HR Glossary

We don't need to tell you that HR jargon is extensive, but did you know that you can now find the most relevant terms alphabetically?

Search our comprehensive glossary.

HR Glossary

360° feedback

A system where employees receive anonymous feedback from the people around them. Their direct manager, colleagues, reports on interactions with stakeholders and self-assessments. This feedback is collected with periodic surveys that can contain different types of questions.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

A type of HR software to support the recruitment process. With these tools you can publish vacancies, save candidate data and guide them through the selection process.

Absence management

The management and processing of absences by HR or managers for payroll processing. It also includes developing policies to limit absenteeism through specific policies and initiatives.

Assessment centre

An exercise that can be carried out with potential candidates to check whether certain skills and competencies are present. This screening is usually carried out by means of a few concrete simulation exercises.

Basic wage

The amount paid before any extras are added (e.g. overtime worked) or deducted (wages handed in for luncheon vouchers). Allowances such as a home work allowance or a telephone subscription are also added to the basic wage.

Corporate culture

The way in which employees within the company behave in mutual relationships and in their relationships with customers and suppliers. It also contains all the unwritten rules and customs specific to the organisation.

Benefits administration

The process of selecting suppliers wgf  fringe benefits, and of managing the benefits for employees. Such as adding a new employee to a hospitalisation - or group insurance.

Paid educational leave

Employees in the private sector may be absent from work for a certain period of time in order to follow a recognised training course, while retaining their salary. After the training, the employer may, under certain conditions, be reimbursed a lump sum by way of compensation.

Gross wage

The salary an employee earns withheld for social security and withholding tax.

Collective Labour Agreement (CLA)

A set of written agreements between (representatives of) employers and representatives of employees, relating to the primary and secondary employment conditions.

Cafeteria plan

A system to offer flexible remuneration as an employer. The employee chooses benefits from a fixed number of options, similar to picking lunch at a cafeteria with self-service.


The necessary skills that an employee must have in order to perform a certain function. Competencies are about both real knowledge and soft skills. When we talk about core competencies, we refer to those skills that are absolutely necessary to be able to perform a job.

Compensation leave

A method of compensating employees for overtime worked. The company pays you in extra leave, which is often cheaper than paying these hours directly. How this compensation is calculated is often summarized in a policy.

Cross-functional team

A group of people composed of employees from different functional teams within the organization. In some companies, employees are in this team as well as in their functional team. In agencies, for example, it is very common that a developer, a designer, a project manager, and an analyst are organize in a new team to work on a new projects.

Opportunities for growth

Opportunities for employees to grow within their organization. This can be towards a higher function (vertical growth) or to further specialize within their own function (horizontal growth).

Exit interview

The last conversation with an employee who is leaving the company. The aim is to obtain information about the working conditions and, if necessary, to provide further explanation of the reason for the dismissal.

Employer branding

Managing the company brand in order to leave a positive impression on current and potential employees.

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

A scoring system designed to measure employee satisfaction and loyalty. You can increase this score by creating a stong employer brand.

Employee Relationship Management (ERM)

A strategy aimed at establishing, maintaining and further developing relationships with new, current and former employees. So that value is created for both the company and the employee.

Employee Lifecycle Management (ELM)

All the steps that an employee goes through during his/her career at the company, from the first to the last working day.


A type of employment contract in which certain employees can perform a second job without being heavily taxed. For employees, there must have been at least 4/5 full-time employment in the past quarter. Pensioners can also make use of this rule to earn some extra savings.

Job description

The complete description of tasks, responsibilities and authority associated with a particular position.

Behavioural observation

A possible part of an assessment in which the conscious and unconscious behaviour of the candidate is studied during the assignment.

Halo effect

A psychological phenomenon in which a positive impression made by a potential candidate suggests that the potential candidate excels in other areas as well.

Horn effect

The opposite of the halo effect, where the negative impression made by a potential candidate suggests that the candidate does not excel in other areas as well.

Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

A comprehensive HR system that centralizes all employee data and provides support for various HR processes such as onboarding, leave management, payroll processing.

Human Resources Management System (HRMS)

An HR system for larger enterprises that has in-depth functionality for many HR processes and provides support to manage a workforce across multiple countries.

Human Capital Management (HCM)

An HR system for larger companies that is similar to an HRMS. It offers more opportunities to attract, manage and grow talent in the organization.

Internal mobility

An HR strategy in which internal talent is used to fill existing and/or new vacancies within a company.


The total number of new employees entering the labour market, in a specific sector or with an employer during one year.

Individual account

Proof that you receive annually with an overview of your performance and salary. You will need this document to complete your tax return.

