HR Software Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing human resources and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

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  • #

    360 review

    A 360 review, or 360-degree review, is a feedback collection process aimed at helping employees at all levels obtain responses from various parts of an organization in order to develop and sharpen their professional skills.

  • 70-20-10 (70-20-10 rule)

    70-20-10 is a formula that describes how someone learns to do their job. The formula proposes that on average, 70% of a person's learning at work is internal and experience-based, 20% comes from interacting with fellow employees and 10% is the result of formal training and reading. 

  • Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI)

    HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute) is a U.S. based credentialing organization offering certifications to HR generalists, administrators and managers. The certifications are awarded upon successful completion of competency exams that cover Human Resource Management (HRM) practices, policies and principles.

  • A

    Achievers Corp.

    Achievers is a maker of talent management software and provider of consulting services headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

  • ADP Mobile Solutions

    ADP Mobile Solutions allows employees to use their mobile devices to access records such as their pay, schedules, time cards, retirement funds, benefits, contacts and calendar.

  • applicant tracking system (ATS)

    An applicant tracking system (ATS) manages the recruiting and hiring process, including job postings and job applications. It organizes and makes searchable information about job seekers.

  • augmented learning

    Augmented learning (AL) is the use of real-life experiences, objects and elements that have been recreated on a computer or mobile device to enhance specific educational concepts.

  • Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP)

    Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) is a global business outsourcing services provider headquartered in Roseland, N.J.

  • B

    benefits administration

    Benefits administration is the process of assembling and managing the benefits an organization provides to employees.

  • BetterWorks

    BetterWorks is cloud-based software that helps employees continuously manage their performance and align their goals to the objectives of the organization. BetterWorks provides visuals and social collaboration tools to track the progress of goals and keep them connected to the organization's strategic plan.

  • C

    candidate experience

    Candidate experience reflects a person's feelings about going through a company's job application process.

  • candidate relationship management

    Candidate relationship management is a structured approach to handling job candidates in a company's talent pipeline.

  • Ceridian

    Ceridian is a human capital management software (HCM) vendor and human resources (HR) services provider headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.

  • chief human resources officer (CHRO)

    Chief human resources officer (CHRO) is a top-level management executive in charge of an organization's employees.

  • chief learning officer (CLO)

    A chief learning officer (CLO) is a senior-level executive who ensures that a company's corporate learning program and strategy supports its overall business goals.

  • cognitive diversity

    Cognitive diversity is the inclusion of people who have different styles of problem-solving and can offer unique perspectives because they think differently. Unlike demographic diversity, which focuses on achieving a mixture of statistical characteristics such as gender or age, cognitive diversity focuses on achieving a mixture of how people carry out intellectual activities, such as making associations or drawing conclusions.

  • Compensation Management

    Compensation management is a critical part of talent management and employee retention.

  • continuous performance management

    Continuous performance management, in a human resource (HR) management context, is the supervision of an employee's performance through one-on-one discussions and ongoing feedback from supervisors during regularly scheduled check-ins.

  • core HR (core human resources)

    Core HR (core human resources) is an umbrella term that means the basic functions of an HR department; the basic data captured about employees; and the software used to manage basic HR processes.

  • Cornerstone OnDemand

    Cornerstone OnDemand is a vendor of cloud-based learning and talent management software. Cornerstone OnDemand provides management of recruiting, onboarding, performance and goals, learning, social collaboration, analytics, compensation and succession.

  • corporate travel management software

    Corporate travel management (CTM) software is a computer program or suite designed to oversee, regulate, and coordinate the travel activities and expenses of a company's employees.

  • corporate wellness technology

    Corporate wellness technology is software, and sometimes associated hardware, that human resources departments use to improve and manage workers' health and well-being.

  • D

    digital HR

    Digital HR is the digital transformation of HR services and processes through the use of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) technologies.

  • Director of Employee Engagement

    Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for an HR manager who is responsible for an organization's employee engagement strategy.

  • Dovetail Software

    Dovetail Software is a software vendor based in Austin, Texas, that specializes in providing web-based HR and help desk software to businesses in the United States and internationally.

  • E

    e-recruitment (e-recruiting)

    E-recruitment is an umbrella term for any electronic-based recruiting and recruitment management activity.

  • electronic resume

    An electronic resume is a plain text (ASCII), PDF or HTML document that provides an employer with information regarding a job candidate's professional experience, education and job qualifications and is meant to be read by a computer program instead of by a human being.

  • employee activism

    Employee activism is actions taken by workers to speak out for or against their employers on controversial issues that impact society.

  • employee assessment software

    Employee assessment software is technology that helps an organization determine to what degree a job candidate is a match for an open position.

  • employee engagement

    Employee engagement is the emotional connection an employee experiences that results in a willingness to expend discretionary effort at work.

