HR Terms

Glossary of HR Terms starting with Alphabet S

Sabbatical leave: Paid time off the job to develop and rejuvenate oneself.

Safety: Condition in which the physical well-being of people is protected.

Safety committee: Composed of workers from different levels and departments who are involved in safety planning and programs.

Safety training: A teaching tool used to help employees become more safety-conscious in all aspects of safety.

Salary: Uniform amount of money paid to a worker regardless of how many hours are worked.

Salary compression: Occurs when there is only a small difference in pay between employees regardless of their skills, experience, or seniority; also known as pay compression.

Salary continuation: Type of insurance that provides regular payments to the surviving spouse and dependent children in case of death or disability of a covered employee.

Salary grade: A compensation level expressed as a salary range, which has been established for each position within the organisation.

Salary range: A range of pay rates, from minimum to maximum, set for a specific pay grade.

Salary structure: A structure of job grades and pay ranges established within an organization. May be expressed as job grades or job evaluation prints.

Sales compensation: A compensation system designed for individuals employed in managerial sales or sales representative positions. Individuals are paid on a commission or percentage of sale basis, in accordance with achieving specific sales goals.

Salting: Occurs when a union inserts its organizers (called “salts” ) into an employer’s workforce in the hope that they will be able to organize that workforce.

Scalability: The degree to which a computer application or component can be expanded in size, volume or number of users served and continue to function properly.

Scanlon plan: Group incentive plan developed by Joseph Scanlon, workers earn a bonus for increasing productivity. The Scanlon Plan involves much employee participation, predating quality circles with most of the same techniques.

Schedule interview: An interviewing format in which each candidate is asked for the same exact information.

School-to-work programs: External recruiting method, programs allowing organizations to partner with their communities and schools to help develop the skilled workforce they will need for the future.

Screening: Usually the first step taken during the interviewing process, involving reviewing prospective candidate applications/resumes, verifying information supplied by the candidate, conducting interviews and examining test results.

Search firm: An organization or individual consultants working on a retainer or fee basis who provide the service of searching and screening potential candidates for prospective employers. Typically search firms are retained for higher-level professional or managerial positions.

Secondary research: Research method using data already gathered by others and reported in books, articles in professional journals, or other sources.

Security: Protection of employer facilities and equipment from unauthorized access and protection of employees while on work premises or work assignments.

Security audit: A review of the security vulnerability in an organization.

Selection: The process of choosing individuals who have relevant qualifications to fill jobs in an organization.

Selection criteria: Characteristics that a person must have to do the job successfully.

Selection interview: Interview designed to identify information on a candidate and clarify information from other sources.

Self-directed team: An organizational team composed of individuals who are assigned a cluster of tasks, duties, and responsibilities to be accomplished; typically assume complete autonomy.

Self-employed: An individual who has earned income for the current or preceding year from self-employment, or an individual who would have had such income, except for the fact that the relevant business did not incur a profit for the year.

Seminar: A facilitator-directed meeting or conference consisting of groups of individuals gathered to study a specific subject matter.

Semi-skilled worker: Semi-skilled workers have to be able to read, write and communicate but are usually not required to have educational or apprenticeship credentials to qualify for jobs. Training time is short, task specific and generally doesn’t require much in terms of reasoning skills.

Seniority: Length of employment as defined by the employer or applicable collective bargaining agreement. Employees may have different seniority for different purpose (eg., job bidding rights governed by department seniority and leave accrual governed by company seniority.).

Sensitivity training: A form of individual counseling geared toward increasing self-awareness and sensitivity to others, It aims to assist key employees in developing their leadership skills surrounding issues of diversity and harassment prevention.

Separation agreement: Agreement in which an employee who is being terminated agrees not to sue the employer in exchange for specified benefits.

Serious health condition: A health condition requiring inpatient, hospital, hospice, or residential medical care or continuing physician care.

Service award: Part of a formal or informal recognition program that rewards employees based on length of services.

Severance pay: A security benefits voluntarily offered by employers to employees who loss their jobs.

Sex discrimination: Discriminatory conduct or actions based on sex or pregnancy, as it relates to conditions of employment, benefits, pay and opportunities for advancement.

Sexual harassment: Actions that are sexually directed, are unwanted, and subject the worker to adverse employment conditions are create a hostile work environment.

Sexual orientation: The focus of a person’s amorous or erotic desires and feelings toward members of opposite or the same gender.

Share holder: An individual or corporation that owns shares in the corporation.

Shamrock team: An organizational team composed of a core of members, resource experts who join the team as appropriate, and part-time/temporary members as needed.

Short-term disability: A benefit designed to provide temporary income replacement for worker absent due to illness or injury, but who is expected to return to work within a specified time frame.

Sick leave: Paid time off granted to employees who are out of work due to an illness or injury.

Silver parachute: A severance and benefits plan to protect non executive if their firms acquired by other firms.

Simulation: A development technique that requires participants to analyze a situation and decide the best course of action based on the data given.

Situational interview: A structured interview composed of questions about how a applicants might handle specific job situations.

Situational leadership: A management theory stating that different situations call for different leadership styles and that essentially there is no one best way to lead.

Six Sigma: Six Sigma is a disciplined. data-driven methodology used to eliminate defects and improve processes and cut costs from manufacturing to transnational and from product to service.

Skills: Specific abilities resulting from knowledge, information, practice, and aptitude.

