Recruitment Glossary

What is an Applicant Tracking System? What does Candidate Management mean? Can’t tell the difference between a CRM and an ATS? No worries! We’ve developed a recruitment glossary about all things applicant tracking to help you get a better understanding of the technology and terminology that’s used in the recruitment software industry.

What is an Applicant Tracking System? (ATS)

An Applicant Tracking System, (sometimes referred to as an ATS) is software that’s used by recruiters and talent acquisition specialists to help keep track of candidates.

Bellrock candidate experience

Applicant tracking software is designed to efficiently handle all recruitment needs from vacancy authorisation, managing candidates’ online applications, scoring, talent pools and searching, communication, interview management all the way through to onboarding candidates.

Equally as important, an online recruitment solution vastly improves the experience for candidates through slick online application, job alerts, self service and communication processes.

The term Applicant Tracking System has many guises. You may find it being called e-recruitment, online recruitment software or online recruitment systems, recruitment software, candidate management systems and talent acquisition suite – all of these terms are used interchangeably and reference the various functions of an applicant tracking system.

For further information on how an applicant tracking system like Jobtrain can help improve your hiring processes, save time and improve candidates’ experience, simply click here to learn more.

What is an Advert Source?

The advert source is where a candidate first found or read about a job before applying for it. For example, a candidate may have seen the job on Facebook or a job board. Understanding where candidates find job adverts helps to identify the most productive job boards for future campaigns.

What is anonymous (blind) shortlisting?

Anonymous shortlisting (or blind shortlisting) is when sensitive information is removed from candidates’ application forms such as name, education or workplaces to enable reviewers to focus solely on candidates’ answers, skills and experience as opposed to any other factors.

In the Jobtrain platform, our clients can choose to reveal candidate identities at a later stage in the process, such as at interview.

What is an Application Programming Interface? (API)

An Application Programming Interface (API) sets out how a programmer accesses functionality that’s contained within a code library. Essentially it is a set of commands, functions, and protocols which programmers can use when they’re building software for a specific operating system.

Having an API helps programmers to use predefined functions that work with the operating system, instead of writing them from scratch.

Application Programming Interface is also sometimes referred to as “Application Program Interface”.

For instance, we offer our clients the ability to integrate their other tech via a RESTful Open API.

What is an Application Service Provider? (ASP)

An Application Service Provider (ASP) is a company or organisation that provides software applications to companies, organisations or individuals over the Internet. This is how we provide our service!

Application Service Providers allow companies to outsource some or in some cases almost all aspects of their Information Technology (IT) needs.

For example, some are commercial ventures catering to customers; or not-for-profit or government organisations that provide service and support to end users.

ASPs can be broken down into five categories:

  1. Enterprise ASPs deliver high-end business applications.
  2. Local/Regional ASPs supply a wide variety of application services for smaller businesses in a local area.
  3. Specialist ASPs provide applications for a specific need, such as website services or human resources.
  4. Vertical Market ASPs provide support to a specific industry, such as healthcare.
  5. Volume Business ASPs supply general small/medium-sized businesses with pre-packaged application services in a larger volume.

What is Cache?

Cache is a component that stores data.

Cache memory remembers and holds onto frequently used data when you’re on the internet. It means that pages you visit frequently on your web browser are loaded much faster.

The data that’s stored in a cache might be the results of an earlier computer session. So, a cache hit occurs when the requested data is found in a cache, while a cache miss occurs when it can’t be found.

A cache hit is served when reading data from the cache. This is faster than re-computing a result or reading from a slower data store. Therefore the more requests that can be found from the cache, the faster the computer performs.

What is a Client Server?

A Client Server is when a company hosts the recruitment software themselves on their own server (a powerful computer).

This is as opposed to it being delivered over the Internet like the Jobtrain applicant tracking system is.

What is the Cloud?

Cloud based or cloud computing is a commonly used term that refers to applications, services or resources that are available to users on-demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers. Some of the most well known examples include Google Drive and Microsoft Office 365.

Most companies typically utilise cloud-based computing as a way to increase capacity, enhance functionality or to add additional services that are available on demand. This way, organisations don’t need to commit to potentially expensive infrastructure costs.

What does CSV mean?

Comma-separated values (CSV) is a common file type that’s used to import data and allows data to be saved in a structured table format.

With CSV, data can be imported from one software application to another. For example from an online recruitment system like Jobtrain to a HR system, with commas separating the values in each field. CSV is often used to transfer data between databases or spreadsheet tables.

CSV files can also be used in any spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. This file type is different to others as no styling or formulas are saved in CSV format.

What is Conversion Rate/Ratio?

The Conversion Rate/Ratio equates to the proportion of visitors to a website who go beyond a casual browse and take further action, like enquiring about a product or service.

