HR terms you
need to know.
HR is a robust and constantly changing industry. We’ve compiled important and often-used terms to help support your workforce management and compliance efforts. We’ll continue adding new words to help you keep up with new trends, and we welcome your suggestions at email@example.com.
- Workers comp
Workers’ Compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provided benefits to employees who injure themselves while on the job, or become sick. Each state has its own laws and programs created. In general, an employee affected with an on-site injury or illness can receive benefits regardless of who is at fault.
- What is HR cloud
The cloud allows for easy access to HR automated applications that are customizable, offer self-service, integrable, scalable and secure. The sole purpose is to increase efficiencies to key workflows, letting employees focus on higher-priority projects.
Form W-4 is a federal form that new hires must complete upon accepting employment. The purpose of this form is to determine the amount of tax deductions that should be withheld from an employees’ paycheck.
- Voluntary benefits enrollment
The process of allowing employees to enroll in benefits that are optional, but at a cheaper cost of purchase through their employer rather than finding the coverage themselves. Employees are typically happy with paying these costs themselves.
- Training management software
Training management software manages the employee training process and stores information on completed courses and certifications.
- Training content
The information and/or courses that are presented in a training program.
- Toolbox talk
Toolbox talks are an regularly held meetings focused on topics related to safety and tailored to the specific job a crew is working on, such as job site hazards and safe work practices. During these meetings, both workers and supervisors get to share their tips, status updates, and insights to help crews safely navigate the project they’re working on.
- Time and attendance software
Time and attendance software tracks and stores information regarding employees’ hours worked.
- Time and a half pay
Time and half, also known as overtime pay, means an employee receives 50 percent higher pay rate when working in excess of 40 hours per week.
Employee timesheets record the start and end time of tasks. They usually contain a detailed breakdown of tasks accomplished by each employee during a workweek, and are used by payroll managers to know how much to compensate employees during each pay period.
- Time clock app
A mobile app allowing users to clock in and out of shifts on a job site directly from their smartphone. Some time clock apps, such as ExakTime’s, are powered by GPS and can track workers’ time, location, and speed of travel in real-time.
- TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is an accounting concept that is intended to help buyers determine the total costs of purchasing a product.
- Talent management system
A talent management system helps managers and HR professionals to track, manage and store employee information from hire to retire. Many talent management systems assist with key HR functions like recruiting, training and development, performance management.
- Talent management software
Talent management software helps managers and HR teams track, manage and store employee information as it relates to recruiting, onboarding, training, performance management, succession planning and more.
- Succession management
A systematic process to identify and advance individuals within a company who showcase vision, leadership and a future within their respective organization.
- Site inspection
A critical job performed by a neutral party to ensure that a construction site is not mismanaging, or violating any federal, state or local laws in completion of a project.
- Secure payroll
Secure payroll ensures employee pay data is protected from malicious entities.
A scorecard is used in succession planning to identify key competencies and document employees who are meeting or exceeding those competencies. The scorecard is then used to decide which employee to promote in the event of a vacancy.
- SaaS Software
Software as a Service. This is a delivery method for software where the user can access software with a connection to the Internet and a computer or mobile device.
- Regulatory compliance software
Integrated among shared solutions, data is connected across a business to maintain regulatory compliance and maneuver risk.
- Reduction in Force
A Reduction in Force occurs when a company chooses to eliminate a position or positions entirely with no intention to refill it.
- Recruiting software
Recruiting software helps to manage a variety of functions during the recruitment process. This can include job distribution, pre-screening and pre-hire assessments.
Paid time off (PTO) is a benefit provided by the employer. It allows employees to accrue time off based on hours worked, and to use it when they choose for vacation or personal time.
- Prevailing wage
A pay rate established by the Department of Labor for each trade working on public projects, based on local pay averages. This includes the hourly wage, benefits and overtime paid in the largest city in each county to the majority of workers, laborers, and mechanics. To stay compliant, employers on government-funded projects must pay workers the prevailing rate on a weekly basis, and keep specific prevailing wage records using form WH-347.
- Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are formal assessments conducted between employees and managers to monitor progress towards mutually agreed-upon goals, discuss strengths and identify areas of improvement.
- Performance management system
A performance management system tracks and stores information regarding employee goals and performance reviews.
- Performance management software
Performance management software tracks and stores information regarding employee goals and performance reviews.
- Performance feedback
Performance feedback is an ongoing process between managers and employees regarding employee performance.
- Payroll service bureau
A third-party company outsourced to focus on the preparation and management of payroll processes by businesses. A few responsibilities they can focus on include depositing pay into accounts, printing paystubs and providing tax forms.
- Payroll management system
Automated software that improves that payroll process for HR administrators. It can integrate with internal and external systems to enhance the flow of data sharing and efficiencies.
- OSHA safety training
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the Department of Labor, and exists to ensure a safe workplace. In certain industries like construction and manufacturing, employers must offer OSHA safety training, and employees must meet certain thresholds to be eligible for certain roles on the jobsite.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Act assures safe and healthy working conditions for employee by creating and enforcing standards. In addition to conducting investigations and levying fines to prevent unsafe workplace conditions, OSHA provides training, outreach, assistance and education.