Annual holiday

The right to holidays enjoyed by every employee. Holidays are granted on the basis of the employment in the previous year. There are different calculation methods for blue-collar and white-collar workers.

Job crafting

A method in which an employee restructures his job himself. This can be because the employee makes adjustments to his tasks, or that adjustments are made in the collaboration with HR or the direct manager.


When an employee often changes employer, most often with the motivation to get a higher salary or a better job, or to build a CV that contains many different experiences.

Short leave (circumstance leave)

A leave system in which an employee may be absent with retention of salary under a number of circumstances. Typical circumstances are family events, such as a marriage or death, or to fulfil certain civil obligations.

Wage costs

The total amount paid by an employer to employ an employee or his entire staff. Calculate your wage cost yourself with our free tool!

Learning & Development

The range of activities offered by the employer to employees to train, retrain and develop themselves. These can range from training programmes for new recruits to courses for managers and in-depth training for specialists.

Learning Management System (LMS)

A type of HR software to provide support in selecting, following and giving training courses.

Career management

This consists of two parts. On the one hand, this involves all activities aimed at allowing an employee to develop as well as possible. On the other hand, this involves directing personnel flows through the organisation. The aim is to achieve a continuous occupation of positions in the organisation and to create optimal development opportunities for employees.

Employee Satisfaction Survey

An investigation by the employer to find out what is really going on with the employees. The daily work, working atmosphere, working conditions, development opportunities, work pressure and appreciation (remuneration) for the employees, management and the organisation.

Mobile workforce

All people who are interested in or willing to move to another country for a job.

Net wage

The amount that the employee receives when the gross salary when taxes and social security contributions are paid.

No cure No pay

A type of agreement in which services are only paid for when a suitable solution is found. This is mainly applied in recruitment for the successful placement of a candidate with an employer.


The process of integrating new employees within the organization. During this process they are familiarized with their team, the services and/or products, the culture of the organization and their function. Work out a structured onboarding process yourself with our free checklist!

Palliative Leave

Paid leave that you receive when you provide palliative care (medical, social, psychological, administrative) to an incurably ill person who is in the terminal phase.

Political Leave

A type of leave in which employees can remain absent in order to exercise a political mandate. Only applicable in the private sector.

Request For Proposal (RFP)

A document that contains all the technical and functional requirements that a desired system must meet. This is part of the purchasing process: it is intended to clearly formulate your needs to potential software providers and vendors.

Referral recruitment (Employee referral)

A method of finding candidates in which potential employees are introduced by current or former employees or relations from their own network.


Proactively searching for and identifying suitable candidates for current and future vacancies. The purpose of sourcing is to gather relevant information from suitable candidates.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

One of the most common ways in which organisations use (HR) software. A SaaS solution offers software in the cloud, whereby the organisation pays in the form of a subscription for a certain period of time and a limited number of users.

Succession planning

Planning of successors for managers and other employees in key positions to prevent gaps in staffing in the event of sudden departures.

Time credit

This system allows you, as a private sector employee, to interrupt your career full-time or part-time to care for someone or to follow a training course. During your career break, you will receive a replacement income from the National Employment Office.

Talent management

Anticipating the workforce needed for the company and planning to meet these needs in the best possible way.

Employment certificate

Evidence showing the start and end date of the employment contract and the nature of the work performed.


The total number of employees leaving the labour market, a specific sector or an employer during one year.

Leave for medical assistance

This is a specific form of a career break, intended to assist or care for a seriously ill family member (up to the second degree).

Leave on compelling grounds

An exceptional situation arises which entitles the employee to be absent from work.

Holiday certificate

A document containing the number of holidays and the paid holiday allowance received by the employee for the year in question. This attestation must be delivered to your payroll provider of the new employer so that they can make the correct calculations in terms of remuneration and holidays.


The number of employees in a company who leave over a certain period of time due to dismissal, long-term sickness and retirement. This number can be expressed as the number of employees leaving during the year relative to the total workforce.


A type of process that follows a predetermined structure or sequence of steps. This makes the process consistent and makes it easier to automatically assign tasks and make it measurable.

Work-life balance

The ratio of the time spent working to the free time available. In order to keep employees satisfied and committed, HR makes sure that this balance is maintained.

Unemployment certificate

This document is very important, because you need it for your payout. It contains personal details, employment details and the reason for your dismissal. If you voluntarily resigned or were dismissed through your own fault (e.g. for an urgent reason), you are not immediately entitled to a payout.


A part of the recruitment process where candidates are sought out for open or future vacancies.


This percentage will give an indication if (groups of) employees take an unusually large number of sick days. It's calculated through the total number of sick days of the employees compared to the total number of available (work/ calendar) days of the employees in the relevant period.