Marketers, advertisers, and content creators will identify successful conversions differently.

A successful conversion to an online retailer might be defined as the sale of a product to a customer whose initial interest was developed by clicking on a banner advertisement.

In terms of content creators, a successful conversion may refer to a membership registration, newsletter subscription or software download or whitepaper download.

In terms of our applicant tracking system, we use conversion rates to refer to the percentage of candidates who click to apply for a job and then subsequently submit an application online.

What is CV Parsing?

CV Parsing is the conversion of free-form CV content and “parsing” it into structured information that’s suitable for storage, reporting and manipulation by a computer.

In practice, this means that the CV is intelligently read by the applicant tracking system and online application forms are then automatically populated with the relevant CV text saving candidates huge amounts of time. CV Parsing is sometimes known as Resume Parsing, Resume Extraction or CV Extraction.


Data Protection

Data Protection is the relationship between the collection and distribution of data, technology, the public expectation of privacy, and the legal and political issues surrounding them.

The Data Protection Act controls how personal information is used by organisations, businesses or the government. One of the best ways to protect yourself in recruitment is to use a secure Applicant Tracking System.

What are DBS Checks?

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is the organisation that processes and issues DBS Checks. A DBS Check is a criminal record check and as part of obtaining it, the DBS will look into a person’s criminal history and issue a certificate detailing the result. There are three different levels of DBS Check: Basic, Standard and Enhanced.

Our Jobtrain and JTGO ATS platforms both integrate with a DBS Checking and background screening specialist so you can manage all checks from within one system.

What does Direct Sourcing mean?

Direct sourcing of candidates is simply when a company or organisation recruits their workforce directly rather than using a recruitment agency/consultancy.

Using applicant tracking software helps companies and organisations make direct sourcing a reality. Candidate management systems let candidates apply directly to your roles and allow companies to manage the entire recruitment process themselves.

Domain/Sub Domain

A Domain or Sub Domain contains a group of computers that can be accessed and administered with a common set of rules. A domain is the most recognised system of assigning addresses to internet servers, like

A sub-domain (which is also known as a child domain) is a more specific portion or extension of a domain name. Sub-domains are used to divide up web domains without registering a new domain name. For example, you could create a sub-domain for recruitment on your website, so it reads

Some of our clients use this principle for their careers websites.


E-recruitment, also known as online recruitment, is when companies or organisations use technology and in particular, internet-based technology for tasks such as vacancy and offer authorisations, searching, attracting, assessing, interviewing and hiring new personnel.

Employer branding

Employer branding is really important in order to attract and hire the best candidates for your company or organisation.

Employer branding in essence is how your company or organisation is perceived externally. For instance, does it have a reputation as a great place to work, is the company ethical, etc.

It describes what happens every time a company (or an extension of the company, be it social media, recruiters, etc) communicates with the world and how people external to the company perceive it.

What does FTP stand for?

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a common method of transferring or exchanging files via the internet from one computer to another.

For instance, FTP allows internet users to upload files from their own computer to a website or alternatively download files from a website to their computer.

What is GDPR?

In May 2018, GDPR was implemented as a new EU law with mandatory rules for how organisations and companies use personal data in an integrity friendly way.

Our ATS platforms fully comply with GDPR legislation regarding data and the rights of candidates in the following areas:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right of rectification
  • The right to erasure
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

To respond to data requests from individuals, we created a flow chart to map out the process we follow as Data Processors and the steps that we suggest our clients take as the Data Controller.

What are Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free service offered by the internet giant Google. Through the use of dashboards, the service generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources, measuring conversions and sales for search engine optimisation (SEO) and other marketing purposes.

Google Analytics is useful for companies as it allows users to pinpoint which marketing initiatives are most effective and where visitors have come from including how visitors have discovered a website, like what keywords were used.

For more advanced marketing campaigns, companies can also set up paid advertisement campaigns for set keywords and phrases using a Pay-Per-Click campaign to drive more visitors to a website.

What does HTML stand for?

HTML stands for “Hyper-Text Markup Language”. This is the language that internet pages are written in.

Internet pages must conform to the rules of HTML in order to be displayed correctly when viewed in a web browser, like Google Chrome or Internet Explorer.

A web browser reads the HTML files and then composes them into visible or audible internet pages. The web browser does not display the HTML language and instead uses them to interpret the content of the page to show an easily viewed version of the content.

What does HRMS stand for?

A Human Resources Management System (HRMS/HRIS) is a type of information software.

HRMS/HRIS is designed to manage an organisation’s computerised and automated HR processes such as payroll, attendance records and accounting functions within a business.

Most applicant tracking systems will be able to integrate with the vast majority of HRMS.

What is an IFrame?

