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How to Sync HRIS Data from Personio

How to sync HRIS data from Personio

Jared Ellis avatar
Written by Jared Ellis
Updated over a week ago

What can I learn from this page?

How to sync HRIS data from Personio

Who is this guide for?

Account Admins

📌 Note:

  • Personio uses our full import process. When your data syncs, any employees not included in your data file will become inactive as former employees, with their End Date set to the import date. See: Importing your user data to Culture Amp for more information.

  • New features have been added to the Personio integration, you can now choose 'types' of employees to sync, or exclude employees from synching from within the integration.See the following section for more details Step 4: Choose the types of employees to sync

Culture Amp can import all your employee data directly from Personio. The set-up process is straightforward and can usually be completed in around 10 mins without technical support. You can set up your integration to sync data manually (as triggered by an admin user) or automatically on a daily basis.

Step 1: Generate a New Credential

  1. To connect Personio with Culture Amp, you’ll first need to navigate to your Settings > Data Integrations page in the Culture Amp platform. Select the Personio tile.

Here, you will find the instructions to generate a new API credential in Personio.

These are managed in Personio under Settings > API credentials. You must have API access rights to view this page. If you do not have access rights, reach out to your Personio administrator for assistance.

Important! If you have an existing integration, you must use the same credentials for your Culture Amp integration. Generating new credentials will void any existing integrations.


Step 2: Select Your Attributes

At a minimum, for every employee you want to update, you must include:

  • Name

  • Employee email (Email) OR Employee ID. You can include both pieces of information if you have this available.

Below are some additional demographic columns that are commonly included in employee data files:

  • Preferred Name (This will be used in survey communications)

  • Job Title

  • Employee Type

  • Department

  • Gender

  • Date of Birth

  • Start Date

  • Termination Date

  • Supervisor

You can also include any other demographics you wish to report on.

We highly recommend adding ‘Supervisor’ attribute in order to create your hierarchy in Culture Amp. Hierarchy is built based on unique manager identifiers such as manager emails or IDs. While 'Supervisor' attributes contains manager names, not email/IDs, we are able to do the translation into manager emails/IDs for you.

📌 Note: Avoid adding any ‘Multiple Selection’ attributes as these are not supported in Culture Amp.

If you want to add the Personio 'Cost Centre' attribute, be aware that Culture Amp requires a single value per employee.

If an employee is assigned to multiple Cost Centre values in Personio, the value with the highest percentage will be saved (e.g. if Anna is assigned 70% to Finance and 30% to Marketing, then Finance will be saved as her Cost Centre).

If an employee has multiple Cost Centre values with the same percentage, and that percentage is highest, the first value provided will be saved.

If Cost Centre percentages aren’t provided, the first value provided will be saved.


📌 Note: If your default language in Personio is set to German, most predetermined (default) field titles (attributes) will be mapped to English versions in Culture Amp, examples Vorgesetzter > Supervisor, Geschlecht > Gender, Abteilung > Department, as well as the following additional fields:

  • Geburtsdag > Birth Date (Date of Birth)

  • Beschäftigungsart > Employment type

  • Bevorzugte Sprache > Preferred Language (Language labels need to be listed in English, or the two-letter code)

Step 3: Enter Integration Details into Culture Amp

After you've completed generating a new credential, paste the provided Client ID & Client secret into the Culture Amp Personio Integration setup page and select 'Validate Credentials' to continue.

Step 4: Choose the Type of Employees to Sync

Choose the types of employees that you would like to sync between Personio and Culture Amp. Any employee groups excluded will not be imported into Culture Amp.

Excluding specific people from being synced can be achieved by creating an "Exclude from Culture Amp" custom attribute in Personio and setting the value of this attribute to "Yes" for the people that you want to exclude. Any excluded employees with existing profiles in Culture Amp will transition to inactive users, marked as former employees with their End Date set to the date of import.

💡Tip: Ensure the exclusion field is selected as a readable attribute as part of the API credential in Personio


📌 Note: When making exclusions, please pay attention to the impact it may have on employees' managers. Direct reports of managers that are excluded will not have a manager assigned.

Step 5: Set Sync Settings and Save the Integration

At this point, you can also decide whether you want to run automatic syncs, and set a contact email address that will be contacted if there are any issues with the integration.

You can now save the integration and sync your user data into Culture Amp. This will replace the old data in Culture Amp with the new data from Personio.

Even if you have turned on autosyncs, we recommend running a manual sync after setting up your integration to confirm everything is working correctly. You’ll be prompted to do this when you save your integration. Otherwise you can run a manual sync by navigating to the Settings > Data Integrations page and clicking the Sync Button or via your Settings > Users > Import Users


From here, Culture Amp will step you through the same verification process as if you were uploading users via the Import Users process. Once you’ve reviewed your data and clicked ‘Import data’, the sync will run in the background and could take anywhere from a couple of seconds to a few minutes. No data will be imported until you click ‘Import data’.


Add Your Hierarchy

Once your integration has been successfully set up, the process of adding hierarchy to your account is quite easy! The steps to add hierarchy to your account can be located via our Add your hierarchy guide.

Troubleshooting Integration Issues

The first step when investigating HRIS data issues is to check the import summary for your most recent import. This will provide information about the state of your integration.

To find this information, go to Account Administration > Import History and select your most recent import.

If there was a problem with your last import, you will either be able to view errors on this page or you will be prompted to run a manual sync to identify any problems.

Handling of Inactive Employees

During an HRIS sync, all employees (active and inactive) may be imported (depending on your custom report logic and the employees you choose to sync when setting up the integration).

If an employee has a past Termination Date they will be made inactive in Culture Amp as a former employee. If an employee has a future Termination Date they will be made inactive in Culture Amp as a former employee upon that date (Note: some HRIS do not support future Term dates). Any updates to inactive employees, such as a changed end date or any other update to demographic information, may be applied during the sync.
If an employee is active in Culture Amp but not present in your HRIS report, they will be made inactive in Culture Amp as a former employee. This is because the data is processed using our Full Import process.

📌 Note: The default behavior for users left off your HRIS sync file is to set their end date to the import date, categorizing them as former employees. If you prefer that these users are treated as deactivated instead, just reply with "Ask a Person" in a Support Conversation to speak with a Product Support Specialist and we can adjust the default setting.

Sync Blocked Due to Swapped Employee IDs

Your sync might be blocked if Culture Amp suspects that one of your employees may have had their details mixed up with another.

If a combination of an employee's Name, Date of Birth, Email or Employee ID are changed, the sync may be blocked. This is to prevent an employee accidentally getting access to another employee's private information, such as performance reviews.

If you've intentionally changed the employee's details, you can run a manual sync to push through the change. Simply click 'Import data' from the Users page and select 'Sync'. Culture Amp will guide you through the rest.

A Manager Is Not Populating on Direct Reports

The manager could be in a group of employees that is being excluded from the import, please check the type of employees to sync to ensure the manager is not included in one of those groups & check that the manager does not have the "Exclude from Culture Amp" custom attribute in Personio set to "true".

💬 Need further help? Just reply with "Ask a Person" in a Support Conversation to speak with a Product Support Specialist.

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