Our guides for employers and candidates on how to navigate the entry-level job market.

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Our guides for employers and candidates on how to navigate the entry-level job market.
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Workplace Glossary

Common terminology that’s good to know

A business which hosts startups on its premises and gives them support (finance, advice etc.) in exchange for a few or equity to accelerate their growth.
Artificial intelligence. The simulation of human intelligence by machines or computers.
Account Management
The managing and maintaining of sales and relationships with existing customers or clients.
The term meaning the full spectrum of business activity offering advice to other businesses of any sort.
A business, typically small, with a service and normally in the broadly ‘creative’ space – an not professional services. E.g.’marketing agency’, ‘media agency’, ‘talent agency’.
Angel Investor
An individual who provides capital for a startup, normally in exchange for equity in that startup.
A business that has been financed by an angel investor.
Annual Return
The form which has to be completed annually by a company and submitted to the Companies House.
Business to business. If a company sells things its product or service to another company.
If a company sells its product or service to customers for their personal use.
Back End
A term in software architecture that refers to the data access and processing layer (i.e. the ‘thinking’ part of the software), as opposed to the front end which is the presentation layer.
Running a startup on very limited funding – either equity finance or revenue.
Burn Rate
How quickly a new company spends its initial capital.
Business Services
A sector covering all support given to businesses, for instance law, accounting or even the provision of fresh fruit in an office!
Money that a company needs to produce its goods and services.
Cash Flow
The movement of liquid cash through a business – i.e. not when the deal has been signed but when the actual cash arrives.
Churn Rate
The number of customers or subscribers who stop using your service or company in a given time period.
Client Account
An account that enables a company to hold its clients’ individual funds in separate accounts.
A collection of computer instructions written in a programming language, typically in a text file.
Code Base
A collection of files that comprise the source code of a project or organisation.
Companies House
The organisation where all UK companies must register, no matter how small, and file updates to their structure (e.g. new shareholders)
Giving expert advice, most often to companies.
Strategy Consulting
Advising companies on their decisions over a longer term. In practice for graduates, this involves a lot of research, analysis and report writing (typically the more senior employees present the advice itself).
Management Consulting
Covers a whole range of activities; most broadly, it means ‘specialised employees for hire’ – which means companies can ‘up skill’ in particular areas for short term projects.
Someone who works for a company on a non-fixed basis and who is not an employee (which is to say, not ‘on the payroll’).
Consumer Goods and Services
Selling things which ordinary people buy – everything from ice cream to shampoo (products/goods) and house cleaning (services).
Literally any company but generally used to mean a large company – say 1,000+ employees.
Corporate Finance
Investment brokerage; which is to say, setting up a deal between an investor and a company, where the investor provides money (either debt or equity) to the company.
Co-working Space
An office with all the normal facilities which hosts lots of smaller companies working alongside one another.
Cost per acquisition. The amount paid to the advertiser (e.g. Facebook, Google) to acquire a new customer.
Cost per click. The amount paid per click on an advert link to the advertiser (e.g. Facebook, Google).
Cost per thousand. The amount paid for every 1000 impressions of an advert to the advertiser (e.g. Facebook, Google).
The ability for a customer to obtain goods or a service before they have paid for it, based on the trust that they will pay in the future.
Crowd Funding
Funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people.
A sum of money owed by one party to another.
Debt Funding
Obtaining or providing money in exchange for debt in a business (the business owes you).
An objective or outcome, normally achieved by one person; for example, producing a report.
An individual who develops software.
Digital Agency
A business which is, in effect, a consultancy advising other businesses on advertising online.
A Statutory Director is a legal ‘guardian’ of a business, with official responsibility for its management. Many role titles include the word ‘Director’ and it typically means ‘Senior Manager’.
Shares in a company.
A general word to describe a management-level individual in a business.
The management of money, investments, banking and credit. A finance company lends money to other companies or individuals.
Financial Product
Seems odd to call them ‘products’ but examples are current accounts, saving accounts and mortgages.
Front End
A software architecture term that refers to the presentation layer of software, i.e. displaying information through an interface, as opposed to the back end which is the ‘thinking’ layer.
Full Time Employee. Pretty self explanatory.
