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HR Definitions & Terms Dictionary – A to Z

8 min read

The world of human resources is constantly evolving and has changed significantly in recent years. It is not surprising that, sometimes, we find it a little complicated to keep up to date with the latest developments in HR strategies, organizational forms, or simply anglicisms. To help anyone who wants to keep up with the latest trends in human resources, we present our HR Definitions & Terms Dictionary with which you can find information from the most basic concepts to those fresh off the grill. And if you can’t find the human resources terms or the content you’re looking for, let us know and we’ll add it in! 

Our HR Definitions & Terms Glossary

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z


Absenteeism refers to the habitual or frequent absence of an employee from work. A work absenteeism excludes paid time off.
Agile (method)
Agile (or agile) methodology is known as the new method of working and organizing companies in which employees play a leading role. Communication and adaptability to change are essential.
Applicant Tracking System
An applicant tracking system allows companies to easily facilitate the job of a recruitment manager. The ATS acts like a hiring manager in the process of recruitment and selection.

Attendance SoftwareThis is a software that provides employers with information regarding the hours their employees have worked. It is utilised to reduce absenteeism, plan vacations and automate payroll.Audit of Human ResourcesAn HR audit is a method through which a company’s policies, internal procedures, documentation and human resources programs are reviewed, in order to identify points for improvement in addition to ensuring compliance with the ever-changing rules and regulations.

Annual Leave
Otherwise known as paid time off, annual leave is a holiday leave that is granted to employees, to use for whatever they wish.
Absences are characterized by a period of time in which an employee is not working. Absences can be paid or unpaid depending on the reason for the absence.
A person employed by the company that provides help to another individual in the organization. The assistant normally occupies a lower position in the company


Benefits & Compensation
Also known as work perks, these are the benefits that employees receive for working at your company. They can be monetary, rewards-based, medical benefits, retirement, time in lieu, discounts, or wellness programs to name a few.
Characterized by mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion due to prolonged and excessive stress.
Bereavement Leave
This type of leave is issued to allow employees a period of mourning following the death of a family member or close friend.


Childcare Check 
A benefit that companies can offer their employees as Flexible Remuneration, in which childcare is paid with said check or card. This amount is tax-deductible. 
Meal Voucher Cards
This is a benefit issued to employees as part of flexible compensation. Within flexible remuneration plans, you can opt for this visa-type card with which the employee pays, out of his salary, meals outside the office, and whose amount may not be taxed in personal income tax.
A contract is understood to be an agreement, generally written, in which two or more parties (in the labor case, the company, and the employees) undertake to respect and comply with a set of conditions that are specified in the same document.
Confidentiality at work
A set of practices to abide by which protects the employee and employer from leaking of confidential information.


Data Privacy

The right of an employee to hold control over their personal information.


Also known as digital transformation, the ability of companies to adapt to the new digital model and new technologies.
Director of Human Resources
Person responsible for managing everything related to the human resources and personnel of a company. Supervises everything from recruitment, administration tasks, managing contracts, payroll, and more.
Document Management System
A system of filing and storage, where a company’s documents and employees files can be kept in one centralized location for quick retrieval.


Emergency Paid Leave
A paid leave type employees have access to in the case in which they are unable to come to work due to a state wide or local order to shelter in place.
Employer Branding
The company image that its employees or potential workers have and greatly influences them  when they seek to attract and retain talent.
Employee Time Tracking
Tracking employee worked hours by using an excel spreadsheet or HR software. Time tracking is essential for a business to remain legally compliant with time tracking and reporting laws.
Employee Portal
Online tool that small and medium-sized companies use to communicate with their employees and from where they have access to various functionalities that help them in personal procedures.
Emotional Salary
An emotional salary is understood as the goods and services that the employee receives for his work beyond the money that forms his salary. Some examples would be flexible hours, opportunities for development and training in the company, etc.
End of Employment (Document)
The document that is given to the employee when his/her contract ends and that proves that there are no debts between the company and the worker.


Fixed Reumeration
Remuneration that the employee has agreed with the company and whose minimum is established by law. It is not linked to other objectives or variables.
Flexible Reumeration
The offer by the company to its employees of services or goods for free or at a cost lower than the market price.


Furlough schemes are invoked to support employees when businesses are undergoing financial challenges. This could be due to an economic recession or a global pandemic. It provides job protection for those that cannot work. Normally furlough is unpaid, however this is not always the case.



The General Data Protection Regulation that regulates the protection of employee data.
Gender Bias
A prejudice between genders in favor of one over the other. Bias can be conscious or unconscious and flag the hiring process or possible promotions.
Gross Salary
The total monetary compensation that the employee receives before deductions, deductions, taxes, etc.


HIPAA Violations
Any workplace violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act relating to the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive employee health information.
HR Metrics
A company’s key performance indicators for evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of their organizational practices.


Human Resource Management Software manages and automates HR processes. By automating these processes, it reduces the chances of human errors occurring, whilst saving HR managers time.

