Know Your Acronyms: DEI and HR Terms and Titles - Senior Executive

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DEI Resources 4 min

Know Your Acronyms: DEI and HR Terms and Titles

TL;DR: Avoid FOMO with this list of 150+ acronyms and initialisms commonly used among leaders in diversity, equity, and inclusion and human resources.

by Kimberly Valentine on March 9, 2023


  • Do you know the difference between IDPs and PIPs? Or what exactly is a BIPOC?

  • How can this list of acronyms and initialisms help influence your leadership style?

  • Check out our list for common DEI and HR terms, professional titles, and more.

“There’s a new ERG leading DEI&B efforts for new FT hires; can you track the OJT in the LMS, pls?”

Copy that?

While acronyms and initialisms are designed to improve communication efficiency, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of acronyms that exist, especially in the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and human resources (HR) space. From race and gender to onboarding and hiring, the DEI acronyms span across sectors of HR, and they’re critical to know as companies increase their efforts to promote more diverse and holistic work environments.

Here’s a list of today’s commonly used acronyms and initialisms in DEI and HR to help you decode your team members’ messages or company-wide presentations. Click on the category below to jump to the related collection of terms.

DEI General Terms

DEIDiversity, Equity, Inclusion
DEI&BDiversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 
ERGEmployee Resource Group
BIPOCBlack, Indigenous, and People of Color
LGBTQIA+Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual+
HBCUsHistorically Black Colleges and Universities
IDEAInclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access

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HR General Terms

FTEFull-time Equivalent
HRBPHuman Resources Business Partner 
HRDHuman Resources Development 
HRMHuman Resources Management
JDJob Description
KSAsKnowledge, Skills, and Abilities
A framework used to assess and identify the best candidates for a position
LOALeave Of Absence
LOSLength Of Service
The amount of time an employee has been with an organization, often used to determine annual paid-time off if adjusted by tenure.
LMSLearning Management System
Software specifically for the delivery and tracking of training and development programs and materials.
MQsMinimum Qualifications
The minimum qualifications a candidate needs to have to be considered for a role. 
PTOPaid Time Off
TATalent Acquisition
TMTalent Management
OJTOn-the-Job Training
OOOOut Of Office
RTWReturn To Work
This can refer to the return after a leave of absence, parental leave, military leave, or other extended time away from work.
RIFReduction In Force

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Recruiting Diverse Workforces

AAAffirmative Action
ATSApplicant Tracking System
Technology used by human resources and recruiting managers to track applicants through the recruiting process.
EEOEqual Employment Opportunity
Laws that prohibit hiring and workplace discrimination. 
FCRAFair Credit Reporting Act
FLSAFair Labor Standards Act

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ACAAffordable Care Act
ADAAmericans with Disabilities Act
AD&DAccidental Death and Dismemberment
A voluntary insurance benefit for employees that provides coverage for accidents.
FMLAFamily and Medical Leave Act
HDHPHigh Deductible Health Plan
HSAHealth Savings Account
PPOPreferred Provider Organization
STDShort-Term Disability

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Employee Resources

BYODBring Your Own Device
Providing one’s own technology devices such as a laptop and phone when accepting a job offer, particularly for remote work.
DOEDepending On Experience
This is often noted with an undefined salary range in a job description. 
EAPEmployee Assistance Program
An employee benefits program, often provided by a third-party vendor, that offers financial, mental health, and well-being resources.
EVPEmployment Value Proposition
What value the employer can offer to a candidate. This is often defined and communicated in a company’s employer branding strategy.
HCMHuman Capital Management

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Professional Development

IDPIndividual Development Plan
Another term for an employee development plan.
PIPPerformance Improvement Plan
A document that details the areas where an employee is falling short of expectations and outlines the steps the employee needs to take to improve. 
QRQuarterly Review

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C&BCompensation and Benefits
A subdivision of the human resources department that handles salaries, bonuses, incentives, and benefits policies.
COLACost-of-Living Adjustment
A percentage adjustment in pay or benefits aimed to make up for an increase in the cost of living.
CTOCompensatory Time Off
Paid time off given in lieu of overtime pay. 
EOBExplanation Of Benefits
EOREmployer Of Record
A global employment services provider that handles payroll, taxes, benefits, and compliance so that an employer can hire people who reside in countries outside the country the employer is based.
EPAEqual Pay Act
ESOEmployee Stock Option
HCEHighly Compensated Employee
Generally defined as an employee who owns 5% or more of the company.
IRAIndividual Retirement Account
LWOPLeave Without Pay
LWPLeave With Pay
LTIPLong-Term Incentive Plan
This is a long-term strategy often aiming to increase employee retention and engagement by rewarding employees with money or company stock when pre-determined goals are met.
TPAThird-Party Administrator
An organization contracted to provide administrative services related to employee benefits and insurance claims processing.
WCWorkers’ Compensation

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