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HRM Glossary

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A glossary, also known as an vocabulary, or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms.

Action learning

A training technique by which management trainees are allowed to work full-time analyzing and solving problems in other departments.

Adaptability screening

A process that aims to assess the assignee’s (and spouse’s) probable success in handling a foreign transfer.

Adverse impact

The overall impact of employer practices that result in significantly higher percentages of members of minorities and other protected groups being rejected for employment, placement, or promotion.

Affirmative action

Making an extra effort to hire and promote those in protected groups, particularly when those groups are under-presented.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

The act prohibiting arbitrary age discrimination and specifically protecting individuals over 40 years old.

Agency shop

A form of union security in which employees who do not belong to the union must still pay union dues on the assumption that union efforts benefit all workers.

Alternation ranking method

Ranking employees from best to worst on a particular trait, choosing highest, then lowest, until all are ranked.

Alternative dispute resolution or ADR program

Grievance procedure that provides for bingding arbitration as the last step.

Alternative staffing

The use of nontraditional recruitment sources.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The act requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees; it prohibits discrimination against disabled persons.

Annual bonus

Plans that are desgned to motivate short-term performance of managers and are tied to company-profitability.

Applicant tracking systems

Online systems that help employers attract, gather, screen, compile, and manage applicants.

Application form

The form that provides information on education, prior work record, and skills.

Appraisal interview

An interview in which the supervisor and subordinate review the appraisal and make plans to remedy deficiencies and reinforce strengths.

Apprenticeship training

A structured process by which people become skilled workers through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training.


The most definitive type of third-party intervention, in which the arbitrator usually has the power to determine and dictate the settlement terms.

At-risk variable pay plans

Plans that put some portion of the employee’s weekly pay at risk, subject to the firm’s meeting its financial goals.


The right to make decisions, direct others’ work, and give orders.

Authorization cards

In order to petition for a union election, the union must show that at least 30% of employees may be interested in being unionized. Employees indicate this interest by signing authorization cards.

Bargaining unit

The group of employees the union will be authorized to represent.

Behavior modeling

A training technique in which trainees are first shown good management techniques in a film, are asked to play roles in a simulated situation, and are then given feedback and praise by their supervisor.

Behavior modification

Using contingent rewards or punishment to change behavior.

Behavioral interviews

A series of job-related questions that focus on how the candidate reacted to actual situations in the past.

Behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS)

An appraisal method that aims at combining the benefits of narrative critical incidents and quantified ratings by anchoring a quantified scale with specific narrative examples of good and poor performance.

Behavior-based safety

Identifying the worker behaviors that contribute to accidents and then training workers to avoid these behaviors.

Benchmark job

A job that is used to anchor the employer’s pay scale and around which other jobs are arranged in order of relative worth.


Indirect financial and non-financial payments employees receive for continuing their employment with the company.


The tendency to allow individual differences such as age, race, and sex to affect the appraisal ratings employees receive.

Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ)

Requirement that an employee be of a certain religion, sex, or national origin where that is reasonably to the organization’s normal operation. Specified by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.


The combined refusal by employees and other interested parties to buy or use the employer’s products.


Consolidating salary grades and ranges into just a few wide levels or “bands,” each of which contains a relatively wide range of jobs and salary levels.

Bumping/lay off procedures

Detailed procedures that determine who will be laid off if if no work is available; generally allow employees to use their seniority to remain on the job.


The total depletion of physical and mental resources caused by excessive striving to reach an unrealistic work-related goal.

Candidate-order error

An error of judgment on the part of the interviewer due to interviewing one or more very good or very bad candidates just before the interview in question.


The occupational positions a person has had over many years.

Career anchors

Pivots around which a person’s career swings; require self-awareness of talents and abilities, motives and needs, and attitudes and values.

Career cycle

The various stages a person’s career goes through.

Career development

The lifelong series of activities that contribute to a person’s career exploration, establishment, success, and fulfillment.

Career management

The process for enabling employees to better understand and develop their career skills and interests, and to use these skills and interests most effectively.

Career planning

The deliberate process through which someone becomes aware of personal skills, interests, knowledge, motivations, and other characteristics; and establishes action plans to attain specific goals.

Career planning and development

The deliberate process through which a person becomes aware of personal career-related attributes and the lifelong series of steps that contribute to his or her career fulfillment.

Case management

Treating injured workers on a case-by-case basis using an assigned case manager, who coordinates the employee’s treatments.

