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Glossary of Terms


Accountability

A term used to determine what you are responsible for and how you can be held accountable for achieving the results required from your responsibilities.

Acronym


A word formed from the initial letters of a series of words – See SMART below as an example.

Assessment Centre

An Assessment Centre is used to assess a group of candidates to select one or more of those individuals for a job or promotion.

Asylum and Immigration Act

Legislation which includes the recruitment of staff within the UK.

Behavioural Questions

These questions are based around actual events. So the question would always be asking what you did in a certain circumstance rather than what you would do in the future.

Closed Questions

These questions are where you receive a yes or no answer; they do not elicit further information, and are therefore generally not asked at interview. When compiling your questions for the Employer, remember to ask as many open questions as possible to elicit as much information as possible. Examples of closed questions are:

Are you happy in your job?

Are you always motivated?

Competencies

Competencies are characteristics which can both predict, and result in, superior performance. They are a combination of behaviours and knowledge which drive business success.

There are two types of competencies: the first are behavioural or key competencies. Key competencies are those behaviours which produce desired results; these are the key drivers for business success.

The second type of competencies is technical competencies – these are the knowledge required for a particular position and form the foundation to support the behavioural competencies.

Competitive Advantage

A competitive advantage is something which is unique, either for the company or yourself which gives you an absolute advantage over the competition. In individual terms this could be a skill you have which nobody else has, in organisational terms this could be a unique culture where people are really happy and want to stay working for the organisation, something like this cannot easily be replicated quickly by another organisation, whereas a unique product (unless it is patented) can be copied by a competitor quite quickly and so the advantage fades quickly

Culture

A company culture is a set of behaviours, a group habit and language used by all employees. Cultures can often be different between departments, but a company will generally have a desired culture and language they would prefer employees to use. This is often as a result of the direction the company wants to go in or will be a direct result of the founder/owner or management of the company.

CV/Curriculum Vitae

Its meaning is actually the ‘course of one's life'. However, in employment terms, it means giving a detailed overview of your employment, skills, knowledge, achievements and ability.

Some organisations or countries will refer to it as a Resume and different countries will expect to see different things in each of these documents.

Development Centre

A Development Centre is used to assess individuals in a group setting to determine that individual's development and training needs, or the training and development needs of the group as a whole.

Discrimination

Discrimination means you are being treated less favourably than others, and can be due to your:

  • Race or Colour
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Birthplace
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Marital/family status

Diversity

Another term for Equal Opportunities, this is generally used in multi-national organisations, often where the head office is based in America or Canada.

Effectiveness

There is a huge difference between doing your job efficiently and doing your job effectively. If you are efficient at your job, you may well have all your work done in the correct time allotted, you may be tidy and have everything up to date, but did the work make any difference to the company? Being effective means you achieve an outcome which has made a difference.

Efficiency

There is a huge difference between doing your job efficiently and doing your job effectively. If you are efficient at your job, you may well have all your work done in the correct time allotted, you may be tidy and have everything up to date, but did the work make any difference to the company?

Employee Assistance Programme

This is usually a free service for Employees and their immediate family where they have free access to a totally independent and entirely confidential off-site professional counselling service, in the following areas:

  • Marital and family problems
  • Financial matters
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Legal disputes
  • Stress
  • Career issues
  • Substance abuse eg, drugs or alcohol dependency
  • Health or psychological problems

Equal Opportunities

Companies endeavour to provide and maintain a discrimination-free work environment for all employees. Companies are usually therefore committed to providing equal opportunities for all potential and current employees and to administering working conditions, compensation, benefits and privileges of employment, promotion, training, transfers, termination and layoffs without regard to race, colour, religion, national origin, sex, sexual preference, age, marital status, or disabled status.

Ergonomic Assessment

Under Health & Safety regulations companies have a duty of care to ensure if you are using a computer workstation, you are assessed correctly to ensure your seating position, the lighting and computer screen especially are right for you. There are generally a range of questions about the working environment and software you will be using too. This is generally carried out within the first few weeks of being employed.

Extrovert

An extrovert is an outgoing and gregarious person, often concerned primarily with the physical and social environment.

Goals

These are targets or benchmarks set within a company plan so employees know what they need to achieve, and this can then determine the behaviour needed during employment.

Intellectual Capital

This is a body of knowledge which can be exploited within the organisation. For example it could be the collective knowledge of all employees or individual expertise.

Interpersonal Style

This is your style or characteristics when dealing with other people.

Introvert

A shy inward-looking person, often concerned primarily with their own thoughts and feelings

IR35

HM Revenue and Customs allow contractors to determine whether they are covered by the IR35 rule.

The key is to determine if a contractor has a contract of service (and is employed) or a contract for service (and is a self-employed independent contractor) when working for a given client.

If it is determined the contractor has a contract of service and is employed on a given contract with a client, then the IR35 rules apply and tax and National Insurance liabilities should be the same as if the contractor was directly employed by the client.

If the contractor is deemed to have a contract for service, they are considered a genuine self-employed independent contractor or service supplier, the IR35 rule then does not apply and the contractor can enjoy certain tax advantages.

