Zoho Recruit | Import data

Import Data

Importing records into your Recruit account can help you create new candidates from data gathered through various sources, such as a purchased record database or records from different business units. You can import records using two features:

Import My [Module]: Use this feature to import the records owned by (assigned to) you. By default, ownership of the records is automatically assigned to the user who imports the records.

Import My Organization [Module]: Use this feature to import all the records that are owned by (assigned to) users in your organization, including the records owned by you. The import file must have a column that contains the email addresses of the users you want to assign each record to.

Note: Zoho Recruit is compatible with the latest versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. We recommend that you use these browsers for best results.


Profile Permission Required: Users with the Import permissions can access this feature.

Import Checklist  

Before importing data, please go through this checklist:

  1. Permission: Make sure you have access to import data. If you do not have permission, the Import link will not be available in your user interface.
  2. File Format: The files to be imported must be in CSV (comma separated values) format and must be ASCII files (usually with a .txt or .csv extension in the Windows environment) where each line of text represents a single record. The supported formats are Excel (XLS, XLSX), Comma Separated Value (CSV), and Business Card or vCard Format (VCF). All file attachments must be separated from the data. Unexpected errors may occur if XLS or XLSX files contain any special controls such as combo filters or embedded images.
  3. Forbidden Characters: Data in the file to be imported must not contain the following characters:
    • Double quotation marks(") - use only as a field delimiter
    • Vertical bar (|)
    • Angle brackets (<>)
  4. Mandatory Fields: The required (mandatory) fields must contain a value. For example, when you are importing account information, each account record must include an Account Name. The Field Mapping page in the Import wizard marks the required fields with a *. Do not proceed to the next step without mapping the mandatory fields.
  5. Checkbox data: Make sure that the data you plan to import from Boolean or checkbox fields contain values that will properly convert during the import process. Imported data from Boolean and checkbox fields are converted as follows:
    • If the checkbox is selected: True or 1
    • If the checkbox is not selected: False or 0
  6. Dropdown List: All data values displayed in the dropdown lists must exist in the corresponding Zoho Recruit fields. For example, if you plan to import account information that contains a value for the industry type dropdown list, make sure that all the industry values in the source file already appear in the dropdown list before you import the account information. If the values do not exist, you must either change the values in the source file to match the existing values in Zoho Recruit or have your administrator add the new values.
  7. Field Names: Make sure the first row of data (records) in the source file contains the column headings or field names rather than the actual data values. These heading field names help identify the data when you map new data to existing fields in Zoho Recruit.
  8. Blank Lines: Remove all blank lines from the file to be imported. A blank line is interpreted as the end of the file.
  9. User Name: When imported records are assigned to other users, you need to map the Owner field with the appropriate field from the import file. The import file should have a column that contains the email addresses of the users you want to assign each record to. Only if this is present will the records be assigned to users while importing.
  10. File Size: Make sure the file size of the import data does not exceed 5 MB.

The table below lists the modules you can import data for and their mandatory fields:

Mandatory Fields
Mandatory Fields
Last Name
Job Openings

Job Opening Name

Client Name

Closing Date


Client Name


Contact Name

Last Name

Import Limits  

If the import file is in XLS, XLSX, or VCF format, you can import a maximum of 5,000 records per batch. More than 5,000 records can be imported per batch in CSV format. 


  • The supported formats are Excel (XLS, XLSX), Comma Separated Value (CSV), and Business Card or vCard Format (VCF).
  • If your records exceed the limits specified above, you can split the records into two or more files and then import them.

Import Data  

Use the Import My [Records] feature to import the records assigned to you. By default, the records' ownership is automatically assigned to the user who imports the records.

Use the Import My Organization [Module] feature to import all the records that are assigned to the users in your organization, including the records owned by you. The import file must have a column that contains the mail addresses of the users you want to assign each record to. Only then will the records automatically get assigned to the respective users while importing.

Note:  Module refers to the different tabs: Candidates, Contacts, Clients, etc.