Case study method

A development method in which the manager is presented with a written description of an organizational problem to diagnose and solve.

Cash balance plans

Defined benefit plans under which the employer contributes a percentage of employees’ current pay to employees’ pension plans every year, and employees earn interest on this amount.

Central tendency

A tendency to rate all employees the same way, such as rating them all average.

Changed requirements of the job

Employee’s inability to do job after the employer changed the nature of the job.


Summons informing employers and employees of the regulations and standards that have been violated in the workplace.

Civil Rights Act of 1991 (CRA 1991)

It places burden of proof back on employers and permits compensatory and punitive damages.


Grouping jobs based on a set of rules for each group or class, such as amount of independent judgment, skill, physical effort, and so forth, required. Classes usually contain similar jobs.

Closed shop

A form of union security in which the company can hire only union memebers. This was outlawed in 1947 but still exists in some industries(such as printing).


Employees have the legal right to a voice in setting company policies.

Collective bargaining

The process through which representatives of management and the union meet to negotiate a labor agreement.

College recruiting

Sending an employer’s representatives to college campuses to prescreen applicants and create an applicant pool from the graduating class.

Comparable worth

The concept by which women who are usually paid less than men can claim that men in comparable rather than in strictly equal jobs are paid more.

Compensable factor

A fundamental, compensable element of a job, such as skills, effort, responsibility, and working conditions.


Demonstrable characteristics of a person, including knowledge, skills, and behaviors, that enable performance.

Competency-based job analysis

Describing a job in terms of the measurable, observable, behavioral competencies an employee must exhibit to do a job well.

Competency-based pay

Where the company pays for the employee’s range, depth, and types of skills and knowledge, rather than for the job title he or she holds.

Competitive advantage

Any factors that allow an organization to differentiate its product or service from those of its competitors to increase market share.

Compressed workweek

Schedule in which employee works fewer but longer days each week.

Computerized forecast

Determination of future staff needs by projecting sales, volume of production, and personnel required to maintain this volume of output, using software packages.

Content validity

A test that is content valid is one that contains a fair sample of the tasks and skills actually needed for the job in question.

Controlled experimentation

Formal methods for testing the effectiveness of a training program, preferably with before-and-after tests and a control group.

Corporate campaign

An organized effort by the union that exerts pressure on the corporation by pressuring the company’s other unions, shareholders, directors, customers, creditors, and government agencies, often directly.

Criterion validity

A type of validity based on showing that scores on the test (predictors) are related to job performance (criterion).

Critical incident method

Keeping a record of uncommonly good or undesirable examples of an employee’s work-related behavior and reviewing it with the employee at pre-determined times.

Dabis-Bacon Act (1931)

A law that sets wage rates for laborers employed by contractors working for the federal government.


Legal process for employees to terminate a union’s right to represent them.

Decline stage

Period where many people face having to accept reduced levels of power and responsibility, and must learn to develop new roles as mentors or confidantes for younger people.

Deferred profit-sharing plan

A plan in which a certain amount of profits is credited to each employee’s account, payable at retirement, termination, or death.

Defined benefit pension plan

A plan in which the employer’s contribution to employee’s retirement savings funds is specified.


Broadening the responsibilities of the company’s jobs, and encouraging employees not to limit themselves to what’s on their job descriptions.


Daily listings made by workers of every activity in which they engage along with the time each activity takes.

Direct financial payments

Pay in the form of wages, salaries, incentives, commissions, and bonuses.


Involuntary termination of an employee’s employment with the firm.

Disparate rejection rates

A test for adverse impact in which it can be demonstrated that there is a discrepancy between rates of rejection of members of a protected group and of others.

Distributive justice

The fairness and justice of a decision’s result.


The variety or multiplicity of demographic features that characterize a company’s workforce, particularly in terms of race, sex, culture, national origin, handicap, age, and religion.


The process of reducing, usually dramatically, the number of people employed by a firm.

Early retirement window

A type of offering by which employees are encouraged to retire early, the incentive being liberal pension benefits plus perhaps a cash payment.

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act(2001) EGTRRA

An act that improves the attractiveness of retirement benefits like 401(k) plans by boosting individual employees’ elective deferred limits to $15,000, effective in 2006.

Economic strike

A strike that results from a failure to agree on the terms of a contract that involve wages, benefits, and other conditions of employement.

Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)

Intended in part to restrict interception and monitoring of oral and wire communications, but with two exceptions: employers who can show a legitimate business reason for doing so, and employers who have employees’ consent to do so.

