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Trendy Recruitment Terms You Need To Know

min read
Nov 30, 2023
Trendy Recruitment Terms You Need To Know
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Keeping up with the latest trends and buzzwords in recruitment and HR is essential, as the field is always changing. This helps you be ready for whatever comes next. As in every industry, some quirky terms don’t always make it into everyday conversations. But fear not! In this article, we're going to spill the beans on some recruitment terms you might not have heard of.

Top recruitment buzzwords

Blind recruitment

The elimination of personal and demographic information from the job application process to prevent unconscious bias, emphasizing skills and experience over factors like name, gender, or ethnicity.

A Harvard Business Review study found that candidates chosen by algorithms were 50% more successful on the job than those picked by human recruiters.

Boomerang employee

An individual who departs from a company and later returns to work, underscoring the importance of maintaining positive relationships with former employees, as they may bring back enhanced skills or experience.

According to the study by Visier, from 2019 to 2022, 28% of supposed "new" hires were actually boomerang employees returning within three years.

Culture add

A variation of the traditional concept of "culture fit," focusing on seeking individuals who bring diverse perspectives and contribute to enhancing organizational culture rather than fitting into the existing company culture.

Source: Medium


In the context of hiring, this term refers to candidates abruptly cutting off communication during the hiring process, such as not showing up for an interview or their first day of work without any notice.

Every fifth candidate is ghosting a prospective employer during the application process.



Someone with extensive knowledge in various subjects, distinct from a generalist by possessing deeper knowledge across a range of disciplines. Another term for a polymath is a Renaissance man or woman.

Source: Superhuman

Purple squirrel

A term used by HR professionals to describe an ideal job candidate who meets all specific (often unrealistic) requirements set by an organization, highlighting the challenges in finding such a candidate.

Source: Indaba Global

Quiet ambition

A shift in priorities where individuals focus on personal fulfillment rather than solely pursuing job success or financial gains, seeking careers aligned with personal dreams and allowing for a balanced life.

Quiet hiring

The practice of addressing skill gaps and adding new skills without hiring full-time employees. This may involve giving current employees new roles or hiring short-term help like contractors and freelancers.

Source: FinancialContent


The act of applying to multiple jobs out of frustration with one's current role. Coined from TikTok, where individuals apply to numerous jobs in response to job dissatisfaction.

23% of employees change jobs every three years.

Silver medalists

Candidates who were strong contenders for a job but were not selected. Companies may keep in touch with them for future job openings, despite the term's implication of receiving something when, in reality, they received a rejection email.

Keep talent pools of worthy candidates in one easy-to-use space! - Axterior ATS

Stay interview

The opposite of an exit interview, conducted proactively to understand why employees stay with a company and identify factors that might make them consider leaving, aimed at improving retention.

Source: AIHR


VUCA is an acronym based on the leadership theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, to describe or to reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of general conditions and situations. HR and recruitment professionals must navigate this challenging and fast-changing nature of today's business environment.

Source: OrgCMF

War for talent

Coined by McKinsey in 1997, it refers to the increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees.

The global talent shortage could reach 85 million people by 2030.

Zombie employee

Refers to disengaged employees who are merely "going through the motions" at work, lacking passion or enthusiasm for their job.

Happy employees get about 12% more work done than unhappy ones, on average.


Familiarizing ourselves with these trendy terms is not just a matter of linguistic proficiency; it's a strategic imperative for staying competitive in the world of talent acquisition. By incorporating these terms into our professional vocabulary, we not only communicate fluently within the industry but also demonstrate our commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation.

So, go forth, explore these trends, and elevate your recruitment game to unprecedented heights. Happy hiring!

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