Your Workforce Dictionary
Your Workforce Dictionary

Your Workforce Dictionary

The staffing and recruiting industries are constantly changing--and so is the language we use! This list of working definitions will help you communicate with us better and get new internal employees up to speed.

1099 Employee: See "independent contractor."

Adverse Impact: A substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion, or other employment decisions that works to the disadvantage of members of a race, sex, or ethnic group.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS): A software system that handles several recruitment needs. It provides a central location for recruitment data and allows companies to track applications and manage resume data.

Approved Supplier List: A database or list that contains contact and order information for each supplier with whom a particular company does business. Suppliers with whom the company agrees to do business are typically part of the list and may be re-evaluated on an annual or semi-annual basis.

Behavioral Interview: A job interview focusing on how an applicant behaves in specific situations, usually related to the job for which the candidate is applying.

Blended Workforce: Using both direct-hire personnel and contingent workers (temporary employees, contract professionals and/or consultants) to meet a company's strategic and tactical workforce needs. In recent years, blended workforces have appeared in nearly every industry and at every level, from entry-level positions to executive roles.

Candidate: A job seeker who has submitted his information to a staffing agency in the hopes of finding a position suited to his specific skill set. Candidates may seek permanent or temporary positions.

Co-employment: The relationship among two or more organizations that exert some amount of control over the same worker or group of workers. Co-employers often share liability for shared employees. The legal term for co-employers is "joint employers."

Contingent: Contingent work and workers differ in some way from regular, permanent, direct wage and salary employment--usually by having explicitly defined or explicitly limited terms. Contingent workers include temporary workers, independent contractors, temporary workers from an internal pool, interns, seasonal workers, freelancers, and others employed directly by a company for an intentionally limited purpose.

Contingency Recruiting: A service in which a staffing or recruiting firm recruits personnel with payment of all, or most, of the fee contingent upon the hiring of a referred candidate into a traditional employment role. Also referred to as "direct placement services" or "direct hire services."

Direct Hire: A worker hired and put on a company's payroll. This term is also used to describe a staffing agency's services in helping employers find such workers, as opposed to finding temporary staff members provided by the agency.

Diversity Supplier: A business that is 51 percent or more owned by a member of a recognized minority group, including businesses owned by racial minorities, women, veterans, or disabled individuals.

Employee: Generally speaking, a worker who receives a W-2, or equivalent outside the United States. For legal purposes, the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor is often significant. An individual worker or group of workers may be the employee of one employer or of multiple employers (co-employment).

Executive Search: Staffing companies that specialize in the recruiting of executive-level managers or professionals, usually in a retained capacity. Fees are most commonly charged to the employer.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): A unit used to measure workload, so that workloads can be compared across different contexts. An FTE of 1.0 indicates a person works the equivalent of full time, while an FTE of 0.5 indicates a person works the equivalent of half-time.

Independent Contractor: A self-employed individual who performs services for a company under contract, rather than as an employee. Rather than working under a W-2, an independent contractor's pay is recorded on IRS Form 1099; as a result, independent contractors are sometimes casually referred to as "1099 employees."

Job Order: A bona fide request to a staffing firm or employment agency to refer applicants for a specific position. The specific requirements of the position are stated in the job order.

Managed Service Provider (MSP): A staffing company that takes on the primary responsibility of managing a company's contingent workforce. Typical MSP duties include overall program management, reporting and tracking, choosing and managing suppliers, and consolidated billing.

Onboarding: The process of bringing a worker into a position. Onboarding often seeks to provide the tools and information a worker needs to become productive as quickly as possible. Both permanent hires and contingent workers may need to go through an onboarding process.

On-Premise (VOP): A staffing agency provides an on-site representative to manage and coordinate temporary employees at the employer's location--simplifying administration, addressing daily temporary worker issues and ensuring productivity. Also referred to as "on-site" or "vendor-on-premise" staffing.

Payrolling: The provision of longer-term temporary workers to an employer, where the workers were recruited by the employer, but become employees of the temporary staffing service. Payrolling is for assignments that are temporary and/or do not involve the paying of benefits.

Placement: The process by which a staffing or recruiting firm connects a job seeker to an employer.

Planned Staffing: Strategic use of temporaries to accommodate workloads known to vary in seasons or other cycles.

Recruiter: The member of a staffing firm who is responsible for identifying, screening, and evaluating qualified candidates for open positions within client companies. Recruiters typically work closely with the staffing firm to match candidates to the open positions for which they are best suited.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO): A form of business process outsourcing where an employer outsources or transfers all or part of its recruitment activities to a staffing or recruiting firm. This allows the employer to outsource those parts of the hiring process that are typically the most time consuming or difficult (e.g., recruiting, interviewing, reference checking, etc.).

Request for Proposal (RFP): A solicitation an employer makes to potential staffing suppliers to obtain services by setting up a bidding process. Staffing firms offer their proposals and bids in response to the request, and the requesting company chooses which it prefers, often on the basis of specific criteria.

Staffing Firm: A company that provides staffing services. Also known as a "staffing company" or "staffing agency."

Staffing Services: Services that address some aspect of employment, such as temporary staffing, employee leasing, direct hire/placement, or outplacement.

Statement of Work (SOW): A detailed description of the specific tasks or services a contractor is required to perform under the terms of a contract. A SOW may be integrated directly into a contract or included as an attachment that is referenced in the contract.

Temporary (Temp) Staff: Individuals who perform work for a company or organization with the understanding that the work is for a limited period of time. Temporary employees may be direct hires made by the company, or they may be sourced through a staffing firm. Some organizations maintain internal pools of temporary staff.

Temp-to-Hire Staff: Workers who transition from a temporary worker status to a permanent employment status. The transition may be a situation-specific one when an employer realizes a temporary worker is needed long term, or it may be planned, with a staffing agency providing only temporary workers who are seeking similar work in a permanent position. Also known as "temp-to-direct" or "temp-to-perm" staffing.

Vendor Management System (VMS): A computerized system, often Internet-based, that allows companies to procure and manage staffing services, contract labor, and contingent labor. Most vendor management systems allow companies to place orders, handle billing issues, and print or manage reports.

Workforce Planning: A systematic approach to anticipating human capital needs, determining what actions should be taken to meet those needs, and then building the right workforce to achieve business goals and sustain competitive advantage. The cycle of workforce planning includes filling resource requests, analyzing resource utilization, forecasting capacity, managing and identifying the resources (human) to fill that capacity, and then restarting the cycle.