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20 Buzzwords That Recruiters Use (And What Non-Recruiters Think They Mean)


If you’re a recruiter, you’ll know all of the industry lingo inside out and upside down. Buzzwords and phrases like ‘ATS’, ‘search strings’ and ‘onboarding’ roll off the tongue because they’re used so often in your day to day job that they’ve simply become part of your vocabulary. Mention phrases like these when you’re in the company of non-recruiting folk however, and chances are that you’ll be met with confused looks and head-scratching galore. Think Chandler Bing trying to explain what he does for a living!

Today we’re listing 20 of the buzzwords that recruiters are guilty of using (as well as what they could be misinterpreted as by non-recruiters). Enjoy explaining these ones to your friends and family…

1. ‘Sourcer’


2. ‘Talent Pipeline’

talent pipeline

3. ‘Culture Fit’

culture fit

4. ‘Boolean’

what now

5. ‘Referral’


6. ‘Millennials’


7. ‘Employee Turnover’


8. ‘Candidates’


9. ‘Onboarding’


10. ‘Talent Acquisition’

talent acquisition

11. ‘ATS’


12. ‘Generation Y’

generation y

13. ‘C-Level Jobs’

c level jobs

14. ‘Entry-level’

entry level

15. ‘Talent Pool’

talent pool

16. ‘Candidate retention’

candidate retention

17. ‘Contractor’


18. ‘Cost per hire’

cost per hire

19. ‘Social Sourcing’

social sourcing

20. ‘Screening’


Have you ever had a tough time trying to explain to your friends what you do for a living? Let us know in the comments!

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