and individual or team performance.
  • Compensation: The money received by an employee from an employer as a salary or wages.
  • Compensatory Time Off (Comp Time): Time off given to an employee instead of overtime pay.
  • Competency-​Based Pay: A compensation system that rewards employees based on their job-​related skills, knowledge, and behaviors.
  • Competency Framework: A structure that defines the skills, knowledge, and behaviors required to perform a job effectively.
  • Competency Mapping: Identifying the specific skills, knowledge, and behaviors required to perform a job.
  • Communication Charter: A set of agreed-​upon guidelines and standards for communication within an organization or team. It defines the expectations, preferred channels, frequency, and tone of communication to ensure clarity, efficiency, and mutual respect, thereby improving overall collaboration and productivity.
  • Compliance: Adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines, and specifications relevant to business operations.
  • Compliance Training: Training that ensures employees understand and adhere to laws, regulations, and company policies.
  • Conflict Management: The practice of identifying and handling conflicts in a rational, balanced, and effective way.
  • Conflict of Interest: A situation where an individual's personal interests conflict with their professional duties.
  • Conflict Resolution: The process of resolving a dispute or conflict by meeting at least some of each side's needs.
  • Confidentiality Agreement: A legal contract between two or more parties that outlines the information that must be kept confidential and not disclosed to third parties.
  • Constructive Dismissal: When an employee resigns due to an employer's behavior which breaches their contract.
  • Constructive Feedback: Feedback given to an employee that is intended to help them improve their performance.
  • Contingency Recruitment: Recruitment firms are paid only when the candidate is successfully placed.
  • Contingent Workforce: Workers who are not permanent employees, such as freelancers, contractors, or temporary staff.
  • Continuous Feedback: Regular and ongoing feedback provided to employees about their performance and development.
  • Continuous Learning: Ongoing efforts to enhance employees' skills and knowledge.
  • Corporate Governance: The system of rules, practices, and processes by which a company is directed and controlled.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): A company's commitment to manage the social, environmental, and economic effects of its operations responsibly.
  • Cost of Labor: The total sum of wages, benefits, and taxes paid by employers for employees.
  • Cost of Turnover: The total cost associated with losing an employee and hiring a replacement.
  • Cost Per Hire (CPH): The total cost invested in hiring a new employee or a measure of the cost effectiveness of the recruitment process.
  • Co-​working Space: A flexible work environment, also known as shared office space, where individuals from different companies or organizations work in a common area. These spaces offer amenities like desks, meeting rooms, internet access, and other office facilities, promoting collaboration, networking, and cost savings for businesses and remote workers.
  • Critical Incident Technique: A method used to collect and analyze events that significantly contribute to an employee's success or failure.
  • Critical Success Factors (CSFs): Key areas where satisfactory results will ensure successful performance for the organization.
  • Critical Talent: Employees who possess essential skills, knowledge, and abilities that are crucial to an organization's success.
  • Cross-​Functional Team: A group of people with different functional expertise working toward a common goal.
  • Cross-​Training: Training employees to perform tasks outside of their usual roles.
  • Culture Fit: How well a candidate's attitudes, values, and beliefs align with the organization's culture.
  • Data Analytics: The process of examining data sets to draw conclusions about the information they contain.
  • Data-​Driven HR: The use of data, metrics, and analytics to inform HR decision-making.
  • Decelerators: Decelerators are a commission structure where the commission rate decreases once a sales employee reaches a certain level of sales. This is used to control costs and discourage excessive discounting or over-​selling, ensuring sustainable and profitable sales practices.
  • Deferred Compensation: Arrangement in which a portion of an employee's income is paid out at a later date, typically to provide tax benefits or retirement savings. This can include plans like pensions, 401(k)s, or stock options, allowing employees to delay receiving part of their earnings until they retire or leave the company.
  • DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion): Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is an organizational framework that promotes the representation and participation of diverse groups of people, including different races, genders, abilities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. DEI initiatives aim to create fair treatment, access, opportunities, and advancement for all employees while fostering a culture of respect, belonging, and collaboration.
  • Developmental Assignment: A temporary role or project that helps an employee develop new skills.
  • Digital HR: The use of digital tools and technology to manage human resources functions.
  • Digital Nomading: A lifestyle in which individuals leverage technology to work remotely while traveling or living in various locations. This approach allows people to maintain their professional responsibilities and income without being tied to a specific geographic location, offering flexibility and the opportunity to explore different cultures and environments.
  • Digital Onboarding: The process of integrating new employees into the company using digital tools and platforms.
  • Digital Transformation: The integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how it operates and delivers value to customers.
  • Direct Report: An employee who reports directly to a specific manager.