Electronic performance monitoring (EPM)

Having supervisors electronically monitor the amount of computerized data an employee is processing per day, and therby his or her performance.

Electronic performance support systems(EPSS)

Sets of computerized tools and displays that automate training, documentation, and phone support, integrate this automation into applications, and provide support that’s faster, cheaper, and more effective than traditional methods.

Employee advocacy

HR must take responsibility for clearly defining how management should be treating employees, make sure employees have the mechanisms required to contest unfair practices, and reprent the interests of employees within the framework of its primary obligation to senior management.

Employee assistance program(EAP)

A formal employer program for providing employees with counseling and/or treatment programs for problems such as alcoholism, gambling, or stress.

Employee compensation

All forms of pay or rewards going to employees and arising from their employment.

Employee orientation

A procedure for providing new employees with basic background information about the firm.

Employee recruiting

Finding and/or attracting applicants for the employer’s open positions.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Signed into law by President Ford in 1974 to require that pension rights be vested and protected by a government agency, the PBGC.

Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)

A qualified, tax-deductible stock bonus plan in which employers contribute stock to a trust for eventual use by employees.

Employment or peronnel planning

The process of deciding what positions the firm will have to fill, and how to fill them.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The commission, created by Title VII, is empowered to investigate job discrimination complaints and sue on behalf of complainants.

Equal Pay Act of 1963

The act requiring equal pay for equal work, regardless of sex.

Establishment stage

Spans roughly ages 24 to 44 and is the heart of most people’s work lives.


The principles of conduct governing an individual or a group; specifically, the standards to which the employer expects its employees to adhere.

Ethics code

Memorializes the standards to which the employer expects its employees to adhere.


The notion that home-country attitudes, management style, knowledge, evaluation criteria, and managers are superior to anything the host country has to offer.

Executive coach

An outside consultant who questions the executive’s boss, peers, subordinates, and (sometimes) family in order to identify the executive’s strengths and weaknesses, and to counsel the executive so he or she can capitalize on those strengths and overcome the weaknesses.

Exit interviews

Interviews with employees who are leaving the firm, conducted for the purpose of obtaining information about the job or related matters, to give the employer insight about the company.


Noncitizens of the countries in which they are working.


A person’s expectation that his or her effort will lead to perormance.

Expectancy chart

A graph showing the relationship between test scores and job performance for a group of people.

Exploration stage

The period (roughly from ages 15 to 24) during which a person seriously explores various occupational alternatives.

Fact finder

A neutral party who studies the issues in a dispute and makes a public recommendation for a reasonable settlement.

Factor comparison method

A widely used method of ranking jobs according to a variety of skill and difficulty factors, then adding up these rankings to arrive at an overall numerical rating for each given job.

Fair day’s work

Standards of output which employers should devise for each job based on careful, scientific analysis.

Fair Labor Standards Act (1938)

This act provides for minimum wages, maximum hours, overtime pay, and child labor protection. The law has been amended many times and covers most employees.

Family-friendly benefits

Benefits such as child care and fitness facilities that make it easier for employees to balance their work and family responsibilities.

Federal Violence Against Women Act of 1994

Provides that a person wh commits a crime of violence motivated by gender shall be liable to the party injured.

Finacial incentives

Financial rewards paid to workers whose production exceeds some predetermined standard.

Flexible benefits plan/cafeteria benefits plan

Individualized plans allowed by employers to accommodate employee preferences for benefits.


A plan whereby employees’ workdays are built around a core of mid-day hours, such as 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.

Forced distribution method

Similar to grading on a curve; predetermined percentages of ratees are placed in various performance categories.

Foreign service premiums

Financial payments over and above regular base pay, typically ranging between 10% and 30% of base pay.

4/5ths rule

Federal agency rule that minority selection rate less than 80% (4/5ths) of group with highest rate evidences adverse impact.

401(k) plan

A defined contribution plan based on section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Functional authority (or functional control)

The authority exerted by an HR manager as coordinator of personnel activities.

Functional job analysis

A method for classifying jobs similar to the DOL method, but additionally taking into account the extent to which instructions, reasoning, judgment, and mathematical and verbal ability are necessary for performing job tasks.

Gainsharing plan

An incentive plan that engages employees in a common effort to achieve productivity objectives and share the gains.


The belief that the firm’s whole management staff must be scoured on a global basis, on the assumption that the best manager of a specific position anywhere may be in any of the countries in which the firm operates.


