Step 1: Importing Employee Data



The first step in the initial setup of your Personio account is the setup and uploading of basic employee data. To do this, first consider which employee information you want to manage in Personio.


Best practices of additional employee attributes

The Best Practices for Sections und Attributes provides an overview of proven, additional employee sections and attributes, as well as examples.


Configuration of individual employee attributes in Personio

Before you can start importing your data, you must first store all additional employee attributes in Personio. To do this, navigate to Settings > Employee information and edit your individual sections (left) and their corresponding attributes (right). Sections of thematically related attributes are summarized.


You can now add any number of attributes to the newly added sections. To do this, click the Attributes tab, select the appropriate section to which you want to add a new attribute and edit the attribute name.


In addition, it is necessary to select the attribute type. This is crucial for formatting the attributes. For an explanation of the different attribute types, please refer to the following table:

Attribute Type Explanation
General (e.g. Text, Email, Phone ...) The attribute is defined by a text.
This is the case, for example, with the Name of emergency contact. 

List of Options

A list of options enables you to query the attribute expression.
You can store possible characteristics in advance. This is useful for example with yes / no queries.
Number (integer) These attributes are stored as a command number.
Therefore, if you want to manage a phone number, for example, you should save it as a text field.
Number up to two decimals Numbers with one or two decimals, such as the child allowance, money or percentage amounts (you determine the number of decimals when adding the attribute).
Date The attribute expression is a date.
This is the case, for example, when the birthday is given.
Link The attribute is a link. This attribute type allows you to store a URL
such as the LinkedIn or Xing profile of the employee.
Multi-line textfield Multi-line input fields are used to record comments or messages.
The length of the text field is not limited. The length of the text field is not limited.
Tags In the case of the multiple selection, attributes are created in the same way as the selection list. However, several may be selected. For example, you can select languages that are used by employees.


Enter all employee information in our Excel template

  1. First, download the Excel template (see download box on the right).
  2. Now fill out the columns with your employee data. A line corresponds to an employee and this employee is clearly identified by the email address. Compulsory columns are marked in red and must be completed. Recommended columns are yellow, optional columns are green.
  3. You can also add as many additional columns as you want to import the employee attributes you created yourself.
  4. Save the full Excel file.


Explanation of the columns 

Column Name Required Column  Permissible Values Description
First name yes Text  
Last name yes Text  
Gender yes "male" or "female"  
Email yes E-Mail Address  
Status yes "active", "inactive" or "onboarding"

active = Employee is currently employed by your company

inactive = Former employee

onboarding = New employee, who's hire date lies in the future still

The status Leave cannot be imported. The article Scheduling a Leave Period describes, how to temporarily suspend an employee's employment.

Employment Type yes "internal", "external"

internal = Typical employee

external = External employee, for example freelancer or tax consultant

Hire Date yes Date Start of contract / start date of employee
Office recommended Text Location / office of employee
Department recommended Text Employee's department, for example "Management"
Position recommended Text Title / Position of the employee,for example "Accountant"
Supervisor recommended E-Mail Address

E-Mail Address of employee's direct supervisor

Important: The supervisor must also be entered as an employee in the Excel Sheet.

Birthday recommended Date

Employee's Birthday 

Sub-company recommended,
if required


Length of Probation optional Number Length of employee's probation period in months (empty if not probation period)
Contract ends optional Date End date of contract, if limited
Work Phone optional Telephone number Employee's work phone number
Mobile Phone optional Telephone number Employee's mobile phone number
Cost Center optional Text  Name of the cost center the employee belongs to
Linkedin optional  Weblink

Weblink to employee's Linkedin-Profile

If you want to import additional, subsequently created attributes, it's sufficient if your Excel template contains a unique ID, e.g. the email address, and the attribute itself. Of course, the (system) attributes already filled in no longer need to be included in the list. 


Import of employee data

After all preparations have been made, the employee data can be imported. The import process in Personio consists of three steps:

  1. Upload file: In your Personio account, under the Import section, upload the file. Select Employee bulk upload as the File type.
  2. Configure columns: In the next step, the columns of your Excel file must be assigned to the corresponding attributes stored in Personio. For this, it is useful if these are the same or at least similarly named.
  3. Preview of the import: The last step shows you a preview of the import. In the event that errors occur, you have the option to abort the import and to correct corresponding problems in the Excel table.

We are happy to help you import your data. Just a data check will save you a lot of work. Therefore, please contact us using our contact form if you are planning an import.


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