An IFrame (or Inline Frame to give it its full title) is an HTML document that’s embedded inside another HTML document on a webpage.

A website’s content, such as an advert, can be inserted into a different webpage on an entirely different website by using an iframe, essentially providing a frame around another – much like a picture frame!

What does Indexed mean?

Indexed or Indexing is a process that speeds up the process of finding and retrieving information. For a website to be included in Google searches, they would need to be added to the Google index.

From an applicant tracking system perspective, indexing the content of candidate CVs speeds up the process of searching and retrieving them.

What is an integration?

Integration is the process of linking together different computing systems and software applications.

For example, candidate management systems like Jobtrain can integrate with a number of different systems, such as:

  1. HR systems to automate the process of creating new employees;
  2. Psychometric testing providers like SHL to feed results directly back into your candidate management system;
  3. Integrating with your favourite video interviewing platforms such as Shine Video Interviewing.

What does IP stand for?

IP stands for Internet Protocol. It is the main protocol that enables computers to talk to each other by providing a standard set of rules for sending and receiving data over the Internet. Each computer (or host) on the internet has at least one IP address so that it can be uniquely identified from other computers.

Most networks combine IP with a higher-level protocol called Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which establishes a virtual connection between a destination and a source. TCP/IP establishes a connection between two hosts so that they can send messages back and forth for a period of time.

What are job alerts?

Job alerts allow current employees and external candidates to set-up alerts for jobs by defining their preferences against pre-defined criteria, like location, business area and salary.

Within our ATS these alerts can be very useful as candidates’ profiles become stored in a job alert pool that is searched every time a new vacancy is created and candidates with matching alert criteria emailed with an invitation to apply.

A keyword search is a word, a number of words, or a phrase that’s entered into a search engine like Google. Keywords and phrases can be used to look for endless amounts of things like stories, articles, images, shopping websites or a database.

Keywords can also be used in talent pools in a candidate management system. For example if you’re looking for a candidate on the database that has excellent customer service experience and lives in Manchester.

What are killer questions?

Killer questions or pre-assessment questions are questions and tests that help businesses eliminate unsuitable candidates from the recruitment process.

Our clients find these really useful to help screen out candidates that for instance may not have a driving licence for a delivery driver role and so on, saving you and your candidates’ time.

What is job board multi-posting?

Multi-posting is the process or facility to post a job advert to a number of different job boards at once.

In our applicant tracking software with access to over 5000 job boards, you can multi-post adverts easily in just a few clicks.

What is Onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of hiring a new employee through a series of processes, which can include; offer letters, contract signing, health questionnaires, policy acceptance and orientation material or required training to be completed prior to employment or during the induction period. Click here to learn more.

Onboarding can also be used if an employee changes roles within the organisation and is granted new or expanded access privileges.

What are online scored assessments?

Online scored assessments, self-selection questions and forms are basically online questionnaires that are designed to help screen out unsuitable candidates or to score candidates based on role competencies, qualifications and/or behaviour.

The questions can simply be yes or no answers for core requirements or alternatively be scored in order of importance and multiple-choice questions for competency-based assessment. Candidates can be automatically rejected if they don’t meet minimum criteria or a pre-defined benchmark score.

What is panel shortlisting?

Panel shortlisting allows multiple recruiters (or hiring managers) to complete a single shortlisting form against a candidate’s application. Then the total, or average score, from all the panel responses are displayed against the candidate.

What does Psychometric Testing mean?

Online testing (or psychometric testing) is an online version of competency or skills verification and testing. In its broadest sense, online testing uses information technology for any assessment-related activity. The tests aim to measure a number of things such as aptitude and personality.

What is recruitment management software?

Recruitment management software is a system that’s used by recruiters and talent acquisition professionals to keep track of candidates who have applied for roles or registered for job alerts. It’s sometimes called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) too.

Recruitment software is used by companies for a wide variety of functions throughout the recruiting and hiring process.

Like applicant tracking systems, this software is also designed to handle all recruitment needs like vacancy and offer authorisation, online applications, creation of talent pools, searching, sending emails, letters and text messages, and interview management right through to onboarding of candidates.

Recruitment management software also vastly improves your candidates’ experiences through improved online application, setting up job alerts, a number of self service options and regular communication.

What are Right-to-Work checks?

A Right-to-Work check is a process driven by the Home Office to ensure that each employee has the right to work in the UK before they start employment.

From the 1st October 2022, new rules were brought in to state that Right-to-Work Checks carried our digitally must be done using Identification Validation Technology (IVT). The alternative is the cumbersome process of manually checking and certifying original documents in person.

What does RPO stand for?

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a type of business process outsourcing (BPO).

RPO is the name given to a strategy to engage a third party company that will manage all aspects of a business’ recruitment activity. An RPO provider is different to recruitment agencies and consultancies.