  • employee engagement software

    Employee engagement software helps workers feel more satisfied with their jobs and absorbed in the mission and culture of their organization, and, therefore, more productive and effective.

  • employee experience

    Employee experience is a worker's observations and perceptions about his or her employment at a particular company.

  • employee life cycle

    Employee life cycle -- also spelled employee lifecycle -- is an HR model that identifies the different stages a worker advances through in an organization in, as well as the role HR plays in optimizing that progress.

  • employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

    The employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a metric used by employers to assess employee loyalty.

  • employee onboarding and offboarding

    Employee onboarding and offboarding are two core HR activities that are gaining in importance.

  • employee poaching (talent poaching)

    Employee poaching (talent poaching) or job poaching is the recruiting of employees who work at competing companies.

  • employee referral software

    Employee referral software is technology that enables HR managers to collect candidate recommendations from current employees to fill job openings.

  • employee resource groups (ERGs)

    Employee resource groups are workplace clubs or more formally realized affinity group organized around a shared interest or identity.

  • employee retention

    Employee retention is the organizational goal of keeping talented employees and reducing turnover by fostering a positive work atmosphere to promote engagement, showing appreciation to employees, and providing competitive pay and benefits and healthy work-life balance.

  • employee self-service (ESS)

    Employee self-service (ESS) is a widely used human resources technology that enables employees to perform many job-related functions, such as applying for reimbursement, updating personal information and accessing company benefits information -- which was once largely paper-based, or otherwise would have been maintained by management or administrative staff.

  • employee vetting

    Employee vetting is a screening process conducted by employers for checking the background and verifying the information of a new hire or applicant.

  • expense report software

    Expense report software is a computer program or suite that provides enterprise administrators with a clear picture of the organization's spending through automated analytics and reporting.

  • H

    Halogen Software Inc.

    Halogen Software Inc. is a talent management software vendor.

  • Hawthorne effect

    The Hawthorne effect is the modification of behavior by study participants in response to their knowledge that they are being observed or singled out for special treatment.

  • HipChat

    Atlassian HipChat allows employees to collaborate, work as teams and manage goals, all in real time, whether they work in the same office building or are located around the world.

  • HireVue

    HireVue is an enterprise video interviewing technology vendor that allows recruiters and hiring managers to screen candidates and conduct live interviews over the Internet.

  • HR help desk

    HR help desk refers to a central source of information employees can consult about human resource questions.

  • HR service delivery

    HR service delivery is a term used to explain how an organization's human resources department offers services to and interacts with employees.

  • HR technology (human resources tech)

    HR technology (human resources technology) is an umbrella term for software and associated hardware automating the human resources function in organizations.

  • HRIS (human resource information system)

    A human resource information system (HRIS) is software that provides a centralized repository of employee master data that the human resource management (HRM) group needs for completing core human resource (core HR) processes.

  • human capital management (HCM)

    Human capital management (HCM) is the comprehensive set of practices for recruiting, managing, developing and optimizing the human resources of an organization.

  • human resource management (HRM)

    Human resource management (HRM) is the practice of recruiting, hiring, deploying and managing an organization's employees.

  • Human Resources (HR) Generalist

    A human resources (HR) generalist is an employee in the HR department who handles a wide variety of responsibilities.

  • people analytics (HR analytics)

    People analytics, also known as human resource (HR) analytics and talent analytics, is a form of big data that applies math, statistics and modeling to worker-related data to see and predict patterns.

  • I

    IHRIM (International Association for Human Resource Information Management)

    IHRIM (International Association for Human Resource Information Management) is a networking and education association for HRIS and HR technology professionals.

  • K

    Kronos Inc.

    Kronos Inc. is a provider of workforce management software and associated services headquartered in Chelmsford, Mass.

  • L

    learning experience platform (LXP)

    A learning experience platform (LXP) is an AI-driven peer learning experience platform delivered using software as a service (SaaS).

  • M

    manager self-service

    Manager self-service is self-service platform that enables managers to get immediate access to employee information and initiate employment-related actions.

  • mobile expense management

    Mobile expense management is the processes, assisted by specialized software, that an organization uses to manage the costs of its mobile communications network.

  • Monster Worldwide

    Monster Worldwide is an online recruiting company that connects applicants with employers. The company is noted for its flagship site, Monster.com.

  • multi-country payroll outsourcing (MCPO)

    Multi-country payroll outsourcing (MCPO) is the business practice of using software to manage employee payroll operations in different countries.

  • N

    NGA Human Resources

    NGA Human Resources, formerly NorthgateArinso, is a provider of human resources business process outsourcing (BPO) services and consulting.

  • nine-box grid

    The nine-box grid is a human resource management (HRM) tool used by supervisors to rate the performance and potential of employees.

  • O

    OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)

    OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is a performance management framework designed to encourage companies to set, communicate and monitor broad organizational goals and results.