  • Disability Inclusion: Practices that ensure people with disabilities have equal opportunities within the workplace.
  • DISC: An assessment tool that categorizes individuals into four primary behavioral styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. It helps individuals and teams understand their behavioral tendencies, improve communication, and enhance workplace dynamics by recognizing different interaction styles.
  • Disciplinary Action: Steps taken by an employer to correct an employee's behavior or performance.
  • Disciplinary Procedure: A formal process for dealing with employee misconduct.
  • Distance Learning: An educational process where students receive instruction and coursework remotely, often via the internet, rather than attending classes in person. This mode of learning offers flexibility and accessibility, allowing students to study from any location and often at their own pace.
  • Diversity and Inclusion (D&I): Policies and programs that promote the representation and participation of different groups of individuals.
  • Diversity Metrics: Measurements used to track diversity within an organization.
  • Diversity Training: Programs designed to facilitate positive intergroup interaction and reduce discrimination.
  • Downsizing: The process of reducing the number of employees to improve efficiency or reduce costs.
  • Draw Against Commission: An advance on future commission earnings that provides sales employees with a guaranteed minimum income, which is later deducted from their commission payouts. This helps sales employees manage their cash flow, especially during periods of low sales.
  • EEOC-​Compliant: Practices, policies, and procedures that adhere to the guidelines and regulations set forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This compliance ensures that an organization does not engage in discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information in its hiring, promotion, and employment practices.
  • Employee Advocacy: HR's role in representing and protecting employees' interests within the organization.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Employer-​sponsored programs designed to help employees resolve personal issues that may be affecting their performance, health, and well-​being. EAPs typically offer confidential counseling, support services, and resources for issues such as stress, mental health, substance abuse, and family or financial problems.
  • Employee Branding: The practice of creating an image of the organization as a great place to work in the minds of current employees and other stakeholders.
  • Employee Churn: The cycle of employees leaving and new ones being hired.
  • Employee Engagement: The emotional commitment an employee has to their organization and its goals.
  • Employee Experience: The sum of all interactions an employee has with their employer, from recruitment to exit.
  • Employee Handbook: A manual that provides information about company policies and procedures.
  • Employee Lifecycle: The various stages an employee goes through during their tenure with an organization, from hiring to exit.
  • Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): A metric that measures the likelihood of employees recommending their workplace to others.
  • Employee Recognition: Programs designed to acknowledge and reward employees for their contributions to the organization.
  • Employee Referral Program: A program encouraging current employees to refer qualified candidates for job openings.
  • Employee Relations: The management of the relationship between employers and employees.
  • Employee Resource Group (ERG): A voluntary, employee-​led group that fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace aligned with the organization's mission, values, and goals. ERGs are typically formed around common interests, backgrounds, or demographics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, or other shared characteristics, providing support, networking opportunities, and advocating for positive change within the organization.
  • Employee Retention: Strategies and practices used to keep valuable employees from leaving the organization.
  • Employee Value Proposition (EVP): The unique set of benefits that an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities, and experience they bring to a company.
  • Employer Branding: The process of promoting a company as the employer of choice to a desired target group.
  • Employer of Choice: A company that is highly attractive to potential employees because of its work environment, culture, and benefits.
  • Employer of Record (EOR): A third-​party organization that handles payroll, benefits, and compliance for employees on behalf of another company.
  • Enneagram: The Enneagram is a personality assessment that categorizes individuals into nine distinct types, each representing a core belief system and worldview. It provides a deep understanding of personal motivations, fears, and behavioral patterns, promoting personal growth and improving interpersonal relationships by highlighting areas for development and stress responses.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO): Policies and practices that ensure all individuals have equal chances for employment.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): A federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination.
  • Equity Theory: A concept in organizational psychology that suggests employees are motivated by fairness and will compare their input-​to-​output ratio (effort and rewards) to that of others. When employees perceive inequity, they may adjust their behavior, effort, or perceptions to restore a sense of balance and fairness.
  • Equal Pay Act: A U.S. law that requires men and women to be given equal pay for equal work.
  • ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance): ESG refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. Environmental criteria consider how a company performs as a steward of nature; social criteria examine how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates; and governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights.
  • Executive Coaching: A professional relationship between a coach and an executive aimed at enhancing the executive's performance and development.
  • Executive Search: A specialized recruitment service used to source candidates for senior-​level executive positions.
  • Exit Interview: A meeting with a departing employee to gain insights into their reasons for leaving and their experience at the company.
  • Exit Strategy: A plan developed to smoothly transition employees out of the company.
  • Fair Hiring Practices: Policies and procedures that ensure equal opportunities for all candidates during the hiring process.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): U.S. law establishing minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards.
  • Fairness: Treating employees in a way that does not favor some over others.
