Candidate Import from MS Excel

Created by Martin Parkinson, Modified on Wed, 29 Nov 2023 at 10:36 AM by Graeme Orchard

If you have a list of Candidates in an MS Excel sheet, it is possible to quickly/easily import these into your Influence database.


Note: This tool is designed for importing NEW data into the system; it will not update existing records with changes.



How it Works

Below are the steps to follow in order to import a candidate list from Excel.

1) Login to the database as the user "ADM" (or your own login if you have access to the [Maintenance] part of the system). 

NB: If you have a multi-office based system then be sure to login to the office where you want the candidates imported.

2) Choose Maintenance > Tools > Candidate import from Excel

3) Once the candidate import screen opens, click the [New] button at the bottom left to open an Excel template for you to use. 

The template will have the column headings you can use,  e.g.


If you are using the spreadsheet to import candidates then you must specify a Forename/Surname and a status in addition to any other information. Important: Please leave the column titles as they are, i.e. UPPER CASE.

4) Copy/Paste the information from your excel sheet into the template under the correct column heading(s).
When done, save the template using Save As....  and save the file as an MS Excel 97-2003 type sheet. (i.e. *.xls)

Tip: When saving the spreadsheet please ensure that there are no Filters/Auto-filters and no rows or columns are "Hidden".

5) Before importing create a test spreadsheet by re-saving it with the first 2-3 lines only.

NOTE: We recommend you try importing this small sample first, before proceeding to import the rest of your (much bigger) sheet of information.

6) From the Influence Candidate import from Excel, click the [Next] button. A window will appear asking for the spreadsheet containing the information to be imported.

Simply Drag/Drop the test spreadsheet that you saved in step (5) onto the window, and press [OK]. The system will then import the contacts into your database.

7) Ensure the information has imported correctly from the test spreadsheet. When satisfied repeat Step(6) with the full spreadsheet.

NoteWhen importing data the system will ignore the "TITLE" row, and will then import rows until it hits a blank ROW. The first totally blank row will stop the import at that point and any data below this will not be imported.


Below is a link to a Video Guide demonstrating how to import candidates from an Excel sheet.

VIDEO (Click to watch):

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Important considerations when using the Import Tool

 If a candidate already exists, then it will not be added again if  the name in the import spreadsheet is IDENTICAL. If any part is different (Including CASE), then the import will add the candidate.

(E.g: Tom Smith  at Super Products Ltd is different than
Tom Smith at Super products LTD, and would create a NEW record because of the different CASE)

Be patient. When importing data it can take some time.
Depending on the speed of the machine/connection etc. the process may take some time. Typically records are imported at the rate of 1 record per second, so a file containing 1800 records would take approx. 30mins to load.

If data is imported incorrectly it will need to be removed form the database before re-importing. If it is not removed then any future imports will be treated as duplicates and not imported.

(NOTE: Newer versions of the software will add all the imported items into a GROUP, which can be accessed from the left of the [Candidate] workbench to make it easier to remove any incorrectly loaded data.)

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If things don't work quite as you expect, here are a few tips to help you work out what is wrong.

1. The system did not import all rows from the Spreadsheet

A: Check that there are no <Blank> rows in the data.

As soon as the system sees a <blank> row on the sheet it sees this as the end of the data, and will stop at that point.

You can always create a new sheet and copy the headings, and all the remaining data onto the new sheet, then improt that as a second import if that is the case.

2. The system says 'The Spreadsheet is not in the correct Format'

A: Check that the column headings are the same as required by the import; they must be Identical in both spelling and CASE.

e.g. FORENAME is correct. Forename is wrong.

Also, check that there are no 'hidden' columns.

e.g. If column "A" on the spreadsheet has been hidden, it may visually look correct, but the missing column will cause this error.

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