HRIS System
Otherwise known as a Human Resources Information System; an integrated system offering time tracking, vacation management, and document storage among others.
Human Capital Management
Set of practices carried out by HR when recruiting, onboarding, managing staff, and optimizing their workforce.
Human Resources Specialist 
The person in charge of personnel management in a company. He/She is the one responsible for evaluating the needs of the company and the people who work in it.
Human Resources
Human resources is a department within companies that manages everything related to the people who work in it.


Intermittent Leave
A series of absences that are spread over a period of time rather than taken back to back.
Insurance Broker
The person who is in charge of sourcing the best insurance for a company. This agent manages and processes the ups and downs of the whole company and is usually in charge of the human resources department.


Job Performance Evaluation
Tools used for measuring the abilities and skills of employees when it comes to meeting their objectives in the company.


Refers to the set of techniques, knowledge, methods, and skills of a person or entity that are generally related to experience.


Legal Issues for HR
The situation an HR department may find themselves in if they are not compliant with the HR labor laws.


Also known as Generation Z. They represent the individuals born between the ’80s and 2000s.


Net Salary
The final monetary remuneration that the employee receives as their pay. The amount results from subtracting any withholdings, taxes and contributions from the gross salary.
New Employee Handbook
The collection of documents that ta new employee should receive when they start working for a company. Contained in the handbook will be a brief history of the company, it’s values, mission, goals, company policies, and benefits and perks, to name a few.


O Hour Contract
A work contract that doesn’t guarantee the employee a set number of working hours per week.
Online HR Software
An integrated digital system that streamlines your HR processes.

Organizational Chart

The graphic representation of the hierarchy of role within a company, clearly showing the internal structure of a company or organization and the competencies.


Due to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) employees receive extra money for working more than 40 hours in a week. This is received by employees. The Federal Law has defined overtime pay as time and a half employees regular pay.


Performance Improvement Plan
A formal document that contains all the required information to help employees reach the goals they must meet and lists the consequences, should they fall short.
Permanent Contract
This type of contract doesn’t expire and remains valid until the employee or employer decides to end the working relationship.
Post Vacation Blues
A post holiday depression felt upon returning to work. This can be characterized by fatigue, lack of concentration, and change in mood.


Quality Control Management
A system set up to monitor the quality and control of a company’s service so that it meets a standard of excellence.


Remote Workers
Employees who work outside of the office, whether it be from home, or while traveling.
Reports Management
Collecting and reviewing HR data to help a company make better business decisions. Usually, a software is used to generate and store reports.
Retirement is understood as the cessation of work activity of an active worker, motivated by the fact of having reached the maximum age or by physical disabilities such as serious chronic diseases or disability.
Recruitment Costs
The sum of all the costs related to the sourcing, hiring , and onboarding of new talent.
Redundancy Payment
Financial compensation received by a worker as a result of an unjustified dismissal


Salary in Kind
Also known as flexible remuneration, it refers to the goods and services that the employee receives from the company and the benefit plans that they have contracted.
Social Security
These are the contributions to Social Security that both the company and the worker make each month and whose amounts appear on the payroll.
Personal evaluation of oneself during the performance evaluation process. Self-evaluation is often used as a tool to enhance the personal growth of employees and to understand better the reason for their limitations when achieving objectives.
Severence Settlement
The document that a company delivers to a worker when the employment relationship between the two has ended as a result of the employee being let go prior to their contract end date.


Talent Management
Also known as worker care and wellbeing. Required to create an environment for the retention of talent by the company.
Time of Requests
Requests made by employees for time off from work, whether it be paid or unpaid.
Time Tracking App
An application used by employees to accurately track their working hours.
Turnover Rate
The percentage of workers who leave the company within a given time period.


Unlimited PTO
A concept of offering employees an undefined amount of paid time off. Normally, this form of time off is to be requested at the description of the employee; it must be approved by a superior.


A job position that is open and available is know as vacant.
Vacation Tracker
A type of software used to track employee vacations and monitor who is in and out of the office.
Variable Retribution
Part of the remuneration that changes based on objectives and results that the employee has achieved. It is often used in commercial and sales teams.


Workplace Productivity
The productivity witnessed within a workplace based on how effectively employees are performing their tasks.
Worker’s Compensation
A system of compensation that provides medical benefit and compensation to employees that suffer an injury while on the job.

Working Day

A day in which your company is open and offering its services.
Work-related Stress
Types of stress that arise due to pressure at work, especially in high-performance positions. It can cause physical and mental saturation and serious affect health. External forces such as a pandemic can also lead to work-related stress.


A type of Extensible Markup Language letting creators apply tags around elements of data


(YTD) Year to Date
The period of time that starts at the beginning of the current year and runs until a specific date, prior to the end of the year.


Zero Based Budgeting
A method used to create a budget that starts at 0 at the beginning of every new month. Each expense added to the budget, must be justified.