  • Flexible Benefits Plan: A benefits program that allows employees to choose from a variety of benefits to suit their needs.
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA): An employee benefit program that allows workers to set aside pre-​tax dollars for healthcare or dependent care expenses.
  • Flexible Time Off (FTO): A leave policy where employees can take time off as needed without a predefined number of days, as long as their work responsibilities are fulfilled and they have their manager's approval.
  • Flexible Working: Work arrangements that allow employees to vary their working hours and location.
  • Forced Ranking: A performance appraisal system where employees are ranked against each other.
  • Four Fits™: A framework created by C. Lee Smith that is used in hiring and talent management to evaluate candidates based on four key dimensions: Job Fit, Manager Fit, Company (or Team) Fit, and Customer Fit. This comprehensive approach ensures that the selected individuals not only have the necessary skills and qualifications but also align well with the company culture, work effectively with the team, and are motivated by the job and organizational goals.
  • Freelance Management System (FMS): A technology platform that enables companies to manage their freelance workforce.
  • Freelancer: A person who works temporary jobs, typically in the service sector, often mediated through digital platforms.
  • Full-​Time Equivalent (FTE): A unit that indicates the workload of an employed person in a way that makes workloads comparable across various contexts.
  • Furlough: A temporary leave of absence from work, typically without pay, that an employer mandates due to economic conditions, lack of work, or other business reasons. During a furlough, employees retain their job status and often their benefits, with the expectation that they will return to work when the furlough period ends.
  • Gamification: The application of game-​design elements and game principles in non-​game contexts, like training and development.
  • Generation X (Gen X): People born between 1965 and 1980.
  • Generation Y (Gen Y or Millennials): People born between 1981 and 1996.
  • Generation Z (Gen Z): People born from 1997 onward.
  • Generative AI: Generative AI refers to artificial intelligence systems that can generate new content, such as text, images, music, or other media, based on the data they have been trained on. Examples include ChatGPT for text generation and DALL‑E for image creation. Generative AI can be used in various applications, including content creation, design, and data augmentation.
  • Gig Economy: A labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-​term contracts or freelance work.
  • Gig Worker: A person who works temporary jobs, typically in the service sector, often mediated through digital platforms.
  • Glass Ceiling: An unofficial barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and minorities.
  • Golden Handcuffs: Financial incentives offered by employers to retain key employees and discourage them from leaving the company. These incentives can include stock options, bonuses, deferred compensation, and other benefits that become fully vested over time, making it financially advantageous for employees to stay with the organization.
  • Golden Parachute: A substantial financial compensation package guaranteed to a top executive if they are terminated or forced to leave the company, often as a result of a merger or acquisition. This package typically includes severance pay, bonuses, stock options, and other benefits, providing financial security to the executive during the transition.
  • Grievance: A formal complaint raised by an employee regarding workplace conditions or treatment.
  • Grievance Procedure: A formal process by which employees can submit complaints regarding workplace issues.
  • Harassment: Unwanted behavior that is offensive, humiliating, or intimidating.
  • Hartman Values Profile (HVP): The Hartman Values Profile (HVP) is an assessment that measures an individual's value system and decision-​making process based on the principles of Robert S. Hartman's Value Theory. It evaluates how individuals prioritize intrinsic, extrinsic, and systemic values, offering insights into their judgment and behavioral tendencies.
  • Health and Safety: Policies and procedures put in place to ensure the safety, health, and welfare of employees.
  • Headcount: The number of people employed in an organization.
  • Headhunter: A professional recruiter who specializes in finding and attracting top talent for executive, managerial, or highly specialized positions on behalf of a company. Headhunters actively seek out candidates, often those not actively looking for new opportunities, and match them with suitable job openings to meet the hiring needs of their clients.
  • High-​performing Team: A group of individuals who consistently achieve outstanding results by working collaboratively, leveraging each other's strengths, and maintaining strong communication and trust. These teams are characterized by clear goals, mutual accountability, effective problem-​solving, and a shared commitment to excellence.
  • High-​potential Employee (HIPO): An individual identified as having the ability, commitment, and aspiration to rise to and succeed in more senior, critical positions within an organization. HIPOs are often targeted for accelerated development programs and leadership training to prepare them for future leadership roles.
  • Hiring Freeze: A temporary halt on the recruitment and hiring of new employees within an organization. This measure is typically implemented to control costs, manage budget constraints, or respond to economic uncertainties and is often accompanied by reassessment of workforce needs and organizational priorities.
  • Hostile Workplace: A hostile workplace is an environment where an employee feels uncomfortable, intimidated, or distressed due to unwelcome conduct, harassment, or discrimination based on race, gender, age, disability, or other protected characteristics. This toxic atmosphere interferes with an employee's ability to perform their job and can lead to significant emotional and psychological stress.
