When it comes to recruitment software, we understand that things can get a bit confusing at times, especially when we start getting technical and abbreviating terms. So to help you out, we’ve created a mini word bank of some of the most important terms and recruitment software jargon you need to be aware of.

To make it even simpler, we’ve broken these down into three key sections; basic terms, the technical aspects of a recruitment system, and tools which aid candidate experience.

Let’s get started…



ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. This is the administrative hub of your recruitment software, it’s where you will manage your entire recruitment process, from posting jobs to tracking your candidates’ progress.


The dashboard is your information hub. This is where you will go to navigate your way around your recruitment software. You will be able to customise your dashboard and choose what you want to see here, from your inbox to report updates. It’ll allow you to quickly access your job listings, candidates, and reports, and will make accessing the right documents a breeze!


Possibly one of the most important terms to know, it stands for Software as a Service. This means that the software is delivered over the internet, the user buying a licence or setting up a subscription to use the service, removing the need to install and manage the software directly. Instead, the software is centrally hosted by the supplier but managed remotely.

Talent Pool

A talent pool is a way for you to collect candidates of interest for future recruitment opportunities. These may be people who have specialist skills but were not suitable for a particular job, but may be great for a future role. You can save these candidates in folders within the Talent Pool, adding and removing candidates freely.


Agency Portal

If you’re using agencies to help you recruit, they too can have access to areas of the ATS with their own login. This means that instead of having to communicate back and forth via email, agencies are able to upload candidate CVs, making the process more efficient.

Cost Mapping

Cost mapping enables you to keep track on how much you are spending on each vacancy. In conjunction with Google Analytics, this ensures that you are receiving detailed data to show you which recruitment channels are working most effectively.

Modular Set-up

In simple terms, this means that different functionalities can be set for different users, allowing users’ access to different components depending on their role. Using a configurable system means that you can tailor the system to your needs to ensure that it meets your recruitment process requirements.

Standard Reports

These are a range of reports which will allow you to analyse key statistics over a chosen period of time. Most commonly, standard reports would include the average Time to Hire and Cost per Hire, helping you to analyse the amount of time and money spent per vacancy. Reports help you plan for future recruitment as you will be able to base this on which methods have been most successful. Your reports can be illustrated in a range of different ways depending on how you wish to view this information, in lists, tables, charts and graphs.

XL Grids

Similar to Excel’s spread sheet functionality, XL Grids is a tool for displaying data within your recruitment software, allowing you to efficiently store and filter data. The main advantage of XL Grids compared to traditional spreadsheets is the speed with which changes to your data can be made and directly stored within the database. The data is always live, meaning that it is current and valid. All data contained in XL Grids can be instantly downloaded to Excel, whilst maintaining the data’s format.



Within a good recruitment system you should be able to integrate your social channels. This means that you can aid your recruitment through features such as ‘Apply with LinkedIn’ and automatic job tweets. Video interviewing technology and psychometric testing can also be integrated within your system, advancing your interviewing capabilities, allowing for a greater sense of flexibility in the recruitment process.

CV Parsing

This is a tool that analyses candidate CVs and can abstract key data such as a person’s education, contact details and skills. CV parsing reduces the manual work traditionally involved in processing CVs as it automatically extracts the information, making it more manageable to examine your candidates based on their particular skillset or educational history for example.

Employer Branding

Employer branding promotes who you are as an organisation. It strengthens your values and tells people why they should be interested in you as a brand. Having a strong brand identity is of key importance on your careers site, it’s a way of sharing your company culture to potential candidates.

Candidate Portal

The candidate portal enables candidates to manage and take control of their application. This means that candidates will be able to access their application history, check their progress, upload any required documents and select interview times if required.

Find out more



See how our ATS uses these tools

Learn more about XL Grids

What to look for when choosing your recruitment software

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.