Learn Recruitment Industry Jargon and Keep One Step Ahead of the Game!

As a small job seeker in a big wide and daunting employers’ market, it can be near impossible to keep your head above water when faced with constant recruiter jargon. You will hear it from recruiters and potential employers first hand, and you will read it in job ads both online and offline. It is therefore helpful to have, at the very least, a basic understanding of the typical recruiter buzz words and jargon that you will likely face as soon as you dive into the job market.

Matt Churchward, director of The Green Recruitment Company and an expert with over 12 years within the recruitment industry has pinpointed some of the most widely used jargon that all job seekers should be aware of.

Industry related terminology

  • Head hunting – when a recruitment specialist targets you for a specific job vacancy without you applying for the position upfront.
  • Executive search – the recruitment of senior level professionals
  • People Manager – another term used to describe a recruiter
  • Talent identification manager – yet another term for a recruiter
  • Candidate attraction specialist – this person is also known as a ‘resourcer’ and is in charge of gaining a talented pool of candidates to build up the recruitment agency’s database.
  • Boutique agency – small sized recruitment company

Job seeker related terminology

While it is important to know the basic jargon that is used by recruiters and your potential employers, it is more relevant to understand popular candidate related buzz words. The has identified some of the most popular and difficult to understand candidate buzz words below....

  • Purple squirrel – this buzz word is used to describe the ‘perfect candidate’ between recruiters
  • Applicant pool – all candidates who have applied for a particular position are described as the applicant pool
  • Jo hopper – you do not want to be described as a job hopper. This term is used to describe someone who doesn’t stay in one job for any credible length of time.
  • Transferable skills – if you have ever been told by a recruiter/employer that you have transferable skills, then this is a good thing! Transferable skills is the term used to state that a job seekers skills can be used across a range of industries and job types.

Job advert buzz words

Whether you go through a recruitment agency to assist your job search, or you prefer to go it alone and search for your own job ads, you will still be faced with industry jargon. The below list includes some of the most popular and necessary buzzwords for job seekers to be aware of.

  • Compensation – this term is used in reference to the salary of a position, excluding job benefits.
  • Perks/Benefits – refers to bonus or non-cash incentives that are provided alongside the salary for a position.
  • OTE – you will often come across this term if you are searching for sales positions. OTE stands for On Target Earnings and is typically used to state that the amount the employee will earn is directly related to them meeting their targets.
  • DOE – this is a relatively straightforward abbreviation to understand; it stands for Depending on Experience. If a job advert states the salary to be £40,000 pa DOE, this does not necessary mean you will be offered £40,000 but rather it it will be calculated on your experience.
  • Time in Lieu. – this is an important term to be aware of as a job seeker as it refers to a company providing an employee with time back as opposed to paying for overtime for any additional hours worked.

It is understandable why so many job seekers become confused by the employer/recruiter industry jargon, and that so many are actually discouraged to apply for vacancies because they are not familiar with many of the terms used in the job ads. The above list should provide you with a basic understanding of the most commonly used terms to get you started!

Can you think of any other buzz words or jargon that I have forgotten to add to the list? If so, comment below!


Image source: goodreader