- Open Enrollment
The annual timeframe in which employees can enroll in a health insurance plan.
- Onboarding software
Onboarding software is used to welcome and integrate employees into a new position. Onboarding software can include employment paperwork, welcome messages from their new team, goal-setting and more.
Onboarding means preparing a new hire to start work by ensuring they have filled out all the required regulatory documents, such as a W-4 and I-9, and have received a proper introduction to the company and its culture through an employee handbook, company videos and any other assets that are appropriate to your organization.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) exists to ensure federal contractors are complying with equal opportunity employment practices.
- Millennium Payroll
Millennium Payroll, created by MPAY, create efficiencies in the payroll process for HR administrators by automating the control of critical data and workflows.
- Learning management software
Learning management software helps companies administer training programs and track certifications.
A layoff is the dismissal of an employee or employees for an undetermined length of time because of budgetary constraints or change in workload, with the intention to ask them back to the job if capacity increases again or the need arises.
Key Performance Indicators. Companies establish KPIs to determine whether they are accomplishing their goals.
- Job posting
A job description, shortened or rewritten for the purposes of marketing the position publicly and attracting interested and qualified applicants.
- Job distribution
Job distribution is the process of posting open job requisitions to job boards, social media, workforce development websites and other recruiting networks.
- Job description
A detailed account of the tasks and responsibilities a job entails for use and updating by a manager, HR department and potentially as a reference point for the person filling that job role.
Implementation is the process of setting up and configuring HR software that is tailored toward the specific needs of a business.
Form I-9 is completed upon employment to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals in the United States. All employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each new employee.
- HRMS system
Human Resource Management System (HRMS) is software that combines HR functions like talent management, payroll, time tracking, benefits administration and more into one platform.
- HRMS modules
A human resources management system (HRMS) uses automated tools to eliminate manual tasks and create new efficiencies. Data is securely stored and modules are able to integrate with internal and external systems to improve processes further.
- HRIS technology
Human resources information systems (HRIS) use the intersection of human resources, combined with HR solutions to automate manual processes in HR Management, Talent Management and Payroll. Data is securely stored, compliance is met and transparency increases when companies implement automated modules.
- HR workflow
A set of automated, rule-based tasks that HR processes follow within an Human Resource Information System (HRIS). Examples include new hire onboarding and PTO requests.
- HR platform
A suite of HR automated solutions designed to improve processes in HR Management, Talent Management and Payroll processes to help support business operations for HR administrators, managers and employees.
- HR payroll software
An automated tool that simplifies the payroll process for HR administrators in charge of it. It can integrate with HR automated solutions including Time and Attendance and Benefits Management modules, integrated to both internal and external parties to maximize efficiency.
- HR outsourcing services
Third-party businesses with HR Management, Talent Management and Payroll process experience offer their clients the ability to delegate HR tasks in benefits administration, recruitment, onboarding, payroll, data management and more. This helps clients cut costs and focus on other initiatives.
- HR management software
A platform or system designed to boost productivity and enhance transparency for HR administrators, managers and employees in HR Management, Talent Management and Payroll processes.
- HR integration
When a system, platform, module or application can be connected internally or externally with HR automated solutions.
- HR cloud
The cloud allows for easy access to HR automated applications that are customizable, offer self-service, integrable, scalable and secure. Their sole purpose is to increase efficiencies to key workflows, letting employees focus on higher-priority projects.
- HR automation
Technology used to improve HR department efficiencies through automating manual workflows within Essential and Strategic HR processes. These tools enhance the protection of data compiled while eliminating the risks of errors significantly.
- HR app
An automated tool or module that that makes HR management and operations more efficient through the utilization of data and improved workflows. Various applications are available to help enhance both Essential and Strategic HR processes.
- How to calculate ROI on an HRIS
Return on Investment (ROI) = net gain / total cost x 100
- High potential employees
High potential employees are those employees who perform above and beyond their colleagues and show potential for success in positions with more responsibilities.
- HCM ERP
HCM ERP Human Capital Management (HCM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), combined. An HCM perfectly complements an ERP environment, bolstering an offering with HR automated solutions to complement its other department-specific modules.
Goals are set to ensure employees are reaching certain benchmarks for their position. Oftentimes companies will have company level goals and then have employees set individual goals that relate to the company goals.
A temporary, unpaid leave from work for a pre-determined length of time, as set by the company. For example, for budgetary reasons due to special circumstances, such as a sudden or temporary shift in the market, an employer might ask all its employees to take a month of unpaid leave, or to take one day a week of unpaid leave for the rest of the year.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a law which establishes overtime pay eligibility, minimum wage, child labor standards and recordkeeping standards to employees in both the private sector and federal, state and local governments.
- Expense Tracking
Expense tracking is done to reimburse employees for business-related expenses they may have accrued on a personal or company credit card.
- ERP system integration
An Enterprise Relationship Planning (ERP) connection is used to interlink automated business applications in HR, accounting, manufacturing and more to optimize operations and exceed goals.
- Employment background check
An employment background check is conducted to review a person’s commercial, criminal, financial and/or employment records. This can be conducted for candidates and/or current employees.