The tendency of firms to extend their sales, ownership, and/or manufacturing to new markets abroad.

Golden parachutes

Payments companies make in connection with a change in ownership or control of a company.

Good faith bargaining

Both parties are making every reasonable effort to arrive a agreement; proposals are being matched with counterproposals.

Good faith effort strategy

Employment strategy aimed at changing practices that have contributed in the past to excluding or underutilizing protected groups.

Grade definition

Written descriptions of the level of, say, responsibility and knowledge required by jobs in each grade. Similar jobs can then be combined into grades or classes.


A job classification system like the class system, although grades often contain dissimilar jobs, such as secretaries, mechanics, and firefighters. Grade descriptions are written based on compensable factors listed in classification systems.

Graphic rating scale

A scale that lists a number of traits and a range of performance for each. The employee is then rated by identifying the score that best describes his or her level of performance for each trait.


Any factor involving wages, hours, or conditions of employment that is used as a complaint against the employer.

Group life insurance

Provides lower rates for the employer or employee and includes all employees, including ne employees, regardless of health or physical condition.

Growth stage

The period from birth to age 14 during which a person develops a self-concept by identifying with an interacting with other people.

Halo effect

In performance appraisal, the problem that occurs when a supervisor’s rating of a subordinate on one trait biases the rating of that person on other traits.

Hardship allowances

Compensate expatriates for exceptionally hard living and working conditions at certain locations.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

A prepaid health care system that generally provides routine round-the-clock medical services as well as prventive medicine in a clinic-type arrangement for employees, who pay a nominal fee in addition to the fixed annual fee the employer pays.

Hight-perfomance work system

An intigrated set of human resources policies and pratices that together produce superior employee preformance.

Home-country nationals

Citizens of the country in which the multinational company has its headquarters.

HR Scorecard

Measures the HR function’s effectiveness and efficiency in producing employee behaviors needed to achieve the company’s strategic goals.

Human capital

The knowledge, education, training, skills, and expertise of a firm’s workers.

Human Resource Management (HRM)

The policies and practices involved in carrying out the “people” or human resource aspects of a management position, including recruiting, screening, training, rewarding, and appraising.

Illegal bargaining items

Items in collective bargaining that are forbidden by law; for example, a clause agreeing to hire “union members exclusively” would be illegal in a right-to-work state.


Collective bargaining situation that occurs when the parties are not able to move further toward settlement, usually because one party is demanding more than the other will offer.

Implied authority

The authority exerted by an HR manager by virtue of others’ knowledge that he or she has access to top management(in areas like testing and affirmative action).

Indirect financial payments

Pay in the form of financial benefits such as insurance.

Indirect payments

Pay in the form of financial benefits such as insurance.

in-house development center

A company-based method for exposing prospective managers to realistic exercises to devlop improved management skills.


A court order compelling a party or parties either to resume or to desist from a certain action.

Inside games

Union effors to convince employees to impede or to disrupt production–for example, by showing the work pace.


The perceived relationships between successful performance and obtaining the reward.


Willful disregard or disobedience of the boss’s authority or legitimate orders; criticizing the boss in public.

Interactional (imterpersonal) justice

The manner in which managers conduct their interpersonal dealings with employees.

Interest inventory

A personal development and selection device that compares the person’s current interests with those of others now in various occupations so as to determine the preferred occupation for the individual.

Job aid

Is a set of instructions, diagrams, or similar methods available at the job site to guide the worker.

Job analysis

The procedure for determining the duties and skill requirements of a job and the kind of person who should be hired for it.

Job classification (or grading) method

A method for categorizing jobs into groups.

Job description

A list of a job’s duties, responsibilities, reporting relationships, working conditions, and supervisory responsibilities–one product of a job analysis.

Job enlargement

Assigning workers additional same-level activities, thus increasing the number of activities they perform.

Job enrichment

Redesigning jobs in a say that increases the opportunities for the worker to experience feelings of responsibility, achievement, growth, and recognition.

Job evaluation

A systematic comparison done in order to determine the worth of one job relative to another.

Job instruction training (JIT)

Listing each job’s basic tasks, along with key points, in order to provide step-by-step training for employees.

Job posting

Publicizing an open job to employees (often by literally posting it on bulletin boards) and listing its attributes, like qualifications, supervisor, working schedule, and pay rate.

Job rotaion

Systematically moving workers from one job to another to enhance work team performance and/or to broaden his or her experience and identify strong and weak points to prpare the person for an enhanced role with the company.

