Workforce Words: A Dictionary of Staffing & Employment Terms

August 10, 2011
Posted by LInk Staffing Services

Workforce Words:  A Few Terms You Should Know

Every industry has its own language. But no matter what industry you’re in, you may have to deal with staffing from time to time. When that happens, you’ll need to know how to speak the language of the staffing industry. As part of our continuing effort to help empower you in your dealings with staffing services, here are a few staffing industry terms you may want to keep handy.

Co-Employment (Co-Employer)
Legally, referred to as a "Joint Employer" relationship, co-employment is often used to describe the relationship among two or more employers when each has specific actual or potential legal responsibilities to the same worker or group of workers.

Direct Placement
The bringing together of a job seeker and a prospective employer for the purpose of effecting a permanent employment relationship, for a fee.

Executive Search
Refers to the process of recruiting for exempt-level managers or professionals.

Flexible Staffing
A generic term used to convey the use of various nontraditional work approaches, such as contingent employment arrangements, planned staffing strategies, or flexible work arrangements.

Gross Margin
The difference between the bill rate for the temporary services and the direct costs of employment (pay rate plus mandatory benefits such as workers' comp, unemployment insurance, employer's share of FICA and state or local taxes and optional benefits) for each temporary employee on assignment. A company's gross margin is the difference between its total billings and its direct employee costs.

Joint Employment
Where two employers exercise significant and simultaneous control over the same employee. For example, when a temporary help or leasing firm exercises control over personnel matters while the client company exercises supervisory and workplace control. Both employers may be liable for payment of taxes, workplace safety, etc. These may be considered "co-employer" relationships as well.

Long-term Staffing
Sometimes described as "facilities staffing" when workers from a staffing service are conducting a specific function for a customer on an ongoing, indefinite basis, it also refers to long-term assignments.

Use of an outside business services vendor (and its supervised personnel), either on the customer's premises or off-site at the vendor's location, to perform a function or run a department that was previously staffed and supervised by the customer directly.

Pre-employment screening
Pre-employment screening services include background verification, drug screening, skills assessment and behavioral assessment tools. A thorough background screen verifies important factual information about a prospective employee (i.e. identity, employment history, education credentials). It also helps gain critical information about an applicant’s character and past history that isn’t always apparent in an interview or application, such as criminal history, credit history, and driving record.


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