Setting up your organization in Planday can easily become a demanding task if you have to set up employee profiles for several employees. The Employee import feature makes this process simpler, easier, and time-efficient.

The Employee import tool can also be useful if you need to migrate or move your Employee data from another HR system to Planday.

Please note, that the Employee import feature can only be used by users with Admin permission, or higher (more about permissions, in this article).

Importing Employee data

As you probably already know, everything you need for managing your Employee data can be found under the People menu. That includes the tool for importing employee data.

You'll find the option to import your data under People > Employees > Tools > Employee import.

To upload your employee data list, you will need a CSV file ready.

Please note that this article describes details for the Employee import - via CSV. You can find more details about creating employee profiles in this article.

Unlike the import via template, using a CSV file allows you to manage the data in columns, as you see fit. Even so, the file must include a few key elements.

Once you open the Employee import tool (pic. above), you can see a quick overview of the information required for the import to go smoothly.

From your CSV file, each row will be considered as containing all the information about a given employee, for the fields described by the column headers.

Your CSV must include columns for:

  • First name: you can include all the first names of an employee, in their corresponding row - this will be recorded as one entry (always required);

  • Last name: functions the same way as the First name (always required);

  • Username: the employee's email address (always required);

  • and Departments.
    The employee entry for Departments Planday can contain more than one department, and for that to be recorded accordingly, you need to make sure that the Department names are listed in this structure:

    "Department 1""Department 2"

    The "" characters mark the beginning and end of a Department name, which is how the system will know how to decode the information imported.
    It is also very important that you don't use any separators or space between the Department names, as those might be erroneously imported as names for a Department.

The columns for required information should not have missing data, as this may cause problems on import.

All the other fields available on your portal can be included as optional columns, including Employee groups - which, when importing, function the same way as Departments.

Please keep in mind that the required fields listed in the overview are usually the standard mandatory Planday fields. If you have any other field set up as required on your portal, you will need to also include that as a column, in the CSV file.

In order to change the required quality of a field, you'll need to navigate to Settings > People > Employee form setup > find the field in question > click Edit (✏️) and toggle the required checkbox as needed.

With your data ready, click on the Browse for the CSV file (or drag&drop your file) to select it from your local storage.

Once the upload is prepared, you'll have to match the information from your file, based on the column headers, with the fields available in Planday.

On the left-hand side of the screen, you will find your available fields from your Planday portal, under Planday employee fields, while on the right-hand side the column headers from your CSV file will be shown along with the entries from the first row, as examples.

Find the corresponding fields on the right side and drag & drop each one on their corresponding Drop here spot on the left side.

If you chose to include more than one Department or Employee group name, you will need to match those as well.

As an example, in the image above, the Department entry for the first employee is "Kitchen""Restaurant". This means that the employee should be a part of both Departments or their equivalent in Planday. After adding the Departments Planday field from the left side to the drop spot next to the Departments label on the right side, a new window opens, allowing a direct mapping between the 2 listed names and the available Departments from Planday.

If no Employee groups or Departments exist in Planday, but do so in your CSV file, you can select to “Create as new” in the same mapping window. This will create a new Department/Employee group with that name.

When done, click Save to return to the overview screen.

You can edit this mapping again before you finish the import, if you need to.

Click Next when all the fields are matched and confirm the import from the Continue button on the confirmation message that follows.

After a few moments, if everything was mapped correctly, you see a confirmation message.

However, if anything goes wrong with an employee's data during import, you will have the chance to easily correct any errors and complete the import.

Click Done and that's it. You'll be redirected to your Employees overview list.

You can always find and edit the Employee data imported, from People > Employees.


Q: Which fields are supported?

A: The list of most commonly used files includes:

  • First name,

  • Last name,

  • Username / email,

  • Hired date,

  • Departments,

  • Employee groups,

  • Employee types,

  • Address,

  • Phone number, & phone country codes,

  • Postcode,

  • Salary identifier,

  • Social security number,

  • Bank account (also reg.num),

  • and custom fields.

Q: Are there fields that are not supported?

A: Through this tool, it is not possible to import:

  • Hourly wage,

  • Monthly salary,

  • Contract hours or rules.

Q: How do I format fields with multiple values, e.g. departments?
A: If an entry can have multiple names/values in one field, e.g. Departments or Employee Groups, the list must follow a structure with double quotes on either side of each value. Example:

“Department 1”“Department 2”

Q: Is there a limit to how many employees I can import data for?
A: No, but we do not recommend using large files (e.g. with more than 500 rows), as they might cause performance delays.

Also, the more data is imported, the higher the chance of errors slipping through, and the more difficult it would be to have an overview of the imported data.

Consider splitting the file, and importing each one of the smaller files on their own.

Q: What to do if there are errors?

A: The errors that might appear during import will be listed in the import tool.

On the right-hand side, you can hover over each error icon to get more details about that error.

Here, you can choose to import the employee data or ignore and finish the import (the rows left unchecked will be ignored).

Some errors can be fixed if you simply type in the data required for the fields marked with red. Then, simply select the employee from the checkbox on the left-hand side and click Import selected from the top right corner.

If you Close the import tool without dealing with any of the errors, the data imported successfully with remain on your portal, and can be found under People > Employees, as expected.

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