Job sharing

Allows two or more people to share a single fulltime job.

Job specifications

A list of a job’s “human requirements,” that is, the requisite education, skills, personality, and so on–another product of a job analysis.

Job-related interview

A series of job-related questions that focus on relevant past job-related behaviors.

Lack of qualifications

Employee’s inability to do the assigned work although he or she is dilegent.

Landrum-Griffin Act (1959)

The law aimed at protecting union members from possible wrongdoing on the part of their unions.

Law of individual differences

The fact that people differ in personality, abilities, values, and needs.


Supplementing what you have and doing more with what you have.

Line authority

The authority exerted by an HR manager by directing the activities of the people in his or her own department and in service areas(like the plant cafeteria).

Line manager

A manager who is authorized to direct the work of subordinates and is responsible for accomplishing the organization’s tasks.


A refusal by the employer to provide opportunities to work.

Maintenance stage

Period between ages 45 and 65 when many people slide from the stabilization substage into an established position and focus on maintaining that place.

Management assessment center

A simulation in which management candidates are asked to perform realistic tasks in hypothetical situations and are scored on their performance. It usually also involves testing and the use of management games.

Management by objectives (MBO)

Involves setting specific measurable goals with each employee and then periodically reviewing the progress made.

Management development

Any attempt to improve current or future management performance by imparting knowledge, changing attitudes, or increasing skills.

Management game

A development technique in which teams of managers compete by making computerized decisions regarding realistic but simulated situations.

Management process

The five basic functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.

Managing diversity

Maximizing diversity’s potential benefits while minimizing the potential barriers that can undermine the company’s performance.

Mandatory bargaining items

Items in collective bargaining that a party must bargain over if they are introduced by the other party–for example, pay.

Mass interview

A panel interviews several candidates simultaneously.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Sheets that describe the precautions required by OSHA that employees are to take when dealing with hazardous chemicals, and what to do if problems arise.

Mechanical security

The utilization of security systems such as locks, intrusion alarms, access control systems, and surveillance systems.


Intervention in which a neutral third party tries to assist the principals in reaching agreement.


Formal or informal programs in which mid- and senior-level managers help less experienced employees–for instance, by giving them career advice and helping them navigate political pitfalls.

Merit pay (merit raise)

Any salary increase awarded to an employee based on his or her individual performance.


A set of quantitative performance measures HR managers use to assess their operations.

Midcareer crisis substage

Period during which people often make major reassessments of their progress relative to original ambitions and goals.

Miniature job training and evaluating

Training candidates to perform several of the job’s tasks, and then evaluating the candidates’ performance prior to hire.


Deliberate and willful violation of the employer’s rules.


Spells out who the company is, what it does, and where it’s headed.

Mixed motive case

A discrimination allegation case in which the employer argues that the employment action taken was motivated, not by discrimination, but by some non-discriminatory reason such as ineffective performance.

Mobility premiums

Typically, lump-sum payments to reward employees for moving from one assignment to another.

National emergency stikes

Strikes that might “imperil the national health and safety.”

National Labor Relations (or Wagner) Act

This law banned certain types of unfair practices and provided for secret-ballot elections and majority rule for determining whether or not a firm’s employees want to unionize.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

The agency created by the Wagner Act to investigate unfair labor practice charges and to provide for secret-ballot elections and majority rule in determining whether or not a firm’s employees want a union.

Natural security

Taking advantage of the facility’s natural or architectural features in order to minimize security problems.

Negligent hiring

Hiring workers with questionable bakgrounds without proper safeguards.

Negligent training

A situation where an employer fails to train adequately, and the employee subsequently harms a third party.

Nonpunitive discipline

Discipline without punishment, usually involving a system of oral warnings and paid “decision-making leaves” in lieu of more traditional punishment.

Norris-LaGuardia Act (1932)

This law marked the beginning of the era of strong encouragement of unions and guaranteed to each employee the right to bargain collectively “free from interference, restraint, or coercion.”

Occupational illness

Any abnormal condition or disorder caused by exposure to environmental factors associated with employment.

Occupational Safety and Health Act

The law passed by Congress in 1970 “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.”

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

The agency created within the Department of Labor to set safety and health standards for almost all workers in the United States.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

This office is responsible for implementing the executive orders and ensuring compliance of federal contractors.


Having local employees abroad do jobs that the firm’s domestic employees prviously did in-house.

