Wondering how on earth to determine one great ATS from an HRIS lite?
Trying to figure out how your career in HR became littered with tech terms?
Well, donít fear, even if youíre well-versed in HR technology verbiage, weíve
pulled together a glossary to ensure you have a firm grasp on what these mean
when talking to best-of-breed technology vendors.
When youíre unsure of the difference
between API and RSS, grab this resource to help you keep it all straight (and
help you pick the best HR tech solution for your company).
does Integration mean in terms of HR Software?
Integration: Using various technologies effectively and efficiently with
different functionalities in the business processes.
In laymanís terms: Your ATS speaks seamlessly to your onboarding software,
which speaks to your performance management system, which also ties into your
Why itís important: Having all your HR data in one place can help with payroll,
employee records and even help protect your company when it comes to overtime
protections for your workers. Having your systems integrated allows you to get
a comprehensive view of your entire workforce, which in turn can make your
employees more productive and help HR professionals identify bottlenecks.
CSV: A CSV (Comma
Separated Values) file is a way to collect the data from any table so that it
can be conveyed as input to another table-oriented application such as a
relational database application. Microsoft Excel, a leading spreadsheet or
relational database application, can read CSV files. A CSV file is sometimes
referred to as a flat file.
In laymanís terms: In most of our worldís CSVs are used to export and input
employee or candidate data. A first name, last name, etc, etcÖ
Why itís important: Because as HR technology continues to get
progressively more intense (and helpful, donít forget helpful) we need ways to
ensure the data can be imported into our increasingly sophisticated systems. Also
so we can send mass emails.
is a parser and how does it work in Recruiting Software?
Parser: A technology that processes online resumes by extracting
In laymanís terms: A parser can take all the stuff and data from a resume or
profile and pull it out in an intelligent way. It helps recruiters to
efficiently manage documents and resumes sent via the internet.
Why itís important: Well, YOU donít want to enter every piece of the resume into
its corresponding form field and neither do your candidates. Parsers can grab
whatís useful and match it up with your open positions on the back end and
bubble the best matches to the topÖin theory.
Fun fact: If a parser is less than 90% accurate, the number of
glitches will be too many to permit it to load data into a resume database without public human intervention.
does SaaS mean in terms of HR Software?
SaaS: A way of licensing and distributing software and one of
the most common deployment methods for HR technology these days. A third-party
provides the applications ó all of which are hosted in Ďthe cloudí ó and makes
them available to customers via the internet.
In laymanís terms: You donít need giant servers of your own to house your data.
If one piece breaks, your data is backed up and your activities are generally
Why itís important: Easy access anywhere and on any device, no need for
mass-storage capacity and updates are automated. The decision between SaaS and
On-Premise is pretty important to an HR technology purchasing process.
Fun fact: 55% of SAAS companies rate Customer Retention Cost as the key
metric to measure. If you have a SaaS vendor, ensure they value your business
with great service.
is an EDI and why does it matter to HR?
EDI: Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the
computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic
format between business partners.
In laymanís terms: A process which allows one company to send information to
another company electronically rather than with paper. Business entities
conducting business electronically are called trading partners.
Why itís important: Newer EDIs are a significant improvement over old,
paper-heavy and faxing systems, but APIs are the best solution for syncing,
seamlessly entering and updating benefits data real-time. Some benefits
providers still insist that smaller companies enter information manually or
with cumbersome EDI requirements (which smaller businesses cannot meet if they
are doing most of their business in the cloud). This can hamper benefits and
other data-based innovation.
Fun fact: While EDI is better than its paper-heavy predecessor, API is
vastly superior to EDI and the technology most vendors are working toward.
Core HR Platform: Core HR is the information and processes that pertain to the
employees in any company.
In laymanís terms: Any software stores all employee information in a database,
uses employee information to run reports, and allows HR professionals or
managers to create employee profiles may be called part of Core HR
software. When these programs are linked together, it is the Core HR platform.
Why itís important: The information contained within Core HR is critical to HR
management. If you know your employee headcount you can plan for hiring needs.
If you understand your payroll and production costs you can account for labour
costs. Understanding which employees sit where and what their titles and job
history within the org, itís simpler to create training programs and create
Fun fact: While Core HR is a broad enough definition to have many
meanings to different people, there are shockingly few fun facts about it.
is an HRIS comprised of?
HRIS: HRIS software is designed to manage people, policies
In laymanís terms: Recruiting or ATS + Core HR + Benefits Admin + Absence Mgt +
Compensation + Training + Workflows + Reporting = HRIS
Why itís important: People, policies and procedures are a massive part of what
HR professionals are tasked with managing BUT they are not the only piece which
is why these are categorized as an information system. You wonít get what you
need for performance or engagement from an HRIS, for example.
does all-in-one refer to in terms of HR Software?
All-in-one: A system that has everything needed to run an HR
department integrated with the rest of the business. This may include: HRIS,
Payroll, Applicant Tracking Systems & Recruiting Automation, Benefits
Management, OnBoarding, Total Rewards & Recognition, Performance
Management, Time & Attendance/Scheduling, Learning Management, HR
Analytics, Succession Management, Engagement Tools, Interviewing tools and
Assessments, Wellness Management, Compensation Management,
Collaboration/Communication Tools, Case Management, Workforce Planning &
In laymanís terms: Your entire HR Tech stack and a bag of chips.
Why itís important: There are many different kinds of businesses, so while
having an all-in-one system may work incredibly well for some companies, for
others it can be a nightmare. All in one HR software offers the simplicity some
companies need while locking others into a system that may not scale with them
in the future.
Fun fact: Do you know the difference between HRIS vs. HCM vs. HRMS?
is OFCCP and why does it matter to HR professionals?
OFCCP: The United States Department of Labor (DOL) Office of
Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) monitors the adherence to
contractual promises of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity
required of those who do business with the federal government.
In laymanís terms: While equal employment opportunity laws prohibit unlawful
discrimination against applicants and employees because of their race, gender,
age, disability or national origin, they usually do not require formal
affirmative action programs.
Why itís important: Because OFCCP stands for an office, they are consistently
making rulings that impact HR professionals. As of this writing, the most recent was this one.
Fun fact: Did you know itís perfectly legal for employees to discuss
their own pay with other employees?
is EEO and why does it matter to HR professionals?
EEO: Equal Employment Opportunity laws prohibit specific
types of job discrimination in certain workplaces including age discrimination,
discrimination based on ethnicity or national origin and discrimination against
those with a disability.
In laymanís terms: Equal Employment Opportunity is fair treatment in
employment, promotion, training, and other personnel actions without regard to
race, color, religion, sex (which includes gender, sexual harassment, and
pregnancy), age, national origin, reprisal (for prior EEO activity), physical
or mental disability, genetic information, status as a parent, and sexual
Why itís important: Equal Employment Opportunity means freedom from
discrimination on the basis of protected classes such as race, colour, sex,
national origin, religion, age, disability or genetic information.
Fun fact: Behavior can be ďharassingĒ even if it isnít directed at the
individual victim. If, for example, a mostly-male workplace is full of nudie
calendars and obscene talk, a female employee may have a valid harassment claim
ó assuming she is offended, and she probably is. Likewise, anonymous behaviour,
such as graffiti, can be harassing and can result in liability for the employer
if the employer doesnít do its best to find out who did it and stop it. ó Robin Shea