This article explains the steps you need to complete in order to import your employees' master data into Personio.
You can now find and download import templates directly in Personio. Click Import and choose the import type to see the relevant template.
What does this section have to offer?
- Save the employee data that is of the greatest importance to your company. Custom sections and attributes allow you to configure digital files for your employees that meet your company's internal requirements.
- Create one central database for all your employee data so that everyone knows what information is stored and where it can be found.
- Ensure that your information is always up to date. Employees can update their own personal data or particular sections of it as needed.
Step 1: Configuring sections and employee attributes in Personio
The employee profile in Personio contains various important sections such as HR information, personal data and payroll data. Each section contains various attributes that define what data should be stored in that section (for example employment type, weekly working hours, hire date). There are some system-predefined sections and attributes. In addition, you can create as many custom sections and attributes as you like.
▶︎ Before you start importing employee data, you must create and configure all the sections and attributes you need to meet your requirements.
▶︎ Sections and attributes must always be set up in the company language, which can be configured in Settings > Company > Company > Language settings. Afterward, you can add translations for the individual attributes in any of the languages available in Personio, that is: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Swedish or Finnish.
Complete the following steps to create and configure sections:
- Go to Settings > Employees > Employee information.
- Edit the individual sections (left) and their associated attributes (right).
- If required, add further sections by clicking on Create section, and click on Add attribute to set up custom attributes within the sections.
- Name the attribute and select an appropriate Attribute type.
The attribute type is important for how attributes are formatted and how they function.
The following table explains the different attribute types:
|Simple text field for short texts.
Example: Names, email addresses or telephone numbers
|List of options
A list of options shows you all the possible options for an attribute. You can define the possible options in advance.
Numbers without decimals.
|Number (up to two decimal places)
|Numbers with one or two decimal places (you can determine the number of decimals when you create the attribute).
Example: child allowance, monetary or percentage amounts.
|The attribute value is a date.
Example: date of birth
|This attribute is a link.
Example: employee LinkedIn or XING profiles
|Multi-line text field
Free text field for longer texts.
Tags allow you to define the attribute options in the same way as with a list of options, but with the ability to select several values at once.
For an overview of further employee sections and attributes that have proven useful, plus examples, please see our Help Center articles Best Practice: Sections and Attributes and The Most Important Predefined Attributes and Their Functions.
Step 2: Recording employee information using our Excel template
The Employees Excel template is based on your account in the testing phase and contains all the attributes it included. Follow these steps to download it:
- In your Personio account, navigate to Imports.
- Select the upload file type Employees.
- Next to Download template, click on this template to start downloading the file.
▶︎ The template is downloaded in the company language (from your company settings) but the error messaging for import corrections is shown in your account language (from your personal settings).
▶︎ The titles of the attributes and options in the table must be exactly the same as in your Personio account. Otherwise, the import wizard will not work.
Once you have downloaded the Employees Excel template, follow these instructions to complete it:
- Open the Excel template and read the worksheet entitled Guideline.
- Then fill out the columns with your employee data. Each line represents one employee, and employees are identified by their email addresses. Columns highlighted in yellow are required fields and must be filled out for new employee profiles; an email address is sufficient for existing employees.
In the import templates, the column titles of attributes that are saved in Personio as lists of options appear in italics. The first lines of the templates can be viewed with the permitted restrictions via a drop-down menu.
- In order to import the employee attributes that you have set up yourself, you can add more columns.
- Save the complete Excel file.
Email addresses serve as unique identifiers in the system. An email address must therefore be entered for every employee – and it is also particularly important for later imports, such as salary data. With import files that contain the email address as well as another identifier (for example the Personalnummer), Personio will by default use the email address for importing the data. However, importing several identifiers at the same time is not recommended.
Step 3: Additional information for the import
You can follow these best practices when filling out your import template:
▶︎ Predefined attributes are system attributes that cannot be renamed or deleted because they are linked to other processes in Personio.
You can hide some of the predefined attributes from your employees. To do so, create new sections and move the attributes into them. Newly created sections are not visible to employees unless you give them access rights.
▶ The Excel template can be retroactively filled with additional attributes. You will need to provide a unique ID and the attributes you would like to import. There is no need to include attributes or system attributes that have already been filled out.
▶︎ Two employees cannot be recorded as being each other's supervisors. If an employee (for example, a CEO) does not have a supervisor, you can leave this column blank.
If your company structure has employees reporting to multiple supervisors, you will need to import at least one supervisor. Our article Setting Up Additional Supervisors explains how to add supervisors.
Step 4: Importing employee data
You can import your employee data once you have completed all the preparatory steps.
To import your file, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Imports section of your Personio account.
- Select the file type Employees and click on Upload file.
- Click on Upload your file here to select your import. Alternatively, you can drag and drop your file.
- Select the worksheet you want to import. Employee data is selected by default, as this is the tab in which you have entered your employee data. Click Confirm.
- Depending on your computer settings, you might have to select the first row of your sheet. This will map the attributes from the sheet to the ones in Personio. Click Next.
- Assign the columns in your Excel file to the corresponding attributes stored in Personio. It is helpful if these are named the same or at least have similar names. Once it is done, click Next.
- If there are errors, a pop-up window will appear on the right. Review each error and either fix them individually or click Fix all. When all errors are fixed, they will disappear from the pop-up window and a message appears to confirm that the file is ready to be imported.
If you see the note cell requires attention, click the field beneath it to highlight the cell, and double-click the cell to edit the value directly.
- Click on Import to finalize the process.
You can find further information on import errors and how to resolve them in the article Why Is the Import Not Working?
Use Quality check: employee profile to make sure everything has been set up correctly before moving on to the next module.