On Demand Recruiting Services(ODRS)

A service that provides short-term specialized recruiting to support specific projects without the expense of retaining traditional search firms.

One-on-one interview

Two people meet alone and one interviews the other by seeking oral responses to oral inquiries.

on-the-job training

Training a person to learn a job while working on it.

Open shop

Perhaps the least attractive type of union security from the union’s point of view, the workers decide whether or not to join the union; and those who join must pay dues.

Organization chart

A chart that shows the organizationwide distribution of work, with titles of each position and inter-connecting lines that show who reports to and communicates to whom.

Organizational culture

The characteristic values, traditions, and behaviors a company’s employees share.

Organizational development

A special approach to organizational change in which employees themselves formulate and implement the change that’s required.

Organizational security

Using good management to improve security.

Organizationwide incentive plans

Plans in which all or most employees can participate, and which generally tie the reward to some measure of companywide performance.

Outplacement counseling

A systematic process by which a terminated person is trained and counseled in the techniques of self-appraisal and securing a new position.

Outsourced learning

The outsourcing of companies’ learning functions to major consulting firms.


Letting outside vendors provide services.

Paired comparison method

Ranking employees by making a chart of all possible pairs of the employees for each trait and indicating which is the better employee of the pair.

Panel interview

An interview in which a group of interviewers questions the applicant.

Pay grade

A pay grade is comprised of jobs of approximately equal difficulty.

Pay ranges

A series of steps or levels within a pay grade, usually based upon years of service.

Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation (PBGC)

Established under ERISA to ensure that pensions meet vesting obligations; also insures pensions should a plan terminate without sufficient funds to meet its vested obligations.

Pension plans

Plans that provide a fixed sum when employees reach a predetermined retirement age or when they can no longer work due to disability.

Performance analysis

Verifying that there is a performance deficiency and determining whether that deficiency should be corrected through training or through some other means (such as transferring the employee).

Performance appraisal

Evaluating an employee’s current and/or past performance relative to hsi or her performance standards.

Performance management

Taking an integrated, goal-oriented approach to assigning, training, assessing, and rewarding employees’ performance.

Personnel replacement charts

Company records showing present performance and promotability of inside candidates for the most important positions.


Having employees carry signs announcing their concerns near the employer’s place of business.


A system of pay based on the number of items processed by each individual worker in a unit of time, such as items per hour or items per day.

Point method

The job evaluation method in which a number of compensable factors are identified and then the degree to which each of these factors is present on the job is determined.


A conscious belief that only the host-country managers can ever really understand the culture and behavior of the host-country market.


Making it easier for employees who leave the firm prior to retirement to take their accumulated pension funds with them.

Position analysis questionnaire (PAQ)

A questionnaire used to collect quantifiable data concerning the duties and responsibilities of various jobs.

Position replacement card

A card prepared for each position in a company to show possible replacement candidates and their qualification.

Preferred provider organizations(PPOs)

Groups of health care providers that contract with employers, insurance companies, or third-party payers to provide medical care services at a reduced fee.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)

An amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that prohibits sex discrimination based on “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”

Preretirement counseling

Counseling provided to employees who are about to retire, which covers matters such as benefits advice, second careers, and so on.

Procedural justice

The fairness of the process.

Process chart

A work flow chart that shows the flow of inputs to and outputs from a particular job.

Profit-sharing plan

A plan whereby employees share in the company’s profits.

Programmed learning

A systematic method for teaching job skills involving presenting questions or facts, allowing the person to respond, and giving the learner immediate feedback on the accuracy of his or her answers.


Advancements to positions of increased responsibility.

Protected class

Persons such as minorities and women protected by equal opportunity laws, including Title VII.

Qualifications inventories

Manual or computerized records listing employees’ education, career and development interests, languages, special skills, and so on, to be used in selecting inside candidates for promotion.

Qualified individuals

Under ADA, those who can carry out the essential functions of the job.

Ranking method

The simplest method of job evaluation that involves ranking each job relative to all other jobs, usually based on overall difficulty.

Ratio analysis

A forecasting technique for determining future staff needs by using ratios between, for example, sales volume and number of employees needed.

Reality shock

Results of a period that may occur at the initial career entry when the new employee’s high job expectations confront the reality of a boring, unchallenging job.

Recruiting yield pyramid

The historical arithmetic relationships between recruitment leads and invitees, invitees and interviews, interviews and offers made, and offers made and offers accepted.


The fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvement in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as const, quality, service, and speed.