RPO providers’ services can vary a lot. Some may offer specific services like candidate research and others will take on the entire recruitment function of a company or organisation.

What does ROI stand for?

Return on Investment (ROI) is an accounting formula that’s used to obtain an actual or perceived future value of an expense or investment. It is the most commonly used profitability ratio. There are several ways to determine ROI, but the most frequently used method is to divide net profit by total assets.

Companies and organisations often need to understand what the perceived ROI will be when investing in applicant tracking software. Take a look at our guide on getting together a business case to invest in recruitment software.

What does a Continuous Improvement Consultant (CIC) do?

From the outset of the partnership, all of our clients are assigned a Continuous Improvement Consultant (CIC). Our CICs are really experienced in all things HR, recruiting and applicant tracking systems related. They have been on both sides when using candidate management software – from the client and the provider side.

Throughout our partnership with clients, Continuous Improvement Consultants work actively with them to realise their goals and objectives from using our recruitment software. They help to ensure our clients gain the most from using their ATS platform, introducing new features and enhancements as they are released. They also lead regular review meetings with them, which are included as part of your licence with us.

What does RSS stand for?

RSS is known as both “RDF Site Summary” and “Rich Site Summary” but is also commonly referred to as “Really Simple Syndication”.

RSS is a method of providing website content such as news stories or software updates in a standard XML format. It’s used for delivering regularly changing web content. There are many examples of where it’s used such as news-related websites, blogs and other online publishers.

What is sandboxing?

A sandbox is a really clever way of building and containing programming code in a safe place while it’s being tested. Almost like a child plays in a sandpit, a software developer will test and “play” with programming code in a sandbox.

By using sandboxing, it protects live servers and data while testing is carried out safely.

What does SSO mean?

Single Sign-On (SSO) is a session or user verification process that allows someone to enter one name and password in order to access multiple applications or software.

The Single Sign-On process authenticates the user for all the applications they’ve been given access to, cutting out further email and password prompts when they switch applications during a particular session.

A number of our clients use SSO technology to make using ourJobtrain applicant tracking system even easier to use!

What is SMS (Short Message Service)?

SMS stands for “Short Message Service” and most of us probably send one at least once a day.

SMS is used to send text messages to mobile phones from either another mobile or they can even be sent from an applicant tracking system to candidates for example.

What is social recruitment?

Social recruitment is about sourcing and recruiting candidates via the huge array of social media platforms and channels like Facebook, X and LinkedIn. Recruiters trawl social media by searching on social media profiles for keywords and job history.

Recruiters can also use the power of social media to spread the reach of their job adverts. Recruiters can interact with potential employees and create a talent community to help spread the organisation’s message far and wide.

What does SaaS stand for?

SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It’s software that is delivered over the Internet rather than physically installed on a computer.

SaaS applications typically run within a web browser (like Google Chrome or Internet Explorer), which means users only need a compatible browser in order to access the software from anywhere in the world!

Our ATS is a SaaS solution.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s the standard secure protocol that’s been developed for sending information securely and encrypted over the internet.

Many websites use SSL for secure areas of their sites, such as online banking and online checkouts.

What are Talent Pools?

A Talent Pool is typically defined as a database that contains candidate profiles who are actively interested in a job with an organisation or company.

Using applicant tracking systems like Jobtrain, companies can encourage their current employees and external candidates to register their details to receive tailored job alerts. These candidates and employees are then placed in talent pools and can be contacted instantly should a suitable vacancy arise.

Companies can also draw from the talent pool by profile-matching appropriate candidates with job opportunities.

What is Web 2.0?

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Web 2.0 is term that was introduced in 2004 and refers to the second generation of the World Wide Web.

Web 2.0 technologies provide a level of user interaction that was not available before in Web 1.0. Websites have become much more dynamic and connected, producing online communities, interaction and making it even easier to share information on the Internet like on social media.

What is Web Accessibility (AA)?

Web Accessibility (AA) is aimed at making sure all users have equal access to information and functionalities on the Internet.

More specifically, Web Accessibility means that people with all abilities and disabilities can view, understand, navigate, and interact with the internet.

Our applicant tracking system utilises ReciteMe to offer accessibility to candidates.

What are web services?

A web service is a method of communication between two devices over the World Wide Web.

It is a software function provided at a network address over the Internet or via the Cloud. Web service is a service that’s “always on,” as in the concept of utility computing.

What do XML and HR-XML stand for?

XML and HR-XML stands for “Extensible Markup Language”. Yes, technically it should be EML!

XML is used to define documents with a standard format that can be read by any XML-compatible application. The XML standard allows structured data to be electronically shared via the Internet as well as corporate networks.