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Recruitment Jargon Busters

A Candidate's handy guide to the world of Recruitment Jargon

Advertorials differ from traditional advertisements in that they are designed to look like the articles that appear in the publication. Most publications will not accept advertisements that look exactly like stories from the newspaper or magazine they are appearing in. The differences may be subtle, and disclaimers—such as the word "advertisement"—may or may not appear. Sometimes euphemisms describing the advertorial as a "special promotional feature" or "special advertising section" are used. The tone of the advertorials is usually closer to that of a press release than of an objective news story.

Advertorials can also be printed and presented as an entire newspaper section, inserted the same way within a newspaper as store fliers, comics sections, and other non-editorial content. These sections are usually printed on a smaller type of broadsheet and different newsprint than the actual paper. Many newspapers and magazines will assign staff writers or freelancers to write advertorials, usually without a byline credit. A major difference between regular editorial and advertorial is that clients usually have content approval of advertorials, a luxury usually not provided with regular editorial.

A related practice is the creation of material that looks like traditional media (for instance, a newspaper or magazine) but is actually created by a company to market its products. One familiar example is airline in-flight magazines, which may feature reports about travel destinations to which the airline flies.

Have you ever spoken to a Recruitment Consultant (or "Rec Con") about your job search and thought; "I have absolutely no idea what that means. What are you on about?" We always strive to provide clarity and guidance to our candidates, however here is a guide to some of the typical terms and phrases we use on a day-to-day basis. 

PSL: A PSL is an abbreviation of a "Preferred Supplier List" 

If a Consultant tells you that they are on a company's "PSL", it means that the company use that Recruitment Agency to supply them with suitable candidates, who are relevent for specific roles that they are advertising. In order to gain access a company's PSL, the Recruitment Agency may have had to pitch the company for their business, or perhaps they have a long-standing relationship with that company. PSL's are normally in place with larger organisations, who have numerous Recruitment Agencies helping them to fill vacant positions, however a lot of small companies have a list of specific agencies who assist them in their recruitment needs. 

Registered: "We would like to get your details registered with us..."

All Recruitment Agencies have a database of candidates that they have spoken to in the past, or hope to work with in the future. To register your details with us requires taking information about your previous work experience, current situation and future role requirements and uploading them onto the database. This means that when a relevant position becomes available that matches your requirements, you are then contacted about those opportunities. 

JD: "Here's the JD for you to consider"

This is an abbreviation of a Job Description. This is usually a list of requirements and criteria a company has sent us that are pertinent to a certain vacancy. We use this information to meticulously shortlist candidates that are relevent to the role. We send the job description to you so that you can determine whether it is a position you will be interested in applying for.

Counteroffer: "Be wary of a counteroffer!"

When you are offered a new position with a new company that you have accepted, your Recuitment Consultant will talk to you about being counteroffered. This is when your current employer learns that you have been offered another position, and do everything in their power to get you to stay. This could be a salary increase, promotion or certain changes that may make it more appealing for you to stay where you are. Essentially, once you decide to leave and tell your employer that you have accepted another role, the relationship is effectively damaged and can be quite like getting a divorce, but then deciding to stay together. Messy. 

Speculative meeting: "It's a good idea to meet them speculatively"

When a company does not have an active requirement, but is introduced to a candidate who possesses relevent experience that could be potentially very useful to the business, then a speculative meeting is always encouraged. This is when the business finds out what you could add to their organisation, and how they could benefit you in your long term career gain. I would always encourage any to attend a speculative meeting, purely to improve your network, gain interview experience and increase your chance of gaining a role with them. The convergence of speculative meetings to an offer of employment is relatively high. If they saw your CV and invited you to interview, they must have recognised a reason to see you?

Cint: "She's not available at the moment, she is in a cint"

This is a Better Placed term, meaning "Candidate meeting". We will never say this in a conversation to ANYONE other than someone who works within the business, but it is a good one to include. This is when we invite you into the office to meet with us to discuss potential opportunities and discuss your requirements. It helps us to identify organisations who would not only fit from a skills perspective, but also from a cultural view. 

Reference Number: "Do you know the Reference Number for that vacancy?"

When you call to discuss a vacancy that you have seen advertised online, we may ask you to provide us with a reference number. This helps us identify the relevant consultant that you will need to speak to along with the vacancy in question. This will consist of a series of initials (AXM) followed by a series of numbers (14859). The initials inform us the Consultant responsible for that vacancy and the number helps us identify the specific role that you are interested in. 

We hope this little guide gives you some indication of some of the terms you may hear in your job search. If I have missed out any terms that you have heard in the past, please include them below and I shall attempt to answer them! It would also be interesting to hear whether you have heard any absurb terminologies... 

Advertorials differ from traditional advertisements in that they are designed to look like the articles that appear in the publication. Most publications will not accept advertisements that look exactly like stories from the newspaper or magazine they are appearing in. The differences may be subtle, and disclaimers—such as the word "advertisement"—may or may not appear. Sometimes euphemisms describing the advertorial as a "special promotional feature" or "special advertising section" are used. The tone of the advertorials is usually closer to that of a press release than of an objective news story.

Advertorials can also be printed and presented as an entire newspaper section, inserted the same way within a newspaper as store fliers, comics sections, and other non-editorial content. These sections are usually printed on a smaller type of broadsheet and different newsprint than the actual paper. Many newspapers and magazines will assign staff writers or freelancers to write advertorials, usually without a byline credit. A major difference between regular editorial and advertorial is that clients usually have content approval of advertorials, a luxury usually not provided with regular editorial.

A related practice is the creation of material that looks like traditional media (for instance, a newspaper or magazine) but is actually created by a company to market its products. One familiar example is airline in-flight magazines, which may feature reports about travel destinations to which the airline flies.

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About Emma Burke

Hello! My name is Emma, and I specialise in Agency Recruitment throughout the North West. I take an interest in all things Digital, Creative and I like to keep up to date with industry trends, gossip and hearing about what is going on in Manchester and i... read more