  • organizational network analysis (ONA)

    Organizational network analysis (ONA) is a quantitative method for modeling and analyzing how communications, information, decisions and resources flow through an organization.

  • P

    Passive Candidate

    A passive candidate (passive job candidate) is anyone in the workforce who is not actively looking for a job.

  • payroll software

    Payroll software automates the process of paying salaried, hourly and contingent employees.

  • performance and accountability reporting (PAR)

    Performance and accountability reporting (PAR) is the process of compiling and documenting factors that quantify an institution's profitability, efficiency and adherence to budget, comparing actual results against original targets.

  • performance management software

    Performance management software is designed to improve business performance by spurring employee productivity.

  • R

    radical candor

    Radical candor is a management technique that focuses on challenging employees directly while also caring for each person on a personal level.

  • recruitment

    Recruitment is the process of finding, screening, hiring and eventually onboarding job candidates.

  • recruitment management system

    A recruitment management system (RMS) is a set of tools designed to manage the recruiting process.

  • recruitment marketing

    Recruitment marketing is the combination of strategies and tools used by an organization to engage and nurture potential talent in the pre-applicant phase.

  • recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)

    Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) involves an employer turning the responsibility of finding potential job candidates over to a third-party service provider.

  • reference checking software

    Reference checking software is programming that automates the process of contacting and questioning the references of job applicants.The entire process occurs on the Internet and may be used independently or integrated with an applicant tracking system.

  • S

    social media recruiting (social media recruitment)

    Social media recruiting is an HR strategy to better attract active and passive job candidates.

  • social sourcing

    Social sourcing, also called social recruiting, is a type of e-recruitment in which recruiters and HR managers search for job candidates by using social media sites. It can also refer to the process of gathering referrals from employees to staff a position or to posting an opening on social media websites. 

  • statutory reporting

    Statutory reporting is the mandatory submission of financial and non-financial information to a government agency.

  • succession planning

    Succession planning is the process of developing talent to replace executive, leadership or other key employees when they transition to another role, leave the company, are fired, retire or die.

  • T

    talent acquisition

    Talent acquisition refers to the process employers use for recruiting, tracking and interviewing job candidates, and onboarding and training new employees.

  • talent activation

    Talent activation is a human resources strategy for improving team leadership and workgroup collaboration that involves using surveys and questionnaires to solicit employee feedback on a regular basis.

  • talent management software (TM software)

    Talent management software is technology that human resource management professionals use to manage employees as a competitive advantage.

  • talent network

    A talent network is potentially anything that connects people of similar professional skills.

  • talent pipeline

    A talent pipeline is a pool of candidates who are ready to fill a position. These can be employees who are prospects for advancement or external candidates partially or fully prequalified to take an opening.

  • talent pool

    A talent pool is a database of potential job candidates. It can include specific individuals or sources of talent.

  • Taleo

    Taleo is a cloud-based talent management software vendor that was acquired by Oracle in February 2012.

  • team collaboration

    Team collaboration is a communication and project management approach that emphasizes teamwork, innovative thinking and equal participation to achieve objectives.

  • time and attendance software

    Time and attendance software is a type of business application designed to track and optimize the hours that employees spend on the job and keep records of wages and salaries paid.

  • travel and expense software (T & E software)

    Travel and expense (T&E) software is programming that allows an organization to track and approve reimbursement for the cost of a business trip.

  • V

    video interview

    A video interview is a job interview that takes place remotely and uses video technology as the communication medium.

  • Visier

    Cloud-based vendor Visier sells software for workforce analytics and workforce planning. Visier promotes its software's predictive analytics capabilities, data mining and visualization tools, and the software's ability to help match the number of workers with expected revenues.

  • voluntary benefits

    Voluntary benefits are optional, employee-paid benefits. Commonly referred to as "supplemental benefits," they have expanded with the rise of high-deductible health insurance plans and the availability of new kinds of benefits.

  • W

    WePow

    WePow is a video interviewing and recruitment software vendor.

  • Workboard

    Workboard is an application for improving a company's strategic planning, boosting teamwork and collaboration, and tracking the goals and performance of employees.

  • Workday

    Workday is a cloud-based software vendor that specializes in human capital management and financial management applications.

  • workforce analytics

    Workforce analytics is a combination of software and methodology that applies statistical models to worker-related data, allowing enterprise leaders to optimize human resource management (HRM).

  • workforce management (WFM)

    Workforce management (WFM) is an integrated set of processes that a company uses to optimize the productivity of its employees.

  • workforce planning

    Workforce planning is the strategy used by employers to anticipate labor needs and deploy workers most effectively, usually with advanced human resources technology.

  • X

    Xactly Corporation

    Xactly Corporation is a vendor that sells web-based compensation management software and services.

  • xAPI (experience API)

    The xAPI (experience API), also known as Tin Can API, is an open source software specification that provides a set of rules for representing the events a learner performs while interacting with a piece of learning content.

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