The recruitment software glossary

Our recruitment software glossary aims to clarify the most commonly used terms and acronyms you’ll often hear when discussing recruitment software.

Active Candidate

An active candidate is someone who is actively looking for a new job opportunity by reaching out to their professional networks, searching across social media / job boards, applying to job ads or attending interviews.


There are reports that can be run within a recruitment software solution will allows for recruiters to analyse data on a range of activities and groups of data. Analytics can also be used to identify how to improve the recruitment process or the performance of the recruitment agency.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

An applicant tracking system helps record and manage all of your candidate and vacancy information. Candidates can be shortlisted for vacancies, scheduled for interviews, and tracked through the entire interview to placement process.

Application Programme Interface (API)

An API is a software-to-software interface, not a user interface. With APIs, applications talk to each other without any user knowledge or intervention. An API is a list of commands as well as the format of those commands that one application can send to another.

Back Office

The back office comprises of the departments that don’t directly generate revenue for the business but are still essential for the daily running of an business, focusing on processing and support functions. Departments that typically are referred to as back office are IT, Operations, HR, Accounting and Finance.

Big Data

Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data, both structured and unstructured that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations.


Boolean search is a logic based search theory that was originally developed by English Mathematician George Boole in the 19th Century. Boolean is a system of logical thought and will often be used to search the web or a recruitment database.

Learn the 6 basic Boolean search operators for recruiters in our blog.

Business Intelligence (BI)

Business Intelligence is the action of analysing data to make more informed strategic decisions. There are now dedicated BI software solutions for recruitment agencies that can be integrated into your recruitment software solution.

Learn more about BI for recruitment agencies in our blog

Cloud / Cloud Computing

Cloud is where a company’s IT infrastructure, servers, storage, databases and software are hosted by an external provider in a remote datacentre (in the cloud) and is accessed over the internet.


The term compliance describes the ability to act according to an order, set of rules or request. Recruitment compliance is essential to ensure best practice within the industry to ensure candidate are compliant before placement as prescribed by government, client, framework or PSL agreements.

Do you know what the impact of GDPR will be on recruitment agencies? Find out here.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM software is technology that manages and analyses customer contact management, sales management, interactions and data throughout the customer life cycle.

CV / Resume Parsing

CV / resume parsing extracts information from a candidate’s CV into a structured format for populating into a candidate record within a recruitment software solution.


A dashboard provides an at-a-glance view of data from a recruitment database. Dashboards are usually customisable enabling the user to select or filter data either by date range, data type or by a visual display type.

Data Migration

Data migration is the process of moving data from one recruitment system to another. This process can be quite a complex process as not all recruitment technologies are programmed the same way.

Data Partitioning

Data partitioning is the process of logically and/or physically partitioning data into segments that are more easily maintained or accessed.

Document Management System (DMS)

A DMS is the use of a computer system / software to centrally store, manage and track electronic documents.

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Front Office

Front office is the departments of the business that have direct contact with customers, candidates or clients. Usually this includes the sales, business development or account management teams.

Invoice Rate

An invoice rate is the hourly or daily rate a recruitment agency will charge a client for a temporary worker being onsite and working. Generally the invoice rate consists of the candidate’s pay rate, payroll costs and the agencies margin/markup.

Job Advert Distribution

Job advert distribution software enables recruiters to instantly distribute a job advert to multiple selected job boards and social media channels simultaneously.

Job Aggregator

A job aggregator collects job postings from job boards around the internet and consolidates them into one site so that they are easily searchable based on keywords and location. E.g. Indeed

Master Vendor

A master vendor agreement is a subcontracting arrangement where a recruitment agency acts as the ‘sole provider’ (single point of contact), for a company’s recruitment and staffing requirements.


Typically, a mailshot is sending an email to communicate a promotional, marketing or information to a large group of selected people.

Middle Office

Although this is less commonly used, and usually only referred to in financial services, typically, the middle office supports the customer facing teams with administrative tasks but it can also include compliance and risk management.


On-premise is where a company’s IT infrastructure is on-site, and is managed by a IT department or IT provider who administers and maintains the hardware, applications or databases whilst managing backups, compliance and security.

Passive Candidate

A passive candidate is someone who is generally employed but not currently looking for a new job opportunity.

Pay Rate

A pay rate is amount of money an employee receives from an employer. In relations to a temporary employee a pay rate can be hourly or daily.

Recruitment CRM / Recruitment Management System (RMS)

Generally speaking, a recruitment CRM or RMS combines both the functionality of a CRM and ATS all within one software solution. These solutions are generally more expensive as they have a lot more functionality than a standard ATS or CRM software solution.

Recruitment Software

Recruitment software is technology to manage a companies recruitment process. The functionality of recruitment software dramatically differs across the market from recording and managing candidate, client, vacancy, placement, temporary timesheet processing and client invoicing data. Depending on the software provider, recruitment software can be a fully integrated solution or can integrate with a number of other solutions. The term recruitment software is often used to discuss more specialist products such as ATS or Recruitment CRMs.

Which type of recruitment software is right for you? See our blog

RSS / XML Feed

RSS/XML Feed is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, blogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whomever wants it.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis where the software is hosted in the cloud and accessed via the internet. It is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software”.

Talent Pool

A talent pool is a group of qualified candidates (by employment preference, experience, skills or geographical) that can be contacted when a vacancy is received. A talent pool can consist of active and passive candidates.

Temporary to Permanent (Temp to Perm)

Transition of a temporary worker to permanent employment status.

Time and Attendance

Time and Attendance systems are used to track and monitor when staff start and stop work, and can include recording late arrivals, early departures, time taken on breaks and absenteeism.

User Permissions

User permissions specify what tasks users can perform and what features users can access within a recruitment software solution.

Vendor Management System (VMS)

A Vendor Management System (VMS) streamlines and automates the many processes that support the acquisition, management and payment of a business’s contingent workforce.