Importing Job Applicants

You can bulk import applicants into HR Partner, and you can even allocate these imported applicants to an existing job listing.  This is useful if you have any applicants that you were manually tracking elsewhere, and you wish to now manage them within HR Partner.

To import applicants, you can go to Recruitment -> Applicants, and then click the little arrow next to the 'Add Applicant' button.  This will give you an option to 'Import From File':

Clicking this will take you to the next screen where you can specify the CSV file you wish to import.

Basic Applicant Import

At the simplest level, you can import applicant first and last names, and their email address.  This is the minimum information needed to create a new applicant in HR Partner.

The standard import file will look something like this:

first name,last name,email

After you nominate the CSV file to import, you will be asked to map the fields in the CSV file to the HR Partner applicant fields.

Use the drop down against the 3 primary fields to choose the field from the CSV file that you wish to import into HR Partner.

NOTE: If your CSV file contains applicant data that is already in HR Partner, then the applicant's name will be updated, instead of a new applicant being created.  We use the applicant's email address as the unique identifier within our system.

Once your applicants are imported, you can begin manually allocating them to job listings (by creating a job application for each applicant).

Creating Job Applications While Importing

To save the two step process described above, you can actually immediately create a job application for each applicant during the import process.  To achieve this, simply nominate an ACTIVE job listing from the drop down list when you specify the fields to import.

NOTE: If the imported applicant already has a job application against the nominated job listing, then their existing application will be updated, instead of creating a new one.

As an added bonus, if you allocate an applicant against a job listing at the point of importing, then you can also automatically fill in the answers to the custom form that you have created against the job listing.

Importing Custom Application Form Data

When importing applicants, you can also populate the custom application form that you have previously defined for that job application.  In order to achieve this, there are a few important points to consider, namely:

  • You must have a custom form defined for the job listing you are importing against.
  • The column names within the CSV file you are importing MUST match the field names in the custom form.
  • You don't have to match the CSV column names to your application custom form field names (like you do for First Name, Last Name and Email) - we will auto detect any similarities and import the data automatically!

Here is an example to explain it a bit better.  Let's say you have a job listing for a Delivery Truck Driver.  This job listing uses a custom form called 'Sales' which you use to ask all your screening questions.

If you go to Recruitment -> Configure -> Forms and then choose to Edit the 'Sales' form, you can take a look at each of the fields within the form.  You will notice that there is a text entry field there asking for their current experience.  Click on the little 'Edit' icon next to the field to inspect the field settings:

You will notice that this field has the Name of 'experience'.  This is a very important piece of information.  Every field within your custom form must have a unique Name.  This tells our database how to save the field contents.  You always want to give you fields meaningful names, but you must also remember that field names cannot contain spaces or punctuation.  We always recommend that you use Names like length_of_service or drivers-licence or lastemploymentdate or similar.  All lowercase and using hyphens or underscores instead of spaces is acceptable.

Lets check another field in this form.  This is a multi checkbox field, and is called ' areas-of-work'.

So take note of the Name of the field, but also take note of the different options that the applicant can select from.  There are four options here, and you will notice that there are two columns.  The left hand column is the prompt that the applicant will see on the screen when filling in the form, but the right hand column is the information that will be saved to their application when they choose any of these options.

IMPORTANT: The data in the imported column in your CSV file must match the RIGHT hand column, not the left hand one.  So your file will have to contain 'telephone', or 'cold-calling' etc. in the imported CSV field.  If the field contains 'Cold Calling' or 'Email Marketing' then the match will not be made.  You CAN have exactly the same information in the left and right column, of course, but you MUST have something in the right hand column here.

So here is an example of a CSV file that will import the applicant data, AND fill in these fields in the application form at the same time:

first name,last name,email,experience,areas-of-work,years-experience
"Fred","Jones","","Ten years doing sales on the road","face-to-face",10
"Mary","Smith","","No prior experience",,1
"James","Garter","","Worked in a telesales center","telephone",5

Now when you import the above file, the extra information for the custom form will also be imported and automatically matched to the form.

You can import custom form fields with multiple options (i.e. multi-checkbox group or a multi select group), however you must make sure that within the CSV column, they are enclosed in double quotes and separated by commas, e.g.:


Make sure you use commas, and not any other separators.  Something like "Apples;Oranges/Pears" won't work.  So if the above example contained a favorite-fruit multi checkbox field, it would look like this:

first name,last name,email,experience,areas-of-work,favorite-fruit,years-experience
"Fred","Jones","","Ten years doing sales on the road","face-to-face","apples,pears,banana",10
"Mary","Smith","","No prior experience",,"watermelon",1
"James","Garter","","Worked in a telesales center","telephone","oranges,banana,peaches",5

As with the other non text fields, you have to ensure that the contents of the multi select fields are the values that are in the right hand column of the field definition when you create your custom application form (as shown earlier in this article).

NOTE: If you import the same applicants into the same job listing, the custom form information will be updated.  This is a neat way to edit the form information in another system like Excel, then re-update the applicant form information in HR Partner without having to do it one by one.

Some Limitations

There are a few limitations with importing custom form data using this method.

  • Date fields in the CSV file will have to be in YYYY-MM-DD format if you wish them to import properly against a Date field in the custom form.
  • Text fields are the best for importing, as there is no real restriction on the formatting.  
  • Checkbox and Radio button fields will need to have BOTH columns of each option filled out on the custom form definition (as explained above).
  • You don't have to import every field on the custom form within the CSV file, just include the ones you wish to import, and the rest will be ignored.