job advert phrases explained

What Does OTE Mean? 10 Job Advert Phrases Explained

Have you ever stumbled across phrases and words in job adverts or descriptions that have left you scratching your head? It’s more common than you might think. When job ads are written by industry experts or long-term staff, they can often take certain phrases for granted, not realising that most people won’t know what they mean.

You can sometimes be left feeling like you’re being blinded by science and could even be put off applying for a job. In the recruitment industry, we are regularly asked what certain terms mean and it’s often the same offenders that crop up.  So, we’ve put together a little glossary of words and phrases that you might not know the meaning of.

Basic: The basic salary is the flat rate amount paid to an employee, before any changes are made to it, such as bonuses, commission or overtime.

Benefits: The perks of the job! Benefits are the extras

Company Culture/Ethos: In job adverts, you’ll often see a requirement along the lines of “a full understanding of our company culture” or “a great match to the company ethos”. These terms are used to describe the general values of the company as a whole – their goals, objectives, working environments, staffing structure and policies. You can get a good idea of a company’s culture by doing a little research online – you should always keep these values in mind during your application process.

DOE: This stands for Dependant on Experience and is often put after the salary-range listed on a job advert. This simply means that the salary will vary, based on the amount of experience and applicant has.

OTE: This stands for On Target Earnings. Another salary-related abbreviation, the OTE is the potential salary an applicant (usually for a sales position) can expect to earn, when taking commission into account. It includes the basic salary, plus an estimated or projected commission rate if the applicant was performing on target.

Pro Rata: This comes from the Latin word for ‘proportional’. It is often used to describe the salary for part-time positions, when a pro rata salary is listed, it is given at the rate someone would earn if they worked full time within the role.

SME: Stands for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise. A company may describe themselves as an SME. This is simply to describe the type of company they are and is usually defined by the number of staff a company has or its annual turnover.

Shift Allowance: Also known as Shift Pay or Shift Differential is the amount paid to compensate staff for working unsociable or undesirable shifts, such as weekends, holidays or split shifts. It can usually be broken down into a base rate, plus the compensatory premium.

Shift Rotation: A rotating shift pattern can be used to describe the working hours for any job that has changing hours. The shift pattern may simply alternate every other day or may be more complex. Most job adverts will give an idea of what the shifts will be.

Temp-to-Perm (T-P): A job which is on a temp-to-perm basis is one where the successful applicant starts off on a temporary basis, with a view to becoming permanent at the end of a given period. This recruitment method is often used by agencies like Proactive, as it is a great way of seeing if the job is a good match for both the employer and employee.

We hope this glossary will be useful during your job search.