compounding of head count
headcount (plural headcounts)
- The act of counting how many people are present in a group.
- The number of people present in a group or employed by a company.
- More generally, a consideration of a company's appropriate staffing level based on some larger context. (Generally used adjectivally.)
- Due to economic difficulties, the company will be making headcount adjustments.
- By extension, one slot in a workgroup, filled or to be filled by one person.
- I've convinced management to give us one more headcount, to take some work off the rest of us.
The two-word spelling head count refers neutrally to simple counts. The one-word spelling headcount tends to have a business jargon feel to it, especially when used adjectivally in phrases such as "headcount reduction", or in the extrapolated case where it refers to one person or one job opening.