  • HR Analytics: The application of data analysis techniques to human resources data to improve decision-making.
  • HR Audit: A comprehensive method to review current HR policies, procedures, documentation, and systems.
  • HR Business Partner (HRBP): An HR professional who works closely with an organization’s senior leaders to develop an HR strategy that supports organizational goals.
  • HR Outsourcing (HRO): The process of subcontracting human resources functions to an external provider.
  • Human Capital: The collective skills, knowledge, and attributes of employees that contribute to organizational performance.
  • Human Capital Management (HCM): A set of practices related to people resource management.
  • Human Capital ROI: A measure of the return on investment in human capital, often calculated as net income divided by the cost of human capital.
  • Human Resource Development (HRD): The framework for helping employees develop their personal and organizational skills, knowledge, and abilities.
  • Human Resource Information System (HRIS): A software or online solution for data entry, data tracking, and data management needs of the HR department.
  • Human Resource Management System (HRMS): A comprehensive software suite that integrates HR functions.
  • Immigration Compliance: Ensuring that employees' work eligibility complies with immigration laws.
  • Incentive Plan: A program designed to reward employees for achieving specific performance goals.
  • Inclusivity: The practice or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.
  • Independent Contractor: An independent contractor is a self-​employed individual or entity hired to perform specific tasks or services for a company under a contract. Unlike employees, independent contractors operate their own business, have more control over how they complete their work, and are responsible for their own taxes and benefits.
  • Individual Development Plan (IDP): A tool to assist employees in career and personal development.
  • Individual Needs: The specific personal and professional requirements unique to each person, shaped by their experiences, goals, and circumstances. These needs can include career aspirations, work-​life balance preferences, development opportunities, and personal values, and addressing them is crucial for employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Industrial-​Organizational Psychology: The scientific study of human behavior in organizations and the workplace.
  • Instructional Design: Instructional design is the systematic process of creating educational and training programs in a consistent and reliable fashion. It involves developing instructional materials and activities, designing learning experiences, and utilizing learning theories to ensure effective knowledge transfer and skill development.
  • Insubordination: Insubordination refers to an employee's refusal to obey lawful and reasonable instructions from a supervisor or authority figure. This behavior can include direct refusal, disrespectful behavior, or actions that undermine authority and disrupt workplace harmony.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Skills used by a person to interact with others properly.
  • Internal Mobility: The movement of employees to different roles within the same organization.
  • Job Analysis: The process of studying and collecting information about the duties, responsibilities, and necessary skills of a job.
  • Job Classification: The system of categorizing jobs based on similarities in duties, responsibilities, and skills.
  • Job Competency: The skills and behaviors that are required to perform a job effectively.
  • Job Crafting: The process by which employees redesign their own jobs to better fit their skills and interests.
  • Job Description: A document that describes the general tasks, functions, and responsibilities of a position.
  • Job Enrichment: The redesign of a job to include a greater range of tasks and responsibilities, providing more variety and challenge to the employee.
  • Job Evaluation: A systematic way of determining the value of a job in relation to other jobs in an organization.
  • Job Requisition: A formal request to fill a job vacancy, typically initiated by a hiring manager.
  • Job Rotation: Moving employees between different tasks to promote experience and variety.
  • Job Shadowing: Allowing an employee to observe the day-​to-​day activities of another employee to learn about a different role.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Metrics used to evaluate the success of an organization or employee in meeting objectives.
  • Knowledge Management: The process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using organizational knowledge.
  • Knowledge Transfer: The process of transferring skills, knowledge, and competencies from one employee to another.
  • Labor Arbitration: The process of resolving labor disputes by a neutral third party.
  • Labor Market: The supply of available workers in relation to available work.
  • Labor Market Analysis: The study of the supply and demand for labor in a specific market.
  • Labor Relations: The relationship between management and the workforce, particularly concerning collective bargaining and union representation.
  • Labor Union: An organization of workers formed to protect and advance their rights and interests.
  • Leadership Development: Activities that improve the skills, abilities, and confidence of leaders.
  • Leadership Pipeline: A structured process to develop employees into future leaders.
  • Lean Management: A systematic method for waste minimization within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity.
  • Learning and Development (L&D): Organizational activities aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of employees.
  • Learning Culture: An environment that supports continuous learning and development for employees.
  • Learning Management System (LMS): Software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of educational courses or training programs.
  • Leave of Absence: An approved period of time that an employee is away from their job.
  • Long-​Term Disability (LTD): Long-​term disability (LTD) insurance provides income replacement for employees who are unable to work for an extended period due to a serious illness or injury. This coverage typically begins after short-​term disability benefits are exhausted and can last for several years or until retirement, depending on the policy terms.
