One-time Data Imports are available for free to all paid accounts and up to 40,000 candidates. Additional Data Imports or imports with more than the specified number of candidates can only be processed for Premier accounts and may incur additional costs.
Data Import Steps
To begin, ensure that you have collected all the necessary candidate information to upload to Workable. This can include data from your previous ATS or a spreadsheet you have on hand. It's important to limit your file to only the candidates you wish to retain. You may not need to import your entire previous database. Then follow the below steps:
- Download the candidate import template
- Fill out the candidate import template
- Provide candidate resumes
- Send your import template to Workable
- Data import
1. Download the candidate import template
Candidate data must be formatted according to a spreadsheet template into which you will input information for the candidate you wish to import to Workable. Download the template version which corresponds to the format in which your data is currently held.
- Workable Import Template (Excel)
- Workable Import Template (CSV)
- Workable Import Template Google Sheets (You need to be logged in to Google to ‘Make a copy’)
2. Fill out the candidate import template
Every version of the template has clear instructions explaining the meaning of each column. A sample data set is provided in the fifth row so that you can better understand what should be included in each column.
Guidelines for filling out the template
As you are filling out the spreadsheet, it is important to keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Add the email address of an active admin of the account who performs this data import in cell F1. When added, it should look like this:
- Either copy and paste your data into the template or edit your own Excel, CSV, or Google Sheet file to match the column headings as shown in the template
- Delete the instructions (rows 3-5) before sending to Workable
- Do not change the file format of the spreadsheet
- Do not add, remove or modify any of the column headings in the spreadsheet. If you don't need a field added just leave it blank. If you wish to add extra information to the candidate profile use the 'Comment' column.
- 💡See a detailed description of the fields corresponding to each column in the spreadsheet
Field Field Description Format Example Name
It's recommended to include the candidate's name. When this field is left blank, the candidate name will be parsed (extracted) from the resume. If no resume is found, or the name cannot be parsed, the name will be listed as "Uploaded Candidate".
Headline This is the applicant's current job title (e.g., Office Manager), or the headline they use to describe themselves on LinkedIn. Experienced Office Manager Emails
Email addresses must be valid and in the correct format. When adding a list of emails, they must be separated with ",". If an email address is not valid, the email will be ignored.
This field can be blank.
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Phones
Accepted characters are the following: '0-9', '(', ')','+', '-', '.'
When adding a list of phones, they must be separated with ",".
Address Candidate's address. Street address, city, state, zip code, country, and/or region will be accepted
25 Mindfield Drive, Austin, Texas 23464
Source This is either the source of the candidate (for example LinkedIn, Indeed, careers page) or the name of the member that uploaded the candidate into the system. In the second case, the name should be an exact match with the name of a user in your Workable account. Job
• All unique job titles associated with candidates will be imported as newly created archived jobs. These jobs will contain no job data aside from the job title.
❗It's not possible to import data into Published jobs and Talent pool.
• If this column is blank, the candidate will be imported into an archived position called "Import Job".
Stages listed here must be an exact match with the stages of your first enabled recruiting pipeline in your Workable Workflow settings (e.g., Applied, Phone screen, Interview). All stages need to be part of this pipeline. If this field is left blank or is not an exact match, the candidate will be placed in the ‘Qualified’ tab of the ‘Applied’ stage.
🔎 If multiple pipelines exist in your account, ensure that the first enabled pipeline has all the stages you wish to import candidates into. Reporting pipeline cannot be used.
Candidates must be marked ‘true’ or ‘false’ only (true=disqualified, false=qualified). If this field is left blank the candidate will be placed into the ‘Qualified’ tab of the named stage in the pipeline (listed in column I)
The ‘Created at’ date is usually the date a candidate applied for the job. This will be displayed in Workable as the ‘Created at’ date. The format must be "yyyy-mm-dd". If this field is left blank the "Created_at" date for the candidate will be the date of the import.
Note: Please take into consideration GDPR settings when entering values for created at date.
This field must be text only.
I am an experienced, organised and focused manager with a background in on and offline services.
