How do I bulk import employees? (Desktop only)

Modified on Wed, 17 Jan 2024 at 04:01 PM

Fed up of adding employees one by one? Instead, add details to a CSV spreadsheet and import all of your employees in one go, quicker than you can say “Simple Shift Scheduling”.


Download the CSV template

  1. Head over to the Team page by clicking on the group users icon in the desktop navigation menu.
  2. Click the dropdown next to the 'Add People' button in the top right and select 'Import Employees'.
  3. The Import Employees dialog will open; click the “Download Template CSV” link to download our template CSV file. You'll need to make sure that it's kept as a CSV (UTF-8) and not converted to an XSLX, and for the love of all that you hold dear please don't make any changes to any of the titles or the import won't work.
    • To save an Excel spreadsheet as a UTF-8 CSV, click “Save As” and then under “File Format” choose “CSV UTF-8 (Comma-delimited) (.csv)”. This step is vital.
  4. You will need a separate template saved for each location you wish to import employees to. Saving the template CSV file with an appropriate name including the location such as “Shiftie-ville Employee Import”, will help with this.

Adding employees to the CSV

  1. Enter the details for the employees you wish to import into the CSV. Make sure that you only add information into the columns that have titles, and don't add any extra titles - unfortunately, they won't work and neither will the import.
  2. When entering details for employees, there are rules for each field. Some fields are required, others must be in a certain format, and some must include other values. Our handy guide below gives examples to help with this. You can leave the optional fields blank as you prefer, but if you’re planning to use them in the future then it will be easier to fill them out now; otherwise, you’ll have to edit each employee individually, which will not be fun at all.
Field NameRequired?Other RulesExample
First NameRequiredEm
Last NameRequiredPauley
Email AddressValid email addressem.pauley@example.com
Date of BirthDate string - 'DD/MM/YYYY'18/06/2967
Job Start DateDate string - 'DD/MM/YYYY'01/03/2023
Probation DateDate string - 'DD/MM/YYYY'01/06/2023
Job TitleSenior Waiter
Job RolesRequiredComma separated list of job role namesWaiter, Administrator
Default Job RoleRequiredMust be included in Job RolesWaiter
Employee GroupTable Service
Weekly HoursMin: 0 / Max: 16837.5
Base Pay RateMin: 012.50
Payroll IDEP234SW
National Insurance NumberQQ 123456 C
Driving Licence NumberPAULE606187ER9IJ
Address Line 117 Schedule Street
Address Line 2Shiftie Ville
City/TownShiftown
Postal/Zip CodeST4 2LP
Emergency Contact NameR. Pauley
Emergency Contact NumberMust be a valid phone number with area code beginning with '+'+447834321547


Additional tips:

  1. Job Roles (Comma-separated) - If the job role doesn't already exist in the system we'll create it based on the spreadsheet entry. If it does already exist we'll add the employee to the existing role, so make sure that you match the wording exactly so that you don't end up with lots of different job roles which are very nearly - but not quite - the same.
  2. Weekly Hours - Lets you set how many hours the employee should work in a week so that we can indignantly flag it in the schedule if you exceed it. The format should be strictly numerical, e.g. '37.5'.
  3. Base Pay Rate - Unsurprisingly, the employee's hourly base pay rate. If they're paid extra for specific Job Roles you can set that against the employee once the import is complete. You shouldn't include currency in this field; plain old 10.00 format will do - currency is set at the company level to save you from having to mess around with it here.
  4. Most fields, if they include any alphabetical or symbol characters, should have the ‘Text’ format in CSV or spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel. If they are not formatted properly, Excel will attempt to format fields such as the Emergency Contact Number to values like ‘447834321547.00’ or ‘4.47834E+11’, which are not valid phone numbers.

Importing employees

  1. Once you've finished adding employees, make sure the spreadsheet is saved to your computer as a CSV UTF-8 file format. To do this you'll need to click 'Save As' and make sure that the file type selected is 'CSV UTF-8 (Comma-delimited) (.csv)'. If you save the spreadsheet in any other format then the import won't work.
  2. Next, return to the Import Employee dialog in Shiftie. If you have multiple locations you'll need to choose which one you want to assign the new employees to in the dropdown at the top of the form. Once that's done, click the 'Upload File' button. Find the CSV on your computer and select it - then we'll do our thing and start the import.
    • If there are any issues with the import we'll flag them up at this point. Don't panic too much if there are - believe us, with imports it's more surprising when the data is perfect the first time around. We'll give you a list of any issues that we find so that you can edit the CSV and re-upload.
  3. Once you've dealt with any issues and confirmed the import then the employees will all appear in the system ready for you to invite at your leisure.

Bulk importing employees is only available on Desktop.

Struggling to find this feature in your Shiftie account?

Check our permissions and plan pages to make sure you have access.

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