Getting Started with Custom Forms

Custom forms are a way for you to grab information from your employees and store them within HR Partner.  In short, you can create a form containing whatever fields you want to collect information on, then send them out to your employees either individually, or in a group, wait for them to fill them in, then look at the information they submitted.  You can even send out one or more forms to your employees as part of a Checklist.

You can even use custom forms to automatically update certain internal employee fields, and also to update custom fields that you have created in your HR Partner company!

Employees are also able to select a custom form from the library of forms you create, and submit them ad hoc from their employee portal.  You can even deem that some forms can be submitted anonymously - which is useful for things such as complaints about managers or feedback about improvements.

When would I use them?

Use cases for custom forms would be for things like:

  • Sending out an employee satisfaction survey
  • Capturing critical employee information such as banking details or emergency contact details
  • Letting employees submit things like accident reports or complaints
  • and much more (only limited by your imagination)

We'd love to see how you use our custom forms module, and if we hear about anyone using them in extremely creative ways, then we will highlight it in a case study!

Activating Custom Forms

You can turn the custom forms module on or off globally for your HR Partner company by going to Setup -> Company Info and ticking the checkbox accordingly under 'Additional Modules'.  This module is turned ON by default for everyone, but if you elect not to use it, you can turn it off here.

When turned on, you will see a new menu item on the left that will let you create, send and view forms.

Preparing For Use

Before you can start using Custom Forms, there are a few things to set up.  You will need to create some form Categories, and then create the form Templates in each category.

Category Categories are an easy way to organise multiple forms in HR Partner.  You may have a category for, say, Health & Safety, and another category for Financial Documentation and have several forms within each category.  This makes it easier for your employees to find forms on their portal, as all the forms are grouped by category and it saves them having to scroll through dozens of forms trying to find the one they want.
Template You have to create a template for each form you want to create.  The template really contains all the information relevant to the form, including the form name, what category it belongs to, and whether the form is fillable directly by the employee on their portal, or whether it can be submitted anonymously etc., as well as the actual form fields themselves.  You can create as many different fields in the form as you see fit.

When you first start using the Custom Forms module, you will be given the options to use a set of standard form templates and categories that we have pre-configured for you.  It is a good idea to do this, as you can see how form templates should be structured.  You are completely free to delete or modify these standard forms to suit your purposes.


To set up Categories, you will need to go to Forms -> Configure -> Categories.  You can then click the green 'Add New Category' button to add any new categories you wish.

The screen will also list the existing categories, and how many forms are in each category already.  Please note that you cannot delete a category on this list unless all forms within that category are also deleted.

Adding or editing a category is really straightforward, as there are only about 3 fields to fill in:

Category Name Give the category a meaningful name which will make it easier for your employees or admins to find it on their respective portal.
Rank You can set where this category appears on the list of categories when displayed to your employees.  Rank number 1 will appear at the top, and other numbers appear below it in numeric order.  This lets you put the most popular or important categories at the top of the list, with less urgent ones lower down the page.
Department Access You can specify which departments can see this category on the list.  You can select as many departments as you like, and only employees within these departments will be able to see the forms contained in this category.  If you leave this field completely blank (which is the default), then ALL employees will be able to see the forms in this category.


The form templates can be created or modified by going to Forms -> Configure -> Templates on the left hand menu.

This screen will show you the form name and category it belongs to, and the short code (more about this in another article), then the type of form and flags as to whether the form is available for the employee to ad-hoc fill out from their portal, or whether the form will be submitted anonymously.  You can also see which admin user the form will be sent to as by default, and whether notifications have been turned on for the form.

From this screen, you can also elect to preview the form, make a copy of it (which makes creating new forms based on old ones SO much easier), or edit the layout or delete the form template altogether.  Please note that you cannot delete forms where there are already employee or applicant responses against them.  You will have to delete ALL responses first before deleting the form.

More details on the editing of form templates is discussed in the related article linked at the bottom of this page.

Form Layout

You can also customize the screen where the employee actually fills in the form information, but specifying the color of the background, whether you want to have your company logo or name displayed on the page etc.  You can go to Forms -> Configure -> Form Layout to access these settings:

In this screen, you can also customize the 'Thank You' message that gets shown to the employee or applicant after they have finished filling in the form and submitted it (Tip: You can have links to other pages or rewards as part of the thank you message if you want).  For more advanced users, you can do further customization of the form layout page by specifying your own custom CSS.  More details on the CSS you can use is on another page within this help documentation.