  • Machine Learning: Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that involves training algorithms to recognize patterns and make decisions based on data. These algorithms improve their performance over time as they are exposed to more data, enabling applications such as predictive analytics, recommendation systems, and autonomous systems.
  • Management by Objectives (MBO): A performance management approach where managers and employees work together to set, monitor, and achieve specific objectives.
  • Management by Walking Around (MBWA): Management by Walking Around (MBWA) is a leadership practice where managers regularly walk through their workplace, engaging with employees in informal, spontaneous conversations. This approach fosters open communication, builds relationships, and allows managers to gain firsthand insights into daily operations and employee concerns.
  • Maternity Leave: A period of absence from work granted to a mother before and after the birth of her child.
  • Maternity/​Paternity Leave: Time off from work granted to a mother/​father after the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Mediation: A process by which a neutral third party helps resolve disputes between two or more parties.
  • Mentoring: A professional relationship where an experienced person supports and guides a less experienced person.
  • Mentorship Program: A structured program where experienced employees provide guidance and support to less experienced employees.
  • Merit Pay: A raise in pay based on a set of criteria set by the employer.
  • Micromanagement: Micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes, controls, and often excessively interferes in the work of their subordinates. This approach can lead to reduced employee autonomy, lowered morale, and decreased productivity as employees feel undervalued and distrusted.
  • Microlearning: An approach to training that delivers content in small, specific bursts.
  • Millennials: People born between 1981 and 1996.
  • Mindset: The attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives that employees hold towards their work, organization, and colleagues. It influences their motivation, engagement, productivity, and overall job satisfaction, and can significantly impact organizational culture and performance.
  • Mobility: The ability of employees to move within an organization, including transfers, promotions, and demotions.
  • Motivation Theory: A theory explaining what drives individuals to work towards a goal.
  • Motivators: An assessment tool, also known as the Workplace Motivators or Values assessment, that identifies the underlying drivers that influence an individual's behavior and decision-​making. It highlights what motivates a person, such as economic gain, recognition, or altruism, providing insight into their intrinsic motivations and helping align their roles with their values.
  • Nepotism: The practice of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs, regardless of their qualifications. This can lead to conflicts of interest, decreased morale, and perceived or actual unfairness in the workplace.
  • Non-​Compete Agreement: A contract that restricts an employee from working for competitors or starting a competing business within a certain period after leaving the company.
  • Non-​Disclosure Agreement (NDA): A legal contract protecting confidential information from being shared with others.
  • Non-​Exempt Employee: An employee who is entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Nonrecoverable Draws: Nonrecoverable draws are guaranteed minimum payments given to sales employees that do not need to be repaid, even if their earned commissions do not meet the amount advanced. These draws provide financial stability to employees during low sales periods without creating a repayment obligation.
  • Occupational Health: The promotion and maintenance of physical and mental health in the workplace.
  • Offer Letter: A formal document provided by an employer to a job candidate detailing the terms and conditions of their employment. It typically includes information such as the job title, salary, benefits, start date, and any other relevant details, and serves as the official invitation to join the organization.
  • Offshoring: Offshoring is the practice of relocating business processes or production to another country, typically to leverage cost advantages, access a skilled workforce, or improve efficiency. This can include manufacturing, customer service, IT services, and other business functions.
  • On-​the-​Job Training (OJT): Training that takes place while an employee is performing tasks related to their job.
  • Onboarding: The process of integrating a new employee into an organization.
  • On-​Target Earnings (OTE): The total compensation a sales employee can expect to earn if they achieve their sales targets, combining base salary and variable components like commission and bonuses. OTE provides a benchmark for potential earnings.
  • One-​on-​One Session: A one-​on-​one session is a private meeting between two individuals, typically involving a manager and an employee or a coach and a client, to discuss performance, goals, development, or specific issues. This personalized interaction provides an opportunity for direct feedback, guidance, and support, leading to a deeper understanding and tailored approach to individual needs.
  • Organizational Agility: The ability of an organization to quickly adapt to market changes.
  • Organizational Behavior: The study of how people interact within groups in a workplace setting.
  • Organizational Culture: The values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape how work gets done within an organization.
  • Organizational Development (OD): The practice of planned, systemic change in the values, attitudes, and beliefs of an organization.
  • Organizational Effectiveness: The efficiency with which an organization meets its goals and objectives.
  • Organizational Psychology: Organizational psychology is a field of psychology that studies human behavior in workplace settings, focusing on improving employee well-​being and organizational performance. It involves applying psychological principles and research methods to understand and address issues such as motivation, leadership, team dynamics, and job satisfaction within organizations.