To import data 

  1. Click the [Module] tab. Module refers to the tabs: Candidates, Contacts, Clients, etc.
  2. In the [Module] Home page, click Import.
  3. In the Import [Module] page:
    • Choose Import My [Records] or Import My Organization [Records].
    • Browse to locate and select the file to import.
    • Select the check box to Enable Manual Lead approval. The records will be manually approved by the admin before being assigned to specific users. This option is only available while importing candidates.
    • Select to Skip, Overwrite, or Clone duplicate records. The Skip and Overwrite options are only available in the Paid Editions.
  4. Choose a field from the Find duplicates using picklist field. The field you choose here will be used by Zoho Recruit to compare the existing records with those in the import file. Zoho Recruit will reject, overwrite, or duplicate matching records it identifies based on your choice. See also: How to mark a field as a Unique Field
    • Module Customization - Older Version 
    • Module Customization - Newer Version 
  5. Under Advanced Options:
    • Select the Character Encoding from the list.
    • Select a Workflow Task, if required.
      Note that only workflow tasks you have already created will be available in the list..
    • Choose the date and time format of the date and time values in the import file.
    • Select a rule from the dropdown list to Assign [Record] Owner as per the Assignment Rule. This option is only available when you import organization records. Records will be assigned to users based on the rule selected here. You can implement the Round Robin method to assign records to users. See also: Assignment Rules. 
    • Select an option from the list to Assign all imported Candidates to this Candidate Source. This option is only available while importing candidates.
    • Click Next to continue.
  6. In the Map Fields section:
    • Associate the fields in the CSV/XLS file column header with the corresponding fields in Zoho Recruit. (Mandatory fields must be properly mapped).
    • Click Next to continue.
  7. In the Confirm Mapping section, verify that fields are mapped correctly.
  8. Click Import.
    When the process is over, the added, updated and skipped records will be listed for your reference.


  • When you import records to a module, the fields that have been marked as unique for that module are listed in the Find duplicates using picklist field. The chosen field will be used by Zoho Recruit to manage duplicate records during import by comparing the existing records to Recruit with those in the import file. For example, if you choose Social Security Number as the unique field, Zoho Recruit will use this field to compare existing candidates with those in the import file. If it finds matching records, one of the following actions will be executed based on your choice in the Duplicate Records section:
    • If you chose Skip, the matching records in the import file will not be added in Zoho Recruit.
    • If you chose Overwrite, the matching records in Zoho Recruit will be updated and any new records from the file will be added.
    • If you chose Clone, the new record from the import file will be added.
  • Only select the [Module ID] from the Find duplicates using field you are reimporting records that were exported from Zoho Recruit. The [Module ID] field is generated by Zoho Recruit and is unique to Zoho Recruit. Choose this as a unique field if you want to export a set of records from Zoho Recruit to a spreadsheet, make some changes to them and then import them again. Choosing the [Module ID] as a unique field in any other case may cause duplication of records.
  • The unique fields are not case sensitive. If the unique field's value in the import file is "ABC" and in the existing record it is "abc", Zoho Recruit will still identify this as a match.
  • Once the import process begins, you cannot cancel it and the manual approval option is only available while importing candidates.
  • If you select a workflow task while importing, the Notify Assignee option in the selected workflow task will not apply.
  • In the Free Edition, only the clone option is available.
  • The option to clone, skip, or overwrite records is available in the Professional and Enterprise Editions. The skip and overwrite options can only be used if the import file is in CSV format and there are no more than 5,000 records per batch. For example, there are two records, A and B, in your Zoho Recruit account. You want to import records B and C. 


When you select:


Record C

Record B



Not imported, as it already exists in Zoho Recruit.



If the mapped fields' values are different to those in the existing record, they are replaced with the ones from the import file.

Any additional new data is added to the record if the related field is mapped before importing.



Imported and a duplicate record B is created along with the existing one.

  • If the Overwrite option is selected, the duplicate records will be identified based on the following fields, depending on the record type:
    • Candidate: Email
    • Contact: Email
    • Client: Account Name
    • Potential: Potential Name
  • If these fields are not mapped, matching records will not be identified, causing duplicates to be created in Zoho Recruit.
  • If matching records are identified, only the fields that are mapped will be overwritten.
  • If you do not use the fields specified above and still want to check for duplicate records while importing, you can use the Record ID. Each record in Zoho Recruit has a unique ID. When you export the records, you can get their individual Record IDs. 

Import Notes  

You may often need to make notes for a lot of records at the same time or associate the note with multiple records. You can use the Import Notes feature in Zoho Recruit to avoid having to open each record to associate the note with it manually. Simply export your existing records to a spreadsheet, add your notes in new columns and then reimport the file.