- Employee Survey
Employee surveys are designed to engage employees and ask for feedback on a variety of business and culture-related topics.
- Employee onboarding software
Employee onboarding software is used to welcome and integrate employees into their new position. This can include employment paperwork, welcome messages from their new team, goal-setting and more.
- Employee manual
This is a document that provides employees with procedures on how to perform their jobs, stay within compliance, contact information and more.
- Employee management software
HR automated solutions designed to create efficiencies, save on costs and improve business operations. Managing recruitment, onboarding, benefits administration, timesheets and more become simplified for both HR administrators and the employees they support.
- Employee evaluation software
An automated tool that captures and analyzes data in employee goals, productivity and progression. It makes it easier for leadership to easily monitor, study up on and evaluate employees, ensuring objectives are made or ongoing problems are focused on preemptively.
- Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is the practice of creating a positive and productive workplace. There are several ways to encourage employee engagement, including career mapping, training, special events, recognition programs and performance reviews.
- EIN reporting
EIN stands for Employer Identification Number (also known as Federal Tax Identification Number). This number is unique to each business entity and is used for reporting employment tax.
E-verify helps employers identify employment eligibility by mapping Form I-9 and Employment Eligibility Verification against Social Security Administration and Homeland Security records.
An EAP is an Employee Assistance Program. Many employers contract with EAP providers to offer employees support for assistance not covered by their health insurance in order to help them resolve issues that might interfere with work productivity, such as substance addiction, marital and family conflicts, workplace conflicts, financial troubles and more.
- Double time
The act of paying an employee twice their hourly rate for certain hours worked.
- DOL Audit
An investigation by the Department of Labor of an employer to determine if they have violated any federal labor laws.
The Department of Labor (DOL) oversees occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, reemployment services and economic statistics at the federal level.
- Diversity hiring
A process that combines hiring applicants based on merit, while taking special care to ensure that conduct is free from discrimination related to a candidate’s gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and other personal identifiers.
- Department of Labor
The Department of Labor (DOL) Is in charge of administering a variety of federal labor laws including workers’ safety rights, healthful working conditions, minimum hourly wages and overtime, protection from discrimination, unemployment insurance and more.
The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 is a United States federal law that requires payment to laborers and mechanics to be prevailing wages of the local area where the work is performed.
The adherence to rules and laws which businesses must follow to avoid fines and other penalties. HR is required to be within compliance of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), OSHA, sexual harassment, antidiscrimination laws and more.
- Cloud Software
Software that is hosted on a secure, remote server and accessed through an Internet browser rather than from a local drive or on-premise server.
- Certified payroll
A payroll document that comprises the WH-347 federal form and is submitted on a weekly basis by agencies overseeing government contracts. The form lists employee demographics including wages, benefits entitled to, type of work performed and hours works. It also includes a statement of compliance.
Officially recognized milestones indicating an employee has met certain requirements for a particular training program.
- Business succession planning
Business succession planning is a series of decisions about who will assume a leadership role or take over a business in the event of retirement, disability or death.
- Buddy punching
When an employee asks a coworker to punch in their timecard or clock in on their behalf.
The process of identifying distinctive, measurable characteristics used to identify individuals. These are metrics related to humans.
Building Information Modeling (BIM). Software that allows key stakeholders to visualize, manage and share data about a building or other kind of construction project; a digital scale model in which every component and material can be identified, ensuring everyone is working from the same plan.
- Benefit management software
An automated tool that helps HR departments create efficiencies within the benefits administration process. The software integrates with insurance carriers, payroll, time and attendance and other third-party applications to allow data to flow easily. A benefits admininistration module enhances the Open Enrollment experience for HR administrators, managers and employees alike.
- ATS software
Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software is used in the recruitment process to track, manage and store information about candidates and automate candidate filtering and correspondence.
- Applicant tracking system
An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is used in the recruitment process to track, manage and store information about candidates.
- Applicant tracking software
Applicant Tracking software is used in the recruitment process to track, manage and store information about candidates, as well as to streamline hiring with customized candidate filtering, email correspondence templates and more.
Application Programming Interface (API). APIs are a set of technical definitions that specify how information should communicate between separate systems.
- Affirmative Action Plan (AAP)
An Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) is used by federal contractors and subcontractors to create equal employment opportunities for applicants and existing employees. AAPs focus on recruiting and advancing qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities and covered veterans.
- ACA software
Affordable Care Act (ACA) software is an automated tool that helps employers simplify the reporting process during tax season. It also helps them stay within compliance of federal, state and local laws by managing key data and by generating 1094/1095 forms on demand.
- ACA compliance software
Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance software is an automated solution that helps employers stay in compliance with labor laws by utilizing data and generating documentation such as 1094/1095 forms on-demand. It also helps to simplify the reporting process during tax season.
- ACA compliance reporting
Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting is the act of employers filing required healthcare plan coverage information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), while providing copies to their employees. This is required by law, or the employer can face a myriad of fines.
- 1094 Form
These forms are filed by employers who are required to offer health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Form 1094-C is sent to the IRS, while Form 1095-C is sent to both employees and the IRS.