Bulk import prospects from spreadsheet

Permissions: Job Admin and above who can manage CRM and prospects

Product tier: Available for Advanced and Expert subscription tiers

Note: Essential customers have bulk import for the first 90 days of their subscription. After 90 days, the bulk import feature deactivates. Advanced and Expert tier customers have full access to bulk importing prospects.

Greenhouse Recruiting's bulk import feature allows your organization to add multiple prospects to your account from an external spreadsheet.

Download import template

Click the Configure icon in your navigation panel and select Bulk Import from the left-side panel.

Screenshot of the configure icon.

Select Begin Prospect Import.

Screenshot of the bulk import configure page.

Rather than format a spreadsheet yourself, we've created a spreadsheet template to help you get started. Click Download Import Template to download a copy of the template to your computer.

Note: Prospects added to jobs configured to comply with GDPR will automatically be emailed GDPR information after being imported. 

Screenshot of the download import template.

Enter the prospect information in the downloaded spreadsheet. For best performance, we recommend importing no more than 8,000 candidates at a time.

Complete prospect import template

Default fields

The pre-configured import template includes columns for each of the default fields listed below. Input a prospect's information in each row you wish to populate. If you do not care about a particular standard field or do not have that information, leave the column blank. The First and Last Name are required fields.

Please keep in mind that prospects for jobs configured to comply with GDPR will automatically be emailed GDPR information after being imported.

The names for prospect pool, prospect stage, and campaign pool must match the names configured in your Greenhouse Recruiting CRM. If you need to add new pools and/or stages, please complete this step in CRM prior to adding the information to your import spreadsheet.

Note: Only users with a Sourcing Automation seat can add prospects to campaign pools.

Screenshot of the bulk prospect import template.

Custom fields

Additionally, you are not limited to entering information for the default candidate fields only. Custom application and custom candidate fields can be added to the downloaded import template as individual columns. Please visit the Map custom fields section of this article for more information on this step.

Upload spreadsheet

After editing and saving the template to your computer, click Upload Spreadsheet to begin the mapping workflow.

Screenshot of the upload spreadsheet button.

Map default fields

After uploading the completed spreadsheet, Greenhouse Recruiting guides you through the data mapping process. Follow the in-app instructions to map the columns in the spreadsheet to a field in Greenhouse Recruiting. Sample data from your spreadsheet are displayed in the right-hand column to confirm the data being mapped.

Screenshot of the map and verify page.

If you wish to omit a field from the import, click the X icon inline with the field under the Spreadsheet Header column. Any data entered in that spreadsheet column will not be imported.

Screenshot of the X icon.

When you're finished, click Verify Spreadsheet Data at the bottom of the page.

Note: If you did not provide information for one or more of these fields in the spreadsheet, the corresponding data mapping step(s) will be skipped.

Additionally, if you need to save your progress, click the X icon in the top-right corner of the Import page. The import will display as Incomplete on the Previous Imports table. You can finish your import by clicking Finish Import inline with your upload.

Screenshot of the finish import button.

The next stages of the mapping workflow allow you to map Sources, Who Gets Credit, and the Job for the imported prospects.

Screenshot of the mapping page.

Map custom fields

The bulk import feature supports the following custom application and candidate/prospect field types:

  • Short textbox
  • Long textbox
  • Number
  • Single select
  • URL
  • Yes/No

Note: In order to see private custom fields, the user performing the import must have the user-specific permission Can see private notes, salary info, manage offers, and approve jobs/offers on all jobs listed in the Map Jobs step of the bulk candidate import flow. Without this user-specific permission on all jobs included in the bulk import mapping, the user can only map to standard custom fields.

As you fill out your custom fields, please keep in mind that each custom field must pass data validation during the mapping workflow. The following issues can result in a failed import:

Field type Validation issue

Single select

If you are mapping a single select type, the values inputted into your spreadsheet for the mapped column must match the exact options available for the Greenhouse custom field.

Example: If the option for a single select custom field is a decimal number (for example, GPA), Greenhouse recommends you format the data in the column as a decimal number. By doing this, you can ensure that your spreadsheet editor does not automatically round numbers to the nearest whole number (for example, 4.0 instead of 4), which would misalign values in your spreadsheet with the available options for the Greenhouse custom field.


If the Greenhouse custom field you are mapping to is a Number type, the values you input into your spreadsheet must be expressed as a number (for example, 3 instead of three). Greenhouse will accept symbols in the number (for example, comma, period, $, %, et cetera).

Yes/No If the Greenhouse custom field you are mapping to is a Yes/No type, the values input into your spreadsheet for the mapped column must either be Yes or No. Values such as Y or N will not be accepted.
URL If the Greenhouse custom field you are mapping to is a URL type, the values you input into your spreadsheet for the mapped column must be expressed as a URL.

Once you are on the Map Custom Fields stage of the mapping workflow, use the provided dropdown menu inline with each field and select a corresponding custom application field or custom candidate field. Sample data from your spreadsheet will be provided in the right-hand column to confirm the data being mapped.

Screenshot of the map custom fields page.

Click Verify Data to finish the custom mapping process.

Upload statuses

Once all prospects are imported, return to the Bulk Import page and navigate to the Previous Imports panel. This panel shows all your recent and historical uploads, including their upload status.


Screenshot of the bulk import status. The following is a list of the upload statuses and their meanings:

Status What does it mean?
Complete The spreadsheet import, mapping workflow, and resume uploads are complete.


The spreadsheet is uploaded, but the initial Map and Verify stage of the spreadsheet data is required. Click Finish Import to complete the process.
Incomplete The uploaded spreadsheet data is verified in the initial Map and Verify stage, but the subsequent stages in the mapping workflow are required. Click Finish Import to complete the process.
Enqueued The mapping workflow is complete and system processing will begin momentarily. No action is required.
Running Greenhouse Recruiting is processing the import. No action is required.

View bulk imported prospects

Click View inline with the appropriate import to explore a list of your newly imported prospects.

Screenshot of the view button.

Each prospect imported via the bulk import tool is assigned a custom candidate/prospect tag with the date and time they were added to Greenhouse Recruiting. You can modify this tag to match your preferred description by following the steps outlined in our Create candidate tag (also applies to prospects) support article.

Auto-Merge for bulk imported prospects

If Auto-Merge is enabled for your organization, prospects added through bulk import will be assessed by Greenhouse Recruiting against your organization's prospect database.

If Greenhouse Recruiting finds a duplicate email address, the added prospect will be merged with the existing profile.

Note: If the source for a prospect added through bulk import is Referral or a specific agency, the imported prospect will not be merged, even if it otherwise meets Auto-Merge conditions. The profiles for both the imported prospect and the original prospect will display a potential duplicate alert, and your team can merge the profiles manually if appropriate. Click here to learn more about cases where Greenhouse Recruiting will not Auto-Merge.

Additional resources

Review our resource on bulk importing candidates from a spreadsheet.