How do I import employees?

Initially, this is a two-stage process; preparing the required data for importing and the actual import into Focus itself. Further imports can be made to add to any existing data.

This guide will take you through:

  • Preparing the data as a CSV file
  • Importing the data into Focus
  • Reimporting and merging data

Preparing the data as a CSV file

Whether you are exporting directly from a database / CRM system or copying and pasting into a newly-created spreadsheet, the choice of software used to prepare your data is not important, as long as you can save and export it as a CSV file. You must also give your columns names - these are the import fields.

  1. Ensure any fields you wish to import are at the top of each column. In addition, you can also import User Defined Fields that have been created in Focus.
  2. The data to import should then sit underneath the respective fields.
  3. Once all your data is ready, save it as a CSV file.

Importing the data into Focus

  1. Select ‘System’ from the Menu Bar.
  2. Select ‘Import’ from the System folder.
  3. In the ‘CSV To Import’ section, select ‘Open’.
  4. Navigate to where the CSV file is that you wish to import and select it.
  1. In the ‘Fields’ section, set ‘Table’ to ‘Employee’.
  2. Go through the ‘Focus Field’ list and make sure it matches the ‘Import Field’ list (taken from the CSV file). Focus will automatically choose the matching field if the wording and spelling are the same. If the word ‘None’ appears in the list, select it and choose the related match from the drop-down menu. This may happen for something as simple as a typo, misspelling or missing space. Any mismatched fields that are not corrected will not be imported.
  1. Select ‘Import’.
  2. A warning message appears. Select ‘OK’ if you wish to proceed.
  3. If successful, a ‘No errors’ message appears. Select ‘OK’ to save the changes to the database.
  4. When the ‘Import Added x Employees’ message appears, select OK.
  5. Select ‘Reload’ - if the import was successful, the newly-imported employees should now be viewable in the ‘Records In Database’ list.

Reimporting and merging data

If required, you can make further imports of data for any existing employees in the Focus database. This data will be ‘merged’ with any existing data. In Focus terms, ‘merging’ means not only adding to incomplete records but also overwriting any existing data that is in the same import field. Therefore, importing should not be undertaken lightly as you could, unwittingly, overwrite crucial data.

When importing, you will always need to use the ‘Payroll Number’ import field. This is the unique way in which Focus recognises which employee to import the data to. It’s a good idea to put this field in the first column. Once again, be careful. If an employee already exists in the database, and you import a new employee using the same payroll number, the existing employee’s data will be overwritten.

Before making any final import, you will be presented with a warning message in order to help manage any potential conflicts.

Skip - do not import this employee and show me the next conflict

Skip All - don’t import any employees where there are conflicts

Merge - allow the data merge of this conflict and show me the next one.

Merge All - don’t show me any more conflicts and allow the data merge of all conflicts. 

Additional information

Whenever possible, it’s best practice (and safer) to use a Group Action when making a change to a single field for multiple employees, rather than choosing to do so via an import.

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How do I use Group Actions to make changes to Employee Records?

Use Group Actions to apply changes to whole groups of Employees in one go.

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