Bulk import or update people

15Five's bulk import tool allows account admins to add or update multiple accounts at once via CSV. This article walks through how to complete a bulk import and what information can be managed via bulk import. See the "FAQs" section at the bottom of this article for tips and tricks on how to use the bulk import tool efficiently and effectively.



If you are new to 15Five and need an example CSV to work from, a downloadable template can be found at the bottom of this page.

Import or update users from a CSV file

  1. Click the 'Settings' gear in the top right-hand corner of 15Five.
  2. Select 'People' from the dropdown menu to open the 'Manage people' page.
  3. Click 'Import' in the top navigation bar.
  4. You are now on the bulk import page. This page includes a table of all fields that can be managed via CSV. Please read these, as well as the formatting rules outlined under "Use the example below as a guide while following a few simple rules", in full before creating your bulk import CSV, as they contain important information regarding what to include and how to format each column. If you have any questions about specific columns, please refer to the FAQs section at the bottom of this article.
  5. Download your company's current employment structure by clicking the Download current structure button at the top of the page. Keep this document in a safe place in case any unintended changes are made when you upload your CSV.
  6. Create your bulk import CSV. If you need an example CSV to work from, a downloadable template can be found at the bottom of this page.
  7. Click Choose file and find the CSV from your computer that you would like to import. Please note: the file must be in UTF-8 CSV format.
  8. Once you have selected the file that you want to import, a 'Preview import' screen will appear. Review the changes to be made before moving to the next step.
  9. If you're adding new people to your 15Five account with this import, review the invite options at the bottom of the 'Preview import' page. If you want invite emails to be sent out to new users, either immediately or on their start date, make sure the "Send invite email" box is checked and edit the invite email text as needed. If you do not want invite emails to be sent out to new users, either immediately or on their start date, uncheck the "Send invite email" box. Screen_Shot_2021-07-07_at_10.01.40_AM.png


    People who are added via bulk import with the "Send invite email" box checked will appear on the 'Manage people: Inactive' page under "Pending invitations". "Pending" means that an invite email has been sent but not yet accepted, or that an invite email will be sent to the person on their start date. People who are added via bulk import without the "Send invite email" box checked will appear on the 'Manage people: Inactive' page under "Created people". "Created" means that an invite email has not been sent and is not scheduled to be sent. You will need to manually invite these people by clicking the Send invitation button next to their name when you're ready for them to be invited to 15Five.

  10. Click Finish import.



Q: Will I be automatically charged for new people I add to 15Five using the bulk import tool?
A: No. 15Five will not charge for invited/new individuals until the invite is accepted and the person becomes active. Billing for the new individual(s) is prorated based on activated date and the time left in your current subscription period.

CSV fields

Q: What fields can I import/update via CSV?
A: For a full list of fields that can be managed via CSV import, visit the bulk import page in 15Five. Please read that page in its entirety before creating a bulk import CSV, as it contains important information regarding each individual field. 

Q: I want to import a field that isn't listed on the bulk import page. Is that possible?
A: It just might be! See this article for information on how to bulk update custom attributes.

Q: What field do you read to know which person to update?
A: We use employee email as the unique identifier. That means if you're, for example, looking to update the job title via bulk import, your CSV only needs to include the email column and the title column. 

Q: Do you update every field every time a bulk import occurs, or only the things that have changed?
A: We only update fields that change. For example- if you upload a CSV on which the only change is a new job title for an individual, as long as you make that title change in the row that contains the individual's current email address, the job title will be updated.

Q: If I don't include an individual or field on my bulk import, will they be deleted from 15Five?
A: No. 15Five will only update information for people and fields who are included on the import. If a person or field is not included on the CSV, that information will remain as is. 

Q: How does the 'start_date' field impact individuals' access to 15Five?
A: start_date is the date a new individual will be invited to and have access to 15Five (mm/dd/yyyy). This field is optional. If you'd like for a person to be invited/have access to 15Five immediately, leave this field blank or do not include it in your import. People without a start date will get an invite immediately and can sign into 15Five right away.

Q: Can I bulk deactivate users using a CSV?
A: Yes. To bulk deactivate, use the column header is_active and type "n" next to the email addresses of people whose accounts you'd like to deactivate.

Q: How do I use the due_day column to update Check-In due days?

A: The due_day column header can only be used if you are on a weekly cadence for Check-ins. At this time, you cannot use the bulk import tool to update due day for bi-weekly or monthly reporting periods. For steps on how to change Check-in due day for people who aren't on weekly Check-in cadences, check out this article.


Q: I want add users to new groups using the bulk import tool. How do I do that?
A: To add an individual to multiple groups, use the add_to_groupscolumn and list all groups separated by commas. For example: "Sales, SF Team, Customer Success". Please note: if you use the active_group_names column, you must include all groups an individual is in. Individuals will be removed from any groups not included in that column .

Q: How can I specify group type on a bulk import CSV?
A: If you’d like to specify the group type, please include a tilde (~) in between the group type and group: for example, "Departments~HR".

Q: Should I enter Smart Groups into the Active_Group_Names field in the CSV file?
A: No- you do not need to upload or update Smart Groups through the CSV. As you upload new employees, they will be placed into the corresponding Smart Group depending on the reviewer email you include in the CSV file.


Q: Our team has an HRIS or SCIM integration. Can we still use the bulk import tool?
A: Yes. The bulk import tool is often utilized by SCIM/HRIS customers for fields that are not automatically updated via the integration.

Q: Our team has SSO enabled. Can I upload a CSV file before we launch and suppress the email invitations?
A: Yes. If you have SSO enabled will you see an option that reads "Do not send welcome emails to new users" and a checkbox. Check that box if you do not want imported people to get an invite. Please note: if you select this setting, invite emails cannot be resent at a later time. 


Q: What does the error "Oops! Your file was not successfully uploaded. Please make the corrections and try again. Can not decode file. Please ensure file is ASCII or UTF-8 encoded." mean?
A: If you see this error message, try re-saving your import as a CSV UTC-8 format and uploading again. This error is common when you try and upload an Excel file instead of a CSV file, but can easily be resolved by saving the file in the correct format.


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