Top 50 HR Terms Every HR Professional Needs to Know

Human Resources (HR) is a multifaceted field, and as such, professionals working in it need to be well-versed in a variety of terms and concepts. This article will serve as a guide to the top 50 HR terms that every HR professional should be familiar with.

1. 360-Degree Feedback: A method of performance appraisal where feedback is obtained from a variety of sources, including peers, subordinates, and superiors.

2. Affirmative Action: Policies aimed at increasing employment opportunities for minorities or other disadvantaged groups.

3. Applicant Tracking System (ATS): Software used to manage recruitment processes, filter applications, and rank candidates.

4. At-Will Employment: A type of employment relationship where either party can end the employment at any time, for any reason.

5. Benchmarking: Comparing an organization’s practices and metrics to industry bests or best practices from other industries.

6. Benefits Administration: Management of employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

7. Collective Bargaining: The negotiation process between an employer and a group of employees to establish working conditions.

8. Compensation: All forms of pay and rewards received by employees for their performance, including salary, bonuses, and benefits.

9. Conflict Resolution: Addressing disputes between employees or between employees and the employer.

10. Culture Fit: The alignment between an individual’s values and the company’s organizational culture.

11. Diversity and Inclusion: Efforts to create a workforce that includes people from varied backgrounds and to treat all employees equitably.

12. Employee Engagement: The emotional commitment an employee has to their work and their employer.

13. Employee Onboarding: The process of integrating a new employee into the organization.

14. Employee Relations: Addressing concerns, conflicts, or needs that affect the employer-employee relationship.

15. Employee Retention: Strategies and efforts to keep valuable employees from leaving their jobs.

16. Employee Value Proposition (EVP): The balance of rewards and benefits that an employee receives in return for their performance.

17. Exempt vs. Non-Exempt: Classification of employees based on whether they are eligible for overtime pay (non-exempt) or not (exempt).

18. HR Analytics: Data-driven approach to managing people at work.

19. HRIS (Human Resource Information System): Software that assists in managing the many aspects of HR operations.

20. Job Analysis: A systematic process of identifying the tasks, duties, and responsibilities of a job.

21. Job Description: A written statement that defines a job in terms of its tasks, duties, and responsibilities.

22. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Metrics used to evaluate the success of an HR strategy or activity.

23. Labor Relations: The relationship between employers and their unionized employees.

24. Learning and Development (L&D): Efforts aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of employees.

25. Mandatory Reporter: Someone legally required to report certain types of incidents, often related to abuse or neglect.

26. Mediation: A voluntary process where a neutral third party helps disputing parties find a resolution.

27. Non-Compete Agreement: A contract in which an employee agrees not to work for a competing employer for a certain period of time after leaving their current job.

28. On-the-Job Training (OJT): Training provided to employees while they perform their regular work tasks.

29. Performance Appraisal: A formal assessment of an employee’s performance.

30. Performance Management: Ongoing processes and systems to ensure that employees are meeting their objectives and contributing to organizational goals.

31. Personnel Management: The older term for human resource management, more focused on administrative tasks.

32. Recruitment: The process of identifying and attracting potential candidates to fill job openings.

33. Redundancy: The elimination of jobs or positions without replacing them.

34. Severance Pay: Compensation given to employees upon termination of employment that is not due to their fault.

35. SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management): A prominent HR professional organization.

36. Stakeholder: Any individual or group that has an interest in or is affected by the decisions and activities of an organization.

37. Succession Planning: Preparing for future leadership roles within the organization.

38. Talent Acquisition: Strategic approach to identifying, attracting, and onboarding top talent to efficiently and effectively meet dynamic business needs.

39. Talent Management: Strategies aimed at attracting, developing, retaining, and utilizing people with the required skills to meet current and future business needs.

40. Total Rewards: Comprehensive view of all the ways employees are rewarded, both tangible and intangible.

41. Turnover Rate: The percentage of employees that leave an organization during a certain period.

42. Work-Life Balance: Creating a balance between work demands and personal life.

43. Workers’ Compensation: A form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits for employees who are injured on the job.

44. Workforce Planning: Process of analyzing current workforce and determining steps required to prepare for future needs.

45. Workplace Harassment: Unwanted behavior directed at an individual on the basis of gender, race, age, or other protected status.

46. Workplace Wellness: Programs or initiatives aimed at improving the health and well-being of employees.

47. Zero-Hours Contract: A type of contract where the employer doesn’t guarantee a minimum number of work hours but the employee is on-call.

48. Job Rotation: A strategy used to develop employees by periodically shifting them between different roles or tasks.

49. Employer Branding: The company’s image or reputation as an employer.

50. Gig Economy: A labor market where short-term contracts or freelance work are predominant instead of permanent jobs.

Understanding these terms will provide a solid foundation for any HR professional, helping them navigate their role and contribute meaningfully to the strategic objectives of their organization.

Article Written by Jacob Peebles, with research and assistance from chatgpt