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Jargon From the Jungle

All business subcultures have their own way of talking, and recruiters are no different. Here's some slang from the frontlines of the talent wars.

Lift-out n. When an entire team of employees is recruited from a competitor at once: "Good news: We engineered a complete lift-out of ACME Corp.'s programmers."

On-boarding v. To hold frequent follow-up meetings with a recent hire to ensure he or she is happy in the new position: "I've been on-boarding with Jane ever since she became a vice president; frankly, I'm worried that she's being poached by ACME."

Peel v. To dig through a company's website in search of its staff roster: "Take a couple of hours and peel ACME's site; I'd like to know how many vice presidents they have."

Peel back the onion v. To learn more about a candidate by conducting several lengthy, in-depth interviews and asking a battery of pointed questions: "The guy's got a Harvard M.B.A., but he starts to stink when you peel back the onion."

Poach v. To use aggressive and questionable tactics to lure away a rival's top talent: "Who needs recruiting when you can be out poaching?"

Ruse v. To call a competitor's office and misrepresent yourself, play dumb, or work the receptionist until you're connected with a job prospect: "To hell with the receptionist--just ruse her."

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