This field must be text only. Comments will appear on the candidate timeline and will be visible to all members of the hiring team for that position (not visible to candidates). The comment included here, if any, will be attributed to the first listed Admin user in your Workable account.
Any information that does not fit in another column, but you want imported, should be placed here.
We met a while back, good candidate
This field must be text only. When adding a list of skills they must be separated using '/' (forward slash).
Sales / Marketing / Java Programming/PPC
This field must be text only. When adding a list of tags they must be separated using '/' (forward slash). Each tag should be one word (no spacing), e.g. "not_interested" or "notinterested".
Marketing / 5Stars / Manager
This field must be text only.
Hi there, I am interested in this position. Kind regards, Joe Bloggs
Check the next section for available options to share your resumes.
The following file types are supported: .doc .docx .pdf .rtf .html .odt
The field should include a URL or be left blank. URLs should all begin with "https://www." or "http://www." in order to be accepted.
3. Provide candidate resumes
You can choose from the following options:
- Add the resume URLs to the "Resume" column of the import template. The files must be accessible from public, without credentials, and they should directly trigger the download of the resume.
- Share with us a folder with the resumes of your candidates through a ZIP file. The filename listed in the spreadsheet (under the "Resume" column) must be an exact match with the resume provided in the folder and include the file extension. If resumes are provided under a folder structure, the full path of the resume should be provided (e.g. allresumes/jobtitlefolder/candidateACV.pdf).
- Add the resume Google Drive URLs to the "Resume" column of the import template under the following format:
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=[document ID]The Google spreadsheet formula that makes the conversion is the following and should be applied to the whole column.
4. Send your import template to Workable
Once you have filled out the template, you will be ready to begin the import process. Contact our support team or your account manager/ success specialist to send in the data. More specifically:
- Send your spreadsheet as a CSV/Google spreadsheet/Excel (depending on the template version you have chosen).
- If you have chosen to share a folder with the candidate resumes provide it as a ZIP file.
5. Data import
As soon as we have your file or link to a file we can access, we will start the import process which may take up to 5 business days. The following process will take place:
- In case you are using GDPR features we will disable your data retention settings during the data import and we'll kindly ask you not to activate them until the import is complete.
- We create jobs without locations and create candidates there. Jobs will appear in an archived state in your account.
- Candidates are created as sourced, even if they applied in your previous system. That’s because they didn’t apply via Workable before, so they don’t know you are keeping them in Workable now.
- Once the data import is complete you will be notified. Before you turn back on GDPR data retention settings make sure you check the below considerations.
⚠️ GDPR considerations:
Because candidates are created as sourced, they will be subject to GDPR retention rules for "sourced candidates" if:
- Locations are added to imported jobs or
- Imported candidates are moved to existing jobs with locations.
Important: When specifying a 'Created at' date for the imported candidate (in the spreadsheet), the 30-day count until the candidate deletion starts from that date. If you don't provide a 'Created at' date, the 30-day count until the candidate deletion starts from the import date.
To keep candidates in jobs subject to GDPR rules, you should notify them that you store them for hiring in a new system following the below steps:
- Move your candidates to the respective jobs you want to continue hiring them for or add an EU location to the imported jobs.
- The email we send is not customizable. Candidates can use it to delete their data from your account themselves.
In all other cases, imported candidates are not subject to GDPR rules. This is why it's important to limit your file to only the candidates you wish to retain. You may not need to import your entire previous database.
- Can we import data into Published jobs and Talent pool?
No. All unique job titles associated with candidates will be imported as newly created archived jobs with no job data apart from the job title.
- Which pipeline should we use for the data import?
- If you have a single recruiting pipeline we will use this by default.
- If you are using multiple pipelines you have two options:
- Choose one single custom pipeline that will be used for all the jobs.
- Create a pipeline solely for the import of data.
Note: The reporting pipeline cannot be used for data imports.
- Is it possible to add additional columns in the import template?
Additional columns would indicate a data migration which is only available for customers on a Premier plan and may incur an additional cost. As an alternative, you can use the 'Comment' column to add extra information to the candidate profile.