HR vocabulary trends

Choose one thing from below and describe what you believe to the past, present and future of that thing and see if your partner agrees with your description and predictions.

OR Choose one of the things below and pretend you are giving a presentation on that topic, starting from greetings and personal introduction etc and including past, present and future trends in the body of the presentation. You can talk about one group of people, your company, your sector, this country, this region, the world more generally, etc. Make up any information which you aren’t sure about. After the Q&A, your partner will try to guess which information you made up.  

Useful language

Sounding unsure

As far as I remember…

I imagine…/ I guess…

I’m no expert on this, but…

From what I’ve heard,…


That’s more or less correct./ I partially agree.

I think you’re (a bit/ much) too optimistic/ pessimistic.

Actually, (I heard that)…

  • Absenteeism/ Skipping work
  • Age of retirement
  • Applications with application forms (rather than sending a more general CV)
  • Average age
  • Benefits/ Perks
  • (Annual/ Semi-annual/ Xmas/ end of year/ performance-related) bonuses
  • Company accommodation
  • Company image among potential recruits
  • Cross-functional teams
  • Days off
  • Deadlines
  • Discrimination against women/ working mothers
  • Dismals (= Sackings/ Firings)
  • Diversity
  • Early retirement
  • Efficiency
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Executive compensation (pay, golden handshake, stock options, etc)
  • Foreign-born staff
  • Hourly wages
  • Industrial relations
  • Internal promotions
  • Internships
  • Job satisfaction
  • Length of probationary periods
  • Levels of management
  • Managers with MBAs
  • Maternity leave/ Paternity leave
  • Middle managers
  • New recruits
  • Number of applicants per job
  • Outsourcing
  • Overtime payments
  • Payroll/ Staff levels/ Workforce
  • Pensions
  • People not accepted after their probationary period
  • Performance-related pay
  • Permanent employees/ Employees with a job for life
  • Profit sharing
  • Recruitment of people with relevant work experience
  • Redundancies
  • Relations between management and workers
  • Resignations/ People quitting their jobs
  • Responsibilities/ Duties of middle managers
  • Responsibilities/ Duties of office workers
  • Sabbaticals
  • (Gross/ Net/ Monthly/ Annual) salaries
  • Sick days
  • Smokers
  • Spending on training/ Training budget
  • Staff autonomy
  • Staff motivation
  • Staff on temporary contracts
  • Staff turnover
  • Stress
  • Trade union membership (= Labor union membership)
  • (Long term) unemployment
  • Unsolicited CVs/ job applications
  • Use of agency staff/ dispatch staff
  • Use of consultants
  • Use of freelancers
  • Use of headhunters
  • Use of panel interviews
  • Use of probationary periods/ trial periods
  • Use of psychometric tests
  • Use of recruitment companies
  • Women in (top) management positions
  • Working hours
  • Working parents

Ask about any vocabulary above which you don’t understand.


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