Workday Custom Options Sync overview

What is a Custom Options Sync?

A Custom Options Sync is part of the Workday integration that can be enabled in addition to a candidate export and/or job import integration. This is a per-field integration that syncs the picklist of options available for a field in Greenhouse Recruiting with the list of available options for a corresponding field in Workday.

For example, if you create a custom job field in Greenhouse Recruiting called Cost Center to capture a list of all available cost centers in Workday, enabling a custom options sync on this field keeps the list of cost centers available to select for your Cost Center field in Greenhouse Recruiting up to date with the cost center options available in Workday.

Please note this integration only syncs the list of available options one can select on a field. Custom Options Sync does not sync Workday position updates to Greenhouse Recruiting. Updating Greenhouse Recruiting job data is part of a job import integration. For more information about Greenhouse Recruiting’s standing job import integrations, please refer to the following article: Decision guide: Importing positions from Workday


How do I decide if a field needs a custom options sync?

If you are building a job import integration, it’s important to keep in mind that any values imported from Workday to Greenhouse Recruiting single-select or multi-select fields must already exist as an available option in Greenhouse Recruiting — it’s not possible to create new option values on a custom field in Greenhouse Recruiting just by importing a job from Workday which has that value. Similarly, if you are building a candidate export integration, keying Workday business processes off of exported values from Greenhouse Recruiting requires that the values from Greenhouse Recruiting match available options in Workday.

To avoid data validation issues caused by custom field picklists falling out of sync between systems, we recommend setting up custom field option syncs for any field that has a large number of options that are prone to change. This generally indicates that the custom field’s picklist would be difficult to maintain manually in Greenhouse Recruiting, as it would require frequent editing to stay up to date with what's configured in Workday.


For which fields can you enable options syncing?

You can enable options syncing for any single-select or multi-select custom field type on any application (Expert subscription only), candidate, job, or offer.

Users with Site Admin permissions can access your organization's custom fields by clicking the Configure icon Configure.png in the upper-right corner and navigating to Custom Options on the left panel.


Options syncing is not available for the following fields:

  • Any standard Greenhouse Recruiting job fields:
    • Internal job name
    • External job name
    • Department
    • Office
    • Number of openings
    • Requisition ID
    • Opening IDs
  • The following custom field types (because none of these field types have a pre-set list of options to select from):
    • Currency
    • Number
    • Currency/Number ranges
    • Boolean
    • Short/Long textbox
    • Date
    • URL
    • User
  • Any company metadata fields:
    • Candidate Tags
    • Close Reasons for Job Openings
    • Interviewer Tags
    • Referrers
    • Rejection Reasons
    • Sources

Offices and departments can be partially modified via the Greenhouse Harvest API. See the following article for more information: Sync offices and departments from an external system


How does it work?

First, a single-select or multi-select custom field must be  configured in Greenhouse Recruiting. Then after the Custom Options Sync is built and enabled for the field, it is designated as a Workday synced field, so the picklist is no longer be editable in Greenhouse Recruiting.



How do I build a Custom Options Sync integration?

There are two different ways in which Greenhouse Recruiting field option values can be synced with Workday field option values:

  • Workday RaaS: A RaaS is used when Workday does not offer a web services call to retrieve the list of options. This requires additional work to build the report by either the customer or their Workday service provider.
  • Workday Web Services: Use this option if Workday’s Web Services API offers a service call to get the list of options directly.


How often do changes to the custom options sync?

With the Workday Web Services and RaaS options, Greenhouse Recruiting initiates a call to the Workday endpoints every 30 minutes to sync the option changes.


Web Services Call

The Workday web service API offers several methods to retrieve option lists that are used in their system. Greenhouse Recruiting can support many of the option lists described in Get References Operation in the Integrations Web Service, which includes lists of country codes and various internal Workday category codes. Greenhouse Recruiting currently supports Workday web services versions 23.0 and 24.2.


Custom Options RaaS

In some cases, customers may wish to sync a Greenhouse Recruiting option list which does not have a direct service call in Workday. The most common example of this is the “Supervisory Organization” list from Workday — this list is not offered on the Get References page, but is usually a required field to create a position.

In these cases, Greenhouse Recruiting can still sync the lists, but it requires some extra work on the customer’s part. Either the customer or their Workday provider must provide an accessible list in XML format which Greenhouse Recruiting can poll every 30 minutes to get the list of options. Once the list is retrieved, Greenhouse Recruiting attempts to reconcile the lists as described above.

The XML format must contain both of the following:

  • A unique ID, which Greenhouse Recruiting uses to determine if the option value is new, extant, or removed
  • The text as the customer would like it to appear in the Greenhouse Recruiting custom field selector



What happens if an option is deleted in Workday?

Greenhouse cannot prevent Workday from deleting an option, even if it is currently in use on a job in Greenhouse Recruiting. You should use caution not to remove any fields from Workday unless you are absolutely sure they are no longer needed.

However, if the option has been selected as the field value on jobs in Greenhouse Recruiting, the field value will be maintained on individual jobs for historical purposes, unless the value is updated in Workday and pushed over to Greenhouse Recruiting, or changed at the job level in Greenhouse Recruiting.


Additional resources