  • Outplacement: Support services provided to employees who are exiting the organization to help them transition to new jobs.
  • Outplacement Services: Support services provided to help former employees transition to new jobs.
  • Override Commission: Additional commission earned by sales managers or leaders based on the sales performance of their team members. Override commissions incentivize managers to support and develop their sales teams.
  • Outsourcing: The business practice of hiring a party outside the company to perform services and create goods that traditionally were performed in-​house by the company's own employees.
  • Paid Time Off (PTO): A policy that provides employees with a bank of hours they can use for various types of leave.
  • Pay Equity: Ensuring equal pay for work of equal value, regardless of gender, race, or other factors.
  • Pay for Performance: A compensation strategy to reward employees based on their job performance.
  • Peer Review: An evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work.
  • Performance Appraisal: The regular review of an employee's job performance and overall contribution to a company.
  • Performance Culture: A work environment where employees are encouraged to achieve high performance.
  • Performance Improvement Plan (PIP): A tool to give an employee with performance deficiencies the opportunity to succeed.
  • Performance Management: The continuous process of identifying, measuring, and developing the performance of employees.
  • Performance Metrics: Measures used to assess and quantify the performance of an employee or a group.
  • Peter Principle: A concept in management theory that states that employees are often promoted based on their success in previous roles until they reach a position at which they are no longer competent. This principle highlights the potential for employees to rise to their "level of incompetence," where they may struggle to perform effectively, thereby impacting organizational performance.
  • Professional Development: Skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement.
  • Pre-​hire Assessments: Evaluations administered to job candidates during the hiring process to measure their skills, abilities, personality traits, and suitability for a specific role. Assessments, like those administered through the TeamTrait platform, help employers make informed hiring decisions by predicting a candidate's potential job performance and cultural fit within the organization.
  • Professional Employer Organization (PEO): Firms that provide comprehensive HR services to small and medium-​sized businesses.
  • Psychometric Testing: A standardized assessment that measures an individual's mental capabilities and behavioral style.
  • Psychological Contract: The unwritten set of expectations between employer and employee.
  • Psychological Safety: A belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.
  • Quiet Hiring: The strategic practice of filling skill gaps within an organization without formally hiring new employees. This can involve reassigning current employees to new roles, expanding the responsibilities of existing staff, or leveraging temporary or contract workers to meet business needs without announcing formal hiring efforts.
  • Quiet Quitting: When employees disengage from their work and reduce their efforts to the minimum required to maintain their position. This behavior often stems from dissatisfaction or burnout, where employees choose not to go above and beyond their basic job duties, effectively doing only what is necessary to avoid being fired.
  • Quiet Vacationing: When employees take time off or go on vacation without formally notifying their employer or team. During this period, they may still engage minimally in work activities to give the impression that they are available and working, thus avoiding the formalities and potential disruptions associated with taking official leave.
  • Quota: A predetermined sales target or goal that a sales employee or team is expected to achieve within a specific time period. Quotas are used to set performance expectations and measure sales success.
  • Recoverable Draws: Recoverable draws are advances given to sales employees against future commissions, which must be repaid from their earned commissions. If the employee's commissions do not cover the draw, the remaining balance is carried forward to future periods until fully repaid.
  • Recruiter: A person responsible for finding and screening candidates for job openings.
  • Recruitment: The process of finding and hiring the best-​qualified candidate for a job opening.
  • Recruitment Funnel: The stages candidates go through from initial contact to hiring.
  • Redeployment: The process of moving employees to different roles within an organization to address changing business needs.
  • Remote Onboarding: The process of integrating new employees into a company when they are working remotely.
  • Remote Work: Work that is performed outside of the traditional office environment, often from home.
  • Residual Commission: Ongoing commission earned from repeat business or subscription renewals, providing sales employees with a steady income stream from past sales efforts. Residual commissions encourage long-​term customer relationships.
  • Reskilling: The process of learning new skills so an employee can do a different job or transition to a different role.
  • Respectful Pushback: The act of expressing disagreement or providing alternative viewpoints in a professional and courteous manner. This approach encourages open dialogue, fosters healthy debate, and can lead to better decision-​making while maintaining positive working relationships.
  • Retainer: A retainer is a fee paid in advance to secure the services of a professional, such as a lawyer, consultant, or recruitment agency. This arrangement ensures that the professional is available to provide ongoing or on-​demand services as needed, often establishing a continuous working relationship between the client and the service provider.
  • Reward Management: The strategies, policies, and processes required to ensure that the contribution of people to the organization is recognized by both financial and non-​financial means.
  • Right-​to-​Work: State laws in the United States that prohibit agreements between employers and labor unions that make membership or payment of union dues a condition of employment. These laws ensure that employees can work in unionized workplaces without being required to join the union or pay union fees, promoting individual choice and freedom in the workplace.