In order to determine whether or not the contractor is employed during the course of a given contract a range of questions are asked about the status of the contractor.

Job Description/Specification

This is a fairly detailed list of the tasks you will be required to perform in your role, as well as key behaviours you will need to show to meet these goals. It can also highlight the key qualifications needed as a basis to undertake this role.

Learning Styles

According to the Organisational Behaviourist Kolb, there are four main learning styles: Concrete Experience (Feeling), Reflective Observation (Watching), Abstract Conceptualisation (Thinking) and Active Experimentation (Doing). These are used to understand development actions for individuals and the type of training and learning to be undertaken.

Open Questions

An open question is one which elicits more information. Examples of open questions are:

Tell me about a time when ...?

Give me an example of ...?

Using words in your questions like what, when, where, why, who and how will elicit more information.

Ownership

This is often used in business to describe employees owing their responsibilities and making sure these are completed within the time requirements ensuring there is a tangible and effective outcome for the business.

Person Specification

This is similar to a job description, but describes the attributes, characteristics and traits required from the person. For example, must be trustworthy, be able communicate and have a clean driving licence.

Personality Testing/Questionnaires

A test, usually involving a standardized series of questions or tasks, used to describe or evaluate a subject's personality characteristics. Personality questionnaires, often called tests even though they are not tests at all, provide the employer with trends or traits which give them an area to ask further questions at interview, to delve a little deeper into areas which are important to them. There are no right or wrong answers and sometimes are called a Psychometric Test.

Psychometric Tests

A test, usually involving a standardized series of questions or tasks, used to describe or evaluate a subject's personality characteristics. Personality questionnaires, often called tests even though they are not tests at all, provide the employer with trends or traits which give them an area to ask further questions at interview, to delve a little deeper into areas which are important to them. There are no right or wrong answers and are sometimes called a Personality Questionnaire.

Redundancy Definition

An employee who is dismissed shall be taken to be dismissed by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is attributable wholly or mainly to -

  • the fact that his employer has ceased, or intends to cease
    • to carry on the business for the purposes of which the employee was employed by him, or
    • to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed, or
  • the fact that the requirements of that business –
    • for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, or
    • for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was employed by the employee have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish".

Resume

Some organisations or countries will refer to the CV as a Resume and different countries will expect to see different things in each of these documents. It still includes information about your employment, skills, knowledge, achievements and ability.

Search & Selection

A term used by organisations to outline the role, advertise their jobs in many different places (the search) and then going through the interview processes, including testing etc to make a selection of the successful applicant against the outline criteria for the role.

Search Terms

You use search terms on the web to make a thorough examination of web sites to find what you are looking for. Using many, varied and appropriate search terms on the web will help you find many sources of information and job prospects. Some ideas you might want to use:

  • Finding a job
  • Jobs in (name industry such as nursing)
  • Looking for a job
  • New Job
  • Job Vacancies
  • Open Vacancies
  • Vacant Positions
  • Part-time Work
  • Part-time Jobs
  • Full-time Work
  • Full-time Jobs
  • Job Search
  • Recruitment Search
  • Need a new Job
  • Job Information
  • New Career
  • Careers Available
  • Hourly Work
  • Apprenticeships
  • Job Help
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Top Talent
  • Jobs On-line
  • Work from home
  • Home working
  • Door to door selling
  • Contract work
  • Job Boards
  • Temporary Contract Work
  • Contract Hire Jobs

You can further refine your search terms by adding the location or industry, for example you could say Find a Job in Nottingham, or Find a Job in Catering.

SMART Goals

Some companies use the acronym S.M.A.R.T to define their goals and targets. SMART Stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Reasonable
  • Timely

This helps managers and employees when they are creating their annual performance goals, as it helps to define specific goals which have benchmarks against which performance can be judged.

Strategy

A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. For example, the goal of a company may be to increase profits but the strategy chosen might be to undertake an advertising campaign; invest in a new computer system; or adjust pricing.

Stretch

This term is often used when discussing targets. Companies want to over-achieve their targets or sales goals and will use the term stretch with their staff to encourage them to overachieve. It is often associated with higher bonuses or commission if stretch targets are achieved.

Targets

Targets are usually a set of goals; these are often financially based, and are the goals the company wish to attain each year. They can be sales figures, profits, costs, headcount, customer satisfaction, staff satisfaction etc.

Top Talent

This term is used for employees who have key skills, knowledge, ability and over-achieve within the organisation.

Values

Values are things you absolutely believe in such as:

  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Quality
  • Equality
  • Family
  • Doing the right thing
  • Supporting charities
  • Financial security etc.

Vision

A vision statement is sometimes called a picture of your company in the future but it's so very much more than this. Your vision statement is the inspiration and the framework for all strategic planning.

A vision statement may apply to an entire company or to a single division of the company. Whether for all or part of an organization, the vision statement answers the question, "Where do we want to go?"

What is done when creating a vision statement is articulating the dreams and hopes for the business and reminds all of what you are trying to build.

Web Browser

Computer software which allows you to read files on the World Wide Web. Some of the more popular Web browsers are Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Google Chrome.