Growth Hacking
The art of growing a company using often unconventional or novel approaches – largely ‘whatever it takes’.
Human Resources. A ‘function’ which involves hiring, looking after and overseeing the people who work in a company.
An organisation which cultivates small and early stage companies (startups). Typically startups apply and, if accepted, are put on a short programme to ‘accelerate’ their growth.
Investment Banking
Investment banks either carry out financial advisory work (traditional) or deal directly in financial markets for their own account (less traditional).
The document (normally one side of A4) sent by a creditor to a debtor to request payment and detail what the payment is for, how much and where the funds should be sent.
A segment of the economy such as ‘finance’ or ‘media’. Working ‘in industry’ means not in a finance or professional services firm but for what are typically the clients of those firms (crudely stated, they ‘make stuff’).
Key Account
An account which makes sustainably repeat purchases from the supplier.
Key Performance Indicator. A measure which a company’s management team uses to measure the performance of a business.
Lead Generation
The process of creating business prospects – potential customers – who may then ‘convert’ into paying customers.
Line Manager
The person who, in a diagram of your organisation, would be directly managing you.
If an asset is ‘liquid’ then it can be turned into cash very easily (e.g. stocks and shares.) ‘Illiquid’ assets (like long term property holdings) cannot be turned into cash easily.
Mergers and acquisitions. The sector which involves businesses buying one another and businesses joining. When either of these things happen, lawyers, bankers, accountants and other advisers are needed to deal with the massive complexities involved. Thos people ‘work in M&A’.
A ‘corporate slang’ (oh how rebellious) term to refer to the scramble by companies – typically the larger ones – to hire graduates when they leave university; and vice versa.
Minimum Viable Product. In product development, the MVP is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future development.
The day-to-day running of a business; the mechanics of how it works. For a supermarket for instance, this would be about sourcing food, getting it to a store and keeping it fresh.
On-target earnings. The expected salary of a sales person, including bonuses and commission.
Private Equity
The industry which raises ‘funds’ in order to invest in later-stage businesses – typically buying the whole company.
Professional Services
The sector encompassing people who typically wear suits and provide services to the ‘real economy’ (their employees don’t ‘make stuff’). Includes accountants, lawyers and consultants.
If an annual salary is paid pro-rata then the monthly sum will be one twelfth of the annual sum.
The amount of money a company earns. This is different from profit, because this doesn’t take into account costs; so a company may have a huge revenue but a small profit.
Return on investment. This is usually expressed as a % and is typically used for to compare a company’s profitability or to compare the efficiency of different investments.
If a business is scalable then it’s fundamental model can be replicated in high volumes. E.g. a one-person Yoga instructor business is not very scalable (you would need to hire lots of instructors when you won new business), whereas Facebook is very scalable (no more work for the HQ when a user joins).
An advanced-state startup; they have proven that their product or service works and are growing as fast as they can.
Seed Round
Typically the second round of investment that a startup will raise, normally between £500k and £1.5m. It allows the business to make strides into it’s market.
Search engine optimisation. The process by which businesses seek to improve where they rank on search results (typically Google).
Service Industries
Businesses that provide intangible products and services to a customer (food services, transport, retail).
One of the equal parts into which a company’s capital is divided, entitling the holder to a proportion of the profits.
The capital raised by a company or corporation through the issue and subscription of shares.
Small and medium-sized enterprise (usually less than 250 employees).
Social Media
Websites and apps on which users can share content or participate in social networking.
Spring Week
An American term which seems to have crept into British corporate parlance. It means a short stint with a company to get some experience during the Easter holidays.
An individual, group or organisation with an interest in a business and that is affected by that business’ activity (includes managers, customers, owners, suppliers etc.)
An early stage company, normally founded within the previous 5 years and certainly within the last 10 years.
Building long term plans; both defining the planned end outcome and also how to get there.
Supply Chain
The series of organisations and steps involved with getting a product from its source to a consumer; upstream means closer to the source.
A rare-horse like beast with a horn on its head. Also a startup valued at over one billion dollars.
Venture Capital
The industry which raises ‘funds’ in order to invest in a load of early stage businesses – nearly always for equity.
A business that has been financed by venture capital – i.e. a venture capital fund has invested in it.
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