  • Rubric: A scoring guide used to evaluate performance, assignments, or tasks based on a set of predefined criteria and standards. It provides detailed descriptions of different levels of achievement and helps ensure consistent and objective assessment.
  • Rules of Engagement: Guidelines and protocols that outline acceptable behavior and procedures for interaction, communication, and conflict resolution within a team or organization. These rules help establish clear expectations, promote respectful and productive collaboration, and ensure that all members understand how to conduct themselves in various situations.
  • Salary Plus Commission: A compensation plan that combines a fixed base salary with variable commission based on sales performance. This structure provides financial security while still offering performance-​based rewards.
  • Sales Incentives: Additional rewards, often monetary, given to sales employees to motivate and reward them for meeting or exceeding sales goals. These incentives can include contests, recognition programs, and exclusive trips or experiences.
  • Sexual Harassment: Any verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment. This behavior can interfere with an individual's job performance, well-​being, and violates both legal and organizational standards of conduct.
  • Short-​Term Disability (STD): Short-​term disability (STD) insurance offers income replacement for employees who are temporarily unable to work due to a medical condition, such as an illness or injury. This coverage usually lasts for a few weeks to a few months, providing financial support during the initial phase of the employee's recovery period.
  • SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management): A professional association that provides resources, certifications, and advocacy for HR professionals. It supports the advancement of the HR field through educational programs, networking opportunities, industry research, and the development of HR standards and practices.
  • Sideways Conversation: A sideways conversation refers to discussions between employees that occur outside of official channels, often involving indirect communication or gossip about workplace issues or decisions. These conversations can lead to misunderstandings, spread misinformation, and undermine transparency and trust within the organization.
  • Six Sigma: Six Sigma is a data-​driven methodology and set of tools for process improvement aimed at reducing defects and variability in manufacturing and business processes. It uses statistical methods to identify and eliminate causes of errors, resulting in improved quality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
  • Social Learning: Learning that takes place at a wider scale than individual or group learning, up to a societal scale, through social interactions and processes.
  • Span of Control: The number of direct reports that a manager or supervisor oversees within an organization. This management concept affects organizational structure, determining how closely a manager can monitor and support their team, with narrower spans allowing for more direct oversight and wider spans promoting greater delegation and autonomy.
  • Social Recruiting: The use of social media platforms to attract and recruit candidates.
  • Soft Skill: A personal attribute that enables someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with others, often complementing technical or hard skills. Examples include communication, teamwork, problem-​solving, and emotional intelligence, which are essential for success in almost any work environment.
  • Split Commission: A commission structure where multiple sales employees share the commission earned from a sale, typically based on their contribution to closing the deal. This encourages teamwork and collaboration among sales staff.
  • Staffing Agency: A staffing agency, also known as an employment agency or recruitment firm, is a company that specializes in finding and placing workers in temporary, contract, or permanent positions with client organizations. These agencies handle various aspects of the hiring process, including sourcing, screening, interviewing, and onboarding candidates, to help businesses fill their staffing needs efficiently.
  • Straight Commission: A compensation plan where the employee's entire earnings are based on commission, with no base salary. This plan can offer high earning potential but also carries higher financial risk for the employee.
  • Strategic Workforce Planning: The process of forecasting an organization’s future workforce needs and devising strategies to meet those needs.
  • Succession Planning: The process of identifying and developing new leaders to replace leaders when they leave or retire.
  • Talent Acquisition: The ongoing strategy to find specialists, leaders, or future executives for a company.
  • Talent Development: Talent development refers to the process of identifying, nurturing, and developing employees' skills and capabilities to enhance their performance and potential within an organization. This includes training, mentoring, coaching, and providing opportunities for professional growth to ensure that employees are equipped to meet current and future business needs.
  • Talent Management: The anticipation of required human capital for an organization and the planning to meet those needs.
  • Talent Pool: A database of potential candidates who are qualified and interested in future job openings.
  • TeamTrait™: A platform used in organizational development to assess and understand the characteristics, behaviors, and dynamics of a team.
  • Territory Volume Commission: Commission earned based on the total sales volume within a specific geographic area or territory assigned to a sales employee. This structure encourages employees to maximize sales within their designated regions.
  • Threshold: The minimum sales amount that must be achieved before a sales employee becomes eligible for commission or bonuses. Thresholds ensure that only meaningful sales contributions are rewarded.
  • Telecommuting: Working from a remote location outside of the traditional office environment.
  • Tiered Commission: A commission structure where different commission rates apply to different levels of sales achievement, rewarding higher sales volumes with higher commission percentages. This structure incentivizes employees to exceed basic targets.