To import notes:

  1. Prepare your spreadsheet (either exported from Recruit or a new sheet) with your notes for each record. Make sure you include Note Title and Note Content columns in your sheet. The spreadsheet must also contain a column for one of the unique fields in the chosen module, such as  Email or Record ID.
  2. In your Zoho Recruit account, click the required module.
  3. Click Import and then Import Notes.       
  4. In the Import Notes page, choose the file you have prepared.
  5. In the Find existing [records] using field, specify how you want Recruit to determine the parent record to associate the note with: either Record ID or Email. For example, if you choose Contact ID while importing notes for contacts, Recruit will associate the note to the contact with the Contact ID specified in the sheet.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Map the Recruit fields Note Title, Note Content, and Email (or any other unique field that you have selected) with the import fields from the sheet in the Note Information section of the Import My Notes wizard.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Click Import in the Confirm Mapping page. The notes will be imported and will appear in therecords' details pages.


  • The following permissions must be enabled in a user's profile for them to be able to import notes:
    • Create permission for Notes under Module Level Permissions 
    • Import Permissions enabled for the parent module.
    • For example, even if a user has the Notes creation permission but does not have the Import permissions for Candidates, they will not be able to import notes for candidates.

View Import History  

Maintaining a log of the activities performed in your Zoho Recruit account is always useful. You can see when a record was edited or who added a record. Similarly, a log of the import activities lets you know who imported records, when they were imported, and whether the records were imported properly or not. The Import History page in Zoho Recruit provides a clear picture of the files recently imported using the Import and Migrate features.

You can also see the following details in the Import History:

  • Imported file name
  • Name of the module the records were imported to
  • The name of the user who imported the records
  • Imported date and time
  • Details of the number of records that were added, updated, and skipped

You can perform the following operations in the Import History page:

  • Check details of the import
  • Confirm the imported data
  • Undo the data import

Files imported within the last 60 days will be listed in the Import History. Each entry in the Import History allows you to view the records that were added, updated, and skipped. These details are only available for seven days from when the records were imported, after which you can only see the number of records that were added, updated, or skipped. If records were not imported properly and you want to undo the import, you can do so within 30 days, after which the import action will be locked and confirmed automatically. 

Profile Permission Required: Users with the Import permission can access this feature.

Check the Import Details  

When a file is imported, the import details will be listed in the Import History. This includes the date and time when the records were imported, the name of the user who imported the file, details of the number of records that were added, updated, or skipped, and details about why records were skipped.

To check the import details:

  1. Navigate to Setup > Data Administration > Data Migration > Import History.
    Every import action will be recorded in the Import History page along with the details on the date and time that it was performed.
  2. Click Added to check the records that were added during the import.
    The fields in the import file will be listed with the values for each record.
  3. Click Updated to check the records that were updated in the import.
    The fields in the import file will be listed with the values for each record. The row numbers help you easily locate the records in your import file.
  4. Click Skipped checking the records that were not added to Zoho Recruit.
    The fields in the import file will be listed with the reason why the records were not imported. The row numbers help you easily locate the records in your import file.
  5. Click Export to download a copy of the skipped records and the reason why they were not imported.


  • The details of the first five fields from the import file that were mapped with Zoho Recruit fields will be listed in the Skipper Records list. The rest of the field details will be available when you export the list.
  • When you export the skipped records, you will get a csv file with all the fields that were mapped with the Zoho Recruit fields during the import process and the reason why the records were skipped. You can make the necessary changes to the file and import it again.
  • The Added and Updated views will only list the fields available in the All [Records] list view of the module.
  • It is possible for a mismatch to occur between the number of addedand updated records and the number of records that you see in the detailed list. There are two reasons why this mismatch could occur:
    • Records were manually deleted by a user
    • You do not have permission to view the records

Confirm or Undo Data Import  

You can undo the import process and remove the imported records from Zoho Recruit within 30 days of the import. For security reasons, you may want to lock the imported records so that no one removes the records that were imported. You can use the Confirm option after importing the data so that it will be permanently added to your Recruit account.

To confirm or undo the import activity:

  1. Navigate to Setup > Data Administration > Data Migration > Import History.
    The import entries are listed in the Import History page.
  2. Hover over an entry. Do one of the following:
    • Click to confirm the import.
    • Click the Undo this import link to undo the action and remove the imported data.


  • Once confirmed, you cannot undo the import.
  • After 30 days from the import, the import action will be automatically confirmed. You cannot undo it once it is confirmed.
  • If you undo imported contacts, then the imported accounts associated with them will also be deleted.
  • If you delete imported accounts, then the imported contacts associated with them will also be deleted.
  • If the data import fails, it will be clearly marked in the data history.

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