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How to Send HRIS Data from HiBob through SFTP
How to Send HRIS Data from HiBob through SFTP

How to send HRIS data from HiBob via SFTP

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

What can I learn from this page?

How to send HRIS data from HiBob via SFTP

Who is this guide for?

Account Admins

Note: this guide covers how you can send your HRIS data from HiBob through a SFTP connection which uses our PARTIAL import process. Partial imports are good for when you upload a data file that contains new or updated information for a subset of your employees. Employees NOT in your data file will remain active. See: Importing your user data to Culture Amp for more information.

We now also offer a native integration with HiBob, please refer to this guide for further details.

You can save time and effort by configuring your HRIS to automatically extract and send your employee data to Culture Amp via Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

HiBob via SFTP updates the user data using our Partial Import process. This means that you can update or add data via SFTP and manual uploads if you do not have all your information available in HiBob.

Setting up an SFTP integration may require assistance from HiBob. We've provided detailed technical instructions that you can provide to them during the set up process.

Step 1: Create a Custom Report in Your HRIS

In HiBob, create a report that contains all the employees and demographics you want to import into Culture Amp. HiBob instructions on how to create reports are available here.

We recommend that you start with our Employee Data File Template. If you have existing data in the platform, you can head to Account Admin > Users > Export Users and use the headings that are included in the export to create your template. If you have additional demographics that you want to send through in addition to the existing data, you can add these columns in the report you are creating.

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

  • End Date

  • Manager Name

  • Manager Email (All values must be in lower case)

  • Manager ID

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

If you plan to create a hierarchy, or already have a hierarchy enabled, majority of employees must have a manager assigned using a unique manager identifier (e.g. Manager Email or Manager ID).

When you create your report in HiBoB, please note:

  • You'll be able to change column names to meet our data formatting guidelines and your preferences for demographic names in Culture Amp.

  • You'll need to change date formats: HiBob’s standard date format is DD/MM/YYYY (e.g. 20/02/1947). This data will need to be converted to one of Culture Amp’s accepted formats:

    • Mmm DD, YYYY (e.g. Feb 20, 1947)

    • Mmm DD YYYY (e.g. Feb 20 1947)

    • YYYY-MM-DD (ISO 8601 standard) (e.g. 1947-02-20).

  • “End date”: This is written as “Termination date” in HiBob. End date is not a required field in Culture Amp, but if you do want to send this information, some manual coding will be required to convert “Termination date” to “End date” (see screenshot below).

  • Employees to include/exclude: When configuring a report in HiBob, you can also decide which employees you want to include or exclude (e.g. to exclude terminated employees).

  • “Language” field: HiBob does not have a Language field. This can be created as a custom demographic if required. You cannot use the “Nationality” field as it will not meet our formatting requirements.


Step 2: Create an SSH Key Pair

An SSH key pair will ensure the SFTP connection via your client/HRIS is unique and secure. An SSH key pair is a pair of unique keys that are generated by you and saved on your computer. There's a private key which should only be used by you (or very carefully within your own organisation), and there's a public key which can safely be shared outside your organisation. The integration uses the combination of the two keys to verify the security of the connection.

HiBob by default supports SFTP setup via username and password while we use openSSH key pair. Contact your HiBob support team and they will help you to set up the connection with Culture Amp. The openSSH key pair should be configured without the passphrase option. The private key will remain with the HiBob. The public key will need to be entered in the Public Key field on the Settings > Data Integrations page in Culture Amp. This can be done by a Culture Amp Account Administrator.

HiBob team will ask you for below information:

  • Host/Hostname:

  • Username: See yours on the Data Integration page in Culture Amp

  • Path: If required enter as "/"

  • Port: If required enter as "22" or leave blank

Step 3: Configure and Schedule the HiBob Report to be Sent via SFTP

In HiBob, configure the report to export to Culture Amp via SFTP. We recommend setting an automatic schedule for this report so that your data is updated regularly.

Additional guidance on this step is available here.

Step 4: Testing Your SFTP Connection

If you're having problems with your SFTP connection, we suggest testing it by first running a manual import of your data. This will ensure you have a valid data set, and allow you to focus specifically on the SFTP connection.

  1. Export your report from HiBob in XLSX or CSV format

  2. Head to your Settings > Import Users > Partial Import page and upload the custom report. You will need to go through the steps until you reach the “Review Import Summary” stage.

  3. Review any errors and request adjustments to the report, if any are required.

  4. Cancel and do not “Apply changes”. This is because you are only testing the data and do not want to apply the changes via this manual upload process.

  5. Test your SFTP connection by transferring your data via SFTP

If the transfer fails, you now know the issue is with your SFTP connection and not your data file.

Troubleshooting SFTP Integration Issues

If you are facing issues with syncing your data from HiBob to Culture Amp, you can view troubleshooting information we have included in our Troubleshooting SFTP integration issues guide.

Add Your Hierarchy

Once your integration has been successfully set up, the process of adding hierarchy to your account is a once off manual task.

The steps to add hierarchy to your account can be located via our Add your hierarchy guide.


How do I mark employees as inactive in my SFTP file?

When removing users from the platform, you have two options: you can mark them as inactive, indicating they are former employees with an end date, or deactivate them, with no specified end date. Both options result in the user being made inactive.

Learn more about the differences between former and deactivated employees here.

Mark Users Inactive as Former Employees:

To make users inactive via SFTP as former employees:

  1. Ensure that there is an End Date column included in your user file

  2. Apply an End Date value next to the employee you are deactivating

  3. Following your update, the Culture Amp platform generally does a file sweep every 10 minutes or so and will process any file that has been picked up and process the updates to the platform.

  4. Once the import is processed, those users will show up under your Settings > Users page under the Former User list.

Mark Users Inactive as Deactivated Employees:

  1. Ensure that your SFTP file has an End Date column

  2. Under the End Date column, ensure that the value for the user you would like to deactivate is blank.

  3. Create an Employee Deactivated column in your SFTP file. Make sure that this column comes before any other custom demographics in your file.

  4. Assign TRUE as the value next to the employee/s you are deactivating.

  5. Make sure FALSE is set for any other employees.

  6. Following your update, the Culture Amp platform generally does a file sweep every 10 minutes or so and will process any file that has been picked up and process the updates to the platform.

  7. Once the import is processed, those users will show up under your Settings > Users page under the Deactivated User list.

Alternatively, you can mark users as inactive by deactivating them individually in the platform. Follow the instructions provided here.

Just make sure that once you manually deactivate these users, they are removed from any file uploads moving forward.

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