  • Total Compensation: The complete pay package for employees, including base salary, incentives, and benefits.
  • Total Rewards: The combination of benefits, compensation, and other incentives provided to employees.
  • Toxicity: According to C. Lee Smith in his book Hire Smarter, Sell More!, toxicity in the workplace refers to behaviors and attitudes that create a harmful environment for employees. This includes negativity, hostility, lack of respect, bullying, and other detrimental actions that undermine morale, productivity, and overall well-​being. Toxicity can lead to high turnover, decreased employee engagement, and poor organizational performance.
  • Training and Development: Organizational activities aimed at improving the performance of individuals and groups.
  • Training Needs Analysis (TNA): A process used to determine what training is required to help individuals or groups within an organization.
  • Transferable Skill: A skill that can be applied in various roles or industries, making it valuable to employers in different job contexts. Examples include communication, leadership, problem-​solving, and project management skills, which are versatile and can enhance an employee's adaptability and marketability across different career paths.
  • Turnover: The rate at which employees leave a workforce and are replaced.
  • Unconscious Bias: The automatic, implicit attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions without conscious awareness. These biases can influence workplace decisions, such as hiring, promotions, and evaluations, potentially leading to unfair treatment and a lack of diversity and inclusion.
  • Universal Needs: Fundamental requirements that all individuals share, such as the need for security, compensation, belonging, recognition, and self-​fulfillment. Meeting these needs is essential for ensuring well-​being, motivation, and overall satisfaction in both personal and professional contexts.
  • UPOD (Under Promise, Over Deliver): UPOD, or Under Promise, Over Deliver, is a business strategy where expectations are intentionally set lower than what is anticipated, and then exceeded through exceptional performance or results. This approach aims to enhance customer satisfaction and build trust by consistently surpassing expectations.
  • Upskilling: The process of teaching employees new skills to perform their job more effectively.
  • Variable Pay: The portion of total compensation that is not fixed and is based on performance, including commissions, bonuses, and incentives. Variable pay aligns employee interests with company goals and financial success.
  • Virtual Assistant: A virtual assistant is a remote professional who provides administrative, technical, or creative support to clients from a home office or another location outside of the client's workplace. Virtual assistants handle tasks such as email management, scheduling, data entry, social media management, and other support services, enabling clients to focus on their core business activities.
  • Virtual Meeting: A virtual meeting is a gathering of people conducted over the internet using video conferencing, audio conferencing, or online collaboration tools, allowing participants to interact in real-​time from different locations. This format enables businesses and teams to communicate, share information, and collaborate effectively without the need for physical presence.
  • Virtual Recruiting: The process of hiring candidates through digital platforms without in-​person interactions.
  • Virtual Team: A group of individuals who work together from different geographic locations and rely on communication technology.
  • Well-​being Programs: Initiatives designed to improve the physical and mental health of employees.
  • Work-​Life Balance: The equilibrium between personal life and career work.
  • Workforce Agility: The ability of an organization to move employees around quickly and efficiently.
  • Workforce Analytics: The use of statistical tools to analyze workforce data to improve organizational performance.
  • Workforce Diversity: The inclusion of different types of people (different races, cultures, etc.) in an organization.
  • Workforce Optimization: Strategies to ensure the right number of employees with the right skills are in place to meet the company's needs.
  • Workforce Planning: The process of analyzing, forecasting, and planning workforce supply and demand.
  • Workforce Reduction: The process of decreasing the number of employees to improve efficiency or reduce costs.
  • Workplace Bullying: Repeated, health-​harming mistreatment of one or more persons by one or more perpetrators in the workplace.
  • Workplace Diversity: The inclusion of different types of people (different races, cultures, etc.) in an organization.
  • Workplace Drama: Workplace drama refers to unnecessary conflict, gossip, and interpersonal issues among employees that disrupt the work environment and reduce productivity. This behavior often involves emotional reactions, power struggles, and tension, leading to a negative impact on team morale and overall organizational effectiveness.
  • Workplace Mediation: A method of resolving disputes in the workplace using a neutral third party to facilitate a mutually acceptable agreement.
  • Workforce Management: Workforce management is the process of optimizing the productivity of employees to ensure that they meet organizational goals. This includes forecasting labor needs, scheduling, time and attendance tracking, performance management, and ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations.
  • Wrongful Termination: When an employee is fired or laid off in violation of legal or contractual obligations. This can include terminations based on discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, or violation of public policy, and can result in legal action against the employer.
  • Zero-​Based Budgeting: A budgeting method where all expenses must be justified for each new period, starting from a "zero base."
This glossary is provided for convenience purposes only and is not intended to serve as a legal or HR advice.