The consistency of scores obtained by the same person when retested with the identical tests or with alternate forms of the same test.

Restricted policy

Another test for adverse impact, involving demonstration that an employer’s hiring practices exclude a protected group, whether intentionally or not.


The point at which one gives up one’s work, usually between the ages of 60 and 65.

Reverse discrimination

Claim that due to affirmative action quota systems, white males are discriminated against.

Right to work

A term used to describe state statutory or constitutional provisions banning the requirement of union membership as a condition of employment.

Role playing

A training technique in which trainees act out parts in a realistic management situation.

Salary compression

A salary inequity problem, generally caused by inflation, resulting in longer-term employees in a position earning less than workers entering the firm today.

Salary survey

A survey aimed at determining prevailing wage rates. A good salary survey provides specific wage rates for specific jobs. Formal written questionnaire surveys are the most comprehensive, but telephone surveys and newspaper ads are also sources of information.

Saving and thrift plan

Plan in which employees contribute a portion of their earnings to a fund; the employer usually matches this contribution in whole or in part.

Scanlon plan

An incentive plan developed in 1937 by Joseph Scanlon and designed to encourage cooperation, involvement, and sharing of benefits.

Scatter plot

A graphical method used to help identify the relationship between two variables.

Scientific management movement

Management approach that emphasizes improving work methods through observation and analysis.

Scientific management

Management approach based on improving work methods through observation and analysis.

Sequential (or serial) interview

Several persons interview the applicant, in sequence, one-on-one, before a decision is made.

Severance pay

A one-time payment some employers provide when terminating an employee.

Sexual harassment

Harassment on the basis of sex that has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Sick leave

Provides pay to an employee when he or she is out of work because of illness.

Simulated training

Training employees on special off-the-job equipment, as in airplane pilot training, so training costs and hazards can be reduced.

Situational interview

A series of job-related questions that focus on how the candidate would behave in a given situation.

Situational tests

Examinees respond to situations representative of the job.

Social Security

Federal program that provides three types of benefits: retirement income at the age of 62 and thereafter; survivor’s or death benefits payable to the employee’s dependents regardless of age at time of death; and disability benefits payable to disabled employees and their dependents. These benefits are payable only if the employee is insured under the Social Security Act.

Stabilization substage

Firm occupational goals are set and the person does more explicit career planning.

Staff authority

Gives the manager the right (authority) to advise other managers or employees.

Staff manager

A manager who assists and advises line managers.

Standard hour plan

A plan by which a worker is paid a basic hourly rate but is paid an extra percentage of his or her rate for production exceeding the standard per hour or per day. Similar to piecework payment but based on a percent premium.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)

Classifies all workers into one of 23 major groups of jobs which are subdivided into minor groups of jobs and detailed occupations.

Stock option

The right to purchase a stated number of shares of a company stock at today’s price at some time in the future.

Straight piecework

An incentive plan in which a person is paid a sum for each item he or she makes or sells, with a strict proportionality between results and rewards.

Strategic control

The process of assessing progress toward strategic goals and taking corrective action as needed.

Strategic human resource management

Formulating and executing human resource policies and practices that produce the employee competencies and behaviors the company needs to achieve its strategic aims.

Strategic management

The process of identifying and executing the organization’s mission by matching its capabilities with the demands of its environment.

Strategic plan

The company’s plan for how it will match its internal strengths and weaknesses with external opportunities and threats in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

Strategic planning

Manager formulates specific strategies to take the company from where it is now to where he or she wants it to be.


The company’s long-term plan for how it will balance its internal strengths and weaknesses with its external opportunities and threats to maintain a competitive advantage.

Strategy map

Diagram that summarizes the chain of major activities that contribute to a company’s success.

Stress interview

Interviewer seeks to make the applicant uncomfortable with occasionally rude questions.


The problem that occurs when a supervisor has a tendency to rate all subordinates either high or low.


A withdrawal of labor.

Structured or directive interview

An interview following a set sequence of questions.

Structured sequential interview

An interview in which the applicant is interviewed sequentially by several persons; each rates the applicant on a standard form.

Structured situational interview

A series of job-oriented questions with prdetermined answers that interviewers ask of all applicants for the job.

Succession planning

The ongoing process of systematically identifying, assessing, and developing organizational leadership to enhance performance.

Supplemental pay benefits

Benefits for time not worked such as unemployment insurance, vacation and holiday pay, and sick pay.

