HR Quiz: Names, Acronyms and More

Exam Time: Basic HR Competency Test

By Staff Writer Looking to brush up on your professional terminology or just feel great about how smart you are? We offer you our informal HR quiz where you can see how you fare with some basic and advanced HR terminology.

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These HR terms and definitions were written up by PayScale’s customer service team. While this quiz isn’t a true HR competency test, we thought you might enjoy a basic brain-teaser.

Match the HR terms below by number with their definition. Answers at at the very bottom. Good luck!

Human Resources Terms

1. Merit Bonus

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2. Job Family

3. Mean

4. Merit Increase

5. Job Descriptor

6. Geographic Differential

7. Cost of Labor

8. Broadbanding

9. Level Cutters

10. Pay Policy Line


A. The percent difference between pay levels for the same job in two or more geographic areas. Due to the demand for and supply of labor, an employee may be paid more or less depending on where he or she works.

B. Phrases or words used to distinguish the variety of levels in a particular job family, e.g. in accounting, senior vs. junior accountant.

C. An incentive award based upon an individual’s performance.

D. A raise in an employee’s salary due to an individual’s performance.

E. A trend line that portrays an organization’s pay policy in relation to the market line.

F. That part of the cost of goods and services attributable to wages. Often used to determine geographic differentials in pay rather than cost of living.

G. Jobs that are affiliated by having the same nature of duties, e.g. marketing.

H. A pay structure that consolidates a large number of pay grades and salary ranges into much fewer broad bands with relatively wide salary ranges. These ranges may have 100 percent or more difference between the minimum and maximum (e.g. $25,000 to $50,000).

I. A short summary describing a particular job or position used for benchmarking.

J. The result of dividing the sum of two or more quantities by the number of quantities. Same as average.

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Answers: 1-C, 2-G, 3-J, 4-D, 5-I, 6-A, 7-F, 8-H, 9-B, 10-E


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