Skill-based pay: A salary differentiation system that bases compensation on an individual’s education, experience, knowledge, skills or specialized training.

Skill gap: A deficiency in basic writing, reading, mathematical or oral communication skills.

Skills inventory:  A set of different job activities involving several skills and talent’s.

Skills training: Training provided to employees to help them ascertain the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their current jobs; also used as a retraining method when new systems or processes are introduced.

Skill variety: A set of different job activities involving several skills and talents.

Slander: False defamation expressed as spoken words, signs or gestures, which cause damage to the character or reputation of the individual being defamed.

Slow learner: A term used to describe individuals with mental disabilities and IQ of between 75 to 90.

Social Security: A program which provides for retirement, disability and other related benefits for workers and their eligible dependents.

Social Security card: A card displaying an individual’s full legal name and social security number assigned to the individual.

Soft skills: Skills required to perform a certain job where the job is defined in terms of expected outcomes, but the process to achieve the outcome varies.

Sole proprietorship: A business enterprise in which an individual is fully and personally liable for all the obligations of the business, is entitled to all profits and exercises complete managerial control.

Spaced practice: Several practice sessions spaced over a period of hours or days.

Span of control: A management principle expressing that a limit exists to the number of people an individual can effectively and successfully manage.

Special purpose team: An organizational team that is formed to address specific problems and may continue to work together to improve work processes or the quality of products and services.

Spot rewards: Cash and non cash awards given to employees for ideas submitted or accomplishment’s benefiting the organization.

Staff:  Employees who support the activities of line personnel and generally have more specialized or technical expertise.

Staffing: The function within an organization responsible for recruitment, screening and selection of employees. Oftentimes, this function may also be responsible for other areas of employment, such as orientation, retention, training and termination of staff.

Staffing metrics: Measures used to determine costs associated with recruitment and hiring, time to fill/start for open positions and recruiter workload/activity.

Staff leasing: The practice of an employer directly hiring an employee on a temporary basis for an indefinite period of time instead of utilizing the services of a temporary staffing agency.

Stakeholders: Groups and individuals who affected by the achievements of the organization’s mission, goals, and strategies.

Standardized interview: A form of interviewing that uses the same subject matter and identically sequenced questions. then evaluating responses to determine the differences between candidates.

Standardized testing: A written test, the scores of which are interpreted by referencing the scores of a norm group that has taken the test and which is considered to be representative of the population that takes the test.

Standard score: A score derived from the mean performance of a group on a test, as well as the comparative performance of all the individuals who took the test.

Standard operating procedures: A prescribed written procedure outlining how recurring tasks, duties and functions are to be performed organization-wide.

Statutory rights: Rights based on laws.

Stock option: A plan that gives an individual the right to buy stock in a company, usually at a fixed price for a period of time.

Straight piece-rate system: A pay system in which wages are determined by multiplying the number of units produced by the piece rate for one unit.

Strategic HR: The process of taking a long-term approach to Human Resource Management through the development and implementation of HR programs that address and solve business problems and directly contribute to major long-term business objectives.

Strategic planning: The process of identifying an organization’s long-term goals and objectives and then determining the best approach for achieving those goals and objectives.

Strategic staffing: The practice of hiring smaller core numbers of permanent employees and utilizing temporary employees to fill more highly specialized positions within the organization.

Strategic goals: Major targets or end results relating to the organization’s long-term survival, value, and growth.

Strategic managers: Senior executive who are responsible for the organization’s overall management.

Strategy: A pattern of actions and resource allocations designed to achieve the organization’s goals.

Stress interview: An interviewing style whereby the interviewer subjects a candidate to pressure or stress to ascertain how the candidate reacts under such conditions.

Stress management: The design and implementation of workplace programs and services intended to combat employee stress and improve overall employee morale, effectiveness and productivity.

Strike: Work stoppage in which union members refuse to work in order to put pressure on an employer.

Structured interview: A structured interview asks the same questions of each candidate, so that valid comparison of the quality of responses can be obtained. The questioned generally take four job-related forms: situational observational, personal and behavioral.

Subject matter expert: An individual who has expertise in a business process or specific area.

Subordinate appraisal: An appraisal system whereby managerial employees are evaluated by their subordinates.

Subsidiary: A company having more than half of its stock owned by another  company or is completely owned by another company.

Substance abuse: The use of illicit substances or the misuse of controlled substances, alcohol, or other drugs.

Succession planning: The process of identifying long-range needs and cultivating a supply of internal talent to meet those future needs. Used to anticipate the future needs of the organization and assist in finding, assessing and developing the human capital necessary to the strategy of the organization.

Suggestion system: A system allowing employees to voice complaints, make recommendations or submit ideas regarding company policies, procedures, working conditions, benefits, etc.

Summary annual report: A summarized report containing information on the financial status of an employee benefits plan.

Supervisory/management development: Training provided to employees with the potential for promotion into supervisory or managerial-level positions within the organization or as a remedy for performance-related issues.

Survey: A data collection method used to assist organizations with problem identification, measuring employee morale or expectations and determining areas of concern.

Suspension: A form of disciplinary action resulting in an employee being sent home without pay for a specified period of time ( the Fair Labor Standards Act contains stricter rules relating to suspending salaried exempt employees without pay).

SWOT analysis: Examines the strengths and weaknesses of the organization internally and opportunities and threats externally.








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