Supplemental unemployment benefits

Provide for a “guaranteed annual income” in certain industries where employers must shut down to change machinery or due to reduced work. These benefits are paid by the company and supplement unemployment benefits.

SWOT analysis

The use of a SWOT chart to compile and organize the process of identifying company Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Sympathy strike

A stike that takes place when one union strikes in support of the strike of another.

Taft-Hartley Act (1947)

Also known as the Labor Management Relations Act, thsi law prohibited unfair union labor practices and enumerated the rights of employees as union members. It also enumerated the rights of employers.

Task analysis

A detailed study of a job to identify the specific skills required.

Team or group incentive paln

A plan in which a production standard is set for a specific work group, and its members are paid incentives if the group exceeds the production standard.


Where employees work at home, usually with computers, and use phones and the Internet to transmit letters, data, and completed work to the home office.

Termination at will

Without a contract, either the employer or the employee could terminate at will the employment relationship.

Termination interview

The interview in which an employee is informed of the fact that he or she has been dismissed.

Test validity

The accuracy with which a test, interview, and so on measures what it purports to measure or fulfills the funtion it was designed to fill.

Third-country nationals

Citizens of a country other than the parent or the host country.

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

The section of the act that says an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin with respect to employment.


The process of teaching new employees the basic skills they need to perform their jobs.


Reassignments to similar positions in other parts of the firm.

Trend analysis

Study of a firm’s past employment needs over a period of years to predict future needs.

Trial substage

Period that lasts from about ages 25 to 30 during which the person determines whether or not the chosen field is suitable; if not, changes may be attempted.

U.S Department of Labor (DOL) job analysis procedure

A standardized method by which different jobs can be quantitatively rated, classified, and compared based on data,people, and things scored.

Unclear standards

An appraisal that is too open to interpretation.

Unemployment insurance

Provides benefits if a person is unable to work through some fault other than his or her own.

Unfair labor practice strike

A strike aimed at protesting illegal conduct by the employer.

Uniform guidelines

Guidelines issued by federal agencies charged with ensuring compliance with equal employment federal legislation explaining recommended employer procedures in detail.

Union salting

A union organizing tactic by which workers who are in fact employed full-time by a union as undercover organizers are hired by unwitting employers.

Union shop

A form of union security in which the company can hire nonunion people, but they must join the union after a prescribed period of time and pay dues. (If they do not, they can be fired.)

Unsafe conditions

The mechanical and physical conditions that cause accidents.

Unsatisfactory performance

Persistent failure to perform assigned duties or to meet prescribed standards on the job.

Unstructured or nondirective interview

An unstructured conversational-style interview in which the interviewer pursues points of interest as they come up in response to questions.

Unstrutured sequential interview

An interview in which each interviewer forms an independent opinion after asking different questions.


The perceived value a person attaches to the reward.

Value chain

Identifies the primary activities that create value for customers and the ralated support activities.

Value chain analysis

Identifying the primary activities that create value for customers and the related support activities.

Variable pay

Any plan that ties pay to productivity or profitability, usually as on-time lump payments.

Vested funds

Money placed in a pension fund that cannot be forfeited for any reason.

Video-based simulation

A situational test in which examinees respond to video simulations of realistic job situations.

Virtual classroom

Special collaboration software used to enable multiple remote learners, using their PCs or laptops, to participate in live audio and visual discussions, communicate via written text, and learn via content such as PowerPoint slides.


A general statement of its intended direction that evokes emotional feelings in organization members.

Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The act requiring certain federal contractors to take affirmative action for disabled persons.

Voluntary bargaining items

Items in collective bargaining over which bargaining is neither illegal nor mandatory–neither party can be compelled against its wishes to negotiate over those items.

Wage curve

Shows the relationship between the value of the job and the average wage paid for this job.

Walsh-Healey Public Contract Act (1936)

A law that requires minimum wage and working conditions for employees working on any government contract amounting to more than $10,000.

Wildcat strike

An unauthorized strike occurring during the term of a contract.

Work samples

Actual job tasks used in testing applicants’ performance.

Work smapling technique

A testing method based on measuring performance on actual job tasks.

Work sharing

Refers to a temporary reduction in work hours by a group of employees during economic downturns as a way to prevent layoffs.

Workers’ compensation

Provides income and medical benefits to work-related accident victims or their dependents regardless of fault.

Wrongful discharge

An employee dismissal that does not comply with the law or does not comply with the contractual arrangement stated or implied by the firm via its employment application forms, employee manuals, or other promises.

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