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Recruitment Glossary: Terms & Abbreviations You Need To Know

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Recruitment glossary can make a challenging mix of industry-specific jargon and abbreviations. And we know all too well, that navigating the recruitment process is no small feat. Whether you’re hiring or looking to get hired, understanding these terms is crucial. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of common recruiting terms and their meanings. This guide will help you communicate effectively with recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates, ensuring a smoother experience. While we as 8Bit operate in the games industry and include some examples from our field, these terms apply across various industries.

AAA Game Studio (Triple-A)

A top-tier game development company known for producing high-budget, high-profile games with large teams and extensive resources. For the comparison of the working environment between AAA and indie studios, read this article.

ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

Software used by recruiters and HR professionals to manage and streamline the recruitment process, from receiving applications to hiring. Contrary to the myths, ATS do not automatically reject or hire candidates. They simply rank and filter applicants based on preset criteria, but the final hiring decision is still made by human recruiters and hiring managers. Most ATS do not employ AI or machine learning algorithms to evaluate candidates. They rely on keyword matching and rules defined by recruiters.

Boolean Search

A method used by recruiters to find specific candidates by combining keywords with operators like AND, OR, and NOT. This helps narrow down search results to find the most relevant candidates. It’s like using a smart filter to zero in on exactly who you’re looking for in a sea of resumes and profiles. That’s why it’s important to fill in your profile, for example on LinkedIn, with relevant keywords to make sure you show up in these searches.

B2B (Business-to-Business)

B2B contract refers to an agreement between two businesses or companies, rather than an employment contract between a company and an individual. Such contracts often focus on project-based work, where the independent contractor delivers specific services or products to the company. Contractors operate as independent entities, not as employees of the company, and are responsible for their own taxes, which can lead to different salary expectations. The gross payment in B2B contracts might appear higher to compensate for this, but the B2B contractor’s take-home pay might not be significantly different from that of an employee after taxes and expenses.

Business-to-Business contracts are quite popular in the games industry. According to our Gamedev Salary Pulse report, 34.9% of our respondents declare B2B contract/freelance contract as their primary work arrangement.

Candidate Guarantee

A promise by a recruitment agency to replace a hired candidate if they leave the company within a certain period, or alternatively, to pay back a certain percentage of the recruitment fee.

Contingent Work

Employment that is not permanent, such as freelance, temporary, or contract work. Individuals are hired on a temporary, or project-based basis, rather than as full-time employees. Many contingent workers have part-time or variable work schedules, with hours that can fluctuate based on the company’s needs. They generally do not receive employee benefits like health insurance, paid time off, or retirement plans from the hiring organization. Contingent workers are typically paid on a per-project, hourly, or daily rate basis, rather than receiving a fixed salary. While contingent work may lack job security and benefits, it provides flexibility and the ability for workers to leverage their specialized skills across multiple organizations.

Core Hours

The essential working hours during which employees are expected to be present, ensuring overlap and availability for meetings and collaboration. This concept is especially popular among companies operating in multiple time zones to ensure there is a specific time during the day when the entire company is available simultaneously.

For example, if core hours are set from 10 AM to 3 PM CET, a full-time employee working 8 hours per day would need to be available during this period. They can then choose to complete their remaining hours either before 10 AM or after 3 PM, allowing flexibility in their schedule while still ensuring key hours of availability for team interactions.

Culture Fit

The alignment between a candidate’s values, beliefs, and behaviors with the core values and culture of the studio they are applying to. It ensures that the candidate not only has the necessary skills for the job but also meshes well with the company’s work environment and team dynamics.

Gross Salary

The total salary earned by an employee before deductions like taxes and social security.

HM (Hiring Manager)

The individual responsible for the hiring decision, typically managing the department where the new hire will work. This is not the recruitment team but rather the department head or direct supervisor of the new position. For indie game studios, this can also be a studio founder.

Indie Studio

An indie studio is a small, independent video game development team that creates games typically without the financial backing or creative constraints of a major publisher, allowing for more innovative and experimental gameplay ideas. You can read the comparison of the work environment for indie and AAA studios here.

IP (Intellectual Property)

In the games industry, IP refers to the unique creations, such as characters, stories, game mechanics, and artwork, that are legally owned by a company or individual. This ownership grants the right to protect and monetize these creations, ensuring that others cannot use them without permission. IP is crucial for game developers as it represents the original content that can set a game apart from others and generate revenue through sales, licensing, and merchandising.

JD (Job Description)

A detailed outline of the responsibilities, requirements, and qualifications for a specific job position.

Btw. our company slogan, “we match people with people, not CVs with JDs,” reflects our belief that while the job description is a crucial starting point, finding the perfect fit requires reading between the lines and identifying a candidate who matches not only on paper but also in terms of culture fit, willingness to develop certain types of games, and more.

Net Salary

The amount an employee takes home after all deductions.

NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)

In the games industry, an NDA is a legal contract between two or more parties that outlines the confidentiality of shared information. Signing an NDA means that any proprietary information, such as game concepts, development processes, and business plans, cannot be disclosed to third parties.

Notice Period

The time an employee must give their employer before leaving a job, typically outlined in the employment contract.


The step-by-step process of finding and hiring candidates. It starts with sourcing potential candidates, then moves on to screening, interviewing, and finally selecting the right person for the job. Think of it as a funnel that helps recruiters keep track of candidates and make sure there’s always a pool of qualified people at each stage.


The successful hiring of a candidate for a job position.

Poaching (or Raiding)

The act of hiring employees from competing companies. This practice is popular among recruitment agencies that conduct proactive direct searches and outreach to potential candidates.


The process of recommending a candidate for a job position. Referrals can be made internally, where a current employee refers a candidate, or externally.

In our case, we offer a referral fee for recommending a person who is then successfully placed in a position. Feel free to check our available job openings and recommend a friend!). Referrals are a valuable way to find qualified candidates through trusted networks, often leading to better hires and higher retention rates.


A fee paid upfront to a recruitment agency by the client (e.g. game studio) to secure their services and kickstart the project. Typically comes with the success fee or retained search business models.

RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing)

A type of business process outsourcing where an external provider manages the recruitment process for a company and/or acts like the in-house HR team to a certain, previously agreed-upon extent.


A list of candidates who meet the job requirements and are selected for further consideration or interviews. Typically, when a game studio collaborates with a recruitment agency, the shortlist consists of candidates who have been pre-screened by the agency, having successfully passed the initial steps of the recruitment process.

Success Fee

A fee paid to a recruitment agency only when a candidate is successfully placed. A fee paid to a recruitment agency only when a candidate is successfully placed. Typically, the final fee is calculated as a percentage of the candidate’s annual salary, making this business model more costly than fixed-fee business models. It remains quite popular among companies new to working with recruitment agencies, as they prefer to check if an agency can find a suitable candidate before committing to a fixed fee arrangement.

Trial Period

An initial phase of employment where both employer and employee can evaluate if the job is a good fit. It is important to note that this period is still paid. If a company offers a free trial period, we’d consider it a red flag.

Co-Create the Recruitment Glossary With Us!

We’d love your input to make our Recruitment Glossary even more comprehensive! Reach out via our LinkedIn company page inbox with recruitment terms and abbreviations you’d like to see included. Let’s work together to create a valuable resource for everyone navigating the hiring process.