Employee Data Integration: Setup and Technical details

With Employee Data Integration, you can automate the import of your employee data to Culture Amp via Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).  Culture Amp supports a secure, one-way connection that imports data files from either a third party SFTP client, or from HRIS tools that support SFTP.

You’ll now be able to upload employee data files in CSV/XLSX format to our SFTP server.  Culture Amp will process the files using our partial import process, allowing you to safely decentralize employee data management across your organisation. Once files are successfully imported via SFTP, you’ll see added/updated employee details in the Users page of your account.

To set up an Employee Data Integration using SFTP you'll need to follow these steps.

To set up Employee Data Integration:

  1. Navigate to Account Administration
  2. Click on Integrations
  3. Click on Employee Data Integration button
  4. Set up an SSH Key Pair on your computer/in your organization.  You may need help from your Technical staff to do this.  You can follow the technical instructions below.
  5. Paste the public key from the key pair above into the Public Key field
  6. Click Save Configuration


Setting up SSH Key Pairs

To fill out the credentials for an Employee Data Integration you'll need to create an SSH Key Pair. This is to ensure that the SFTP connection via your client/HRIS is unique and secure.

An SSH key pair is a pair of unique keys that are generated by you and saved on your computer.  There's a private key which should only be used by you (or very carefully within your own organisation), and there's a public key which can safely be shared outside your organisation.  The integration uses the combination of the two keys to verify the security of the connection.

First, check that you have the command line tools you need to generate SSH keys:

If you're using a Mac, do this...

  • command + spacebar to search
  • type 'terminal' which opens the native command line tool

If you're using a Windows machine, do this...

  • Select the Start button
  • Type 'cmd' into search bar
  • Select 'Command Prompt' from the list

    > If I don't have a command line tool?  There are free, opensource key generator apps available to download.  A commonly-used tool for generating SSH Key Pairs for Windows is PuTTYgen.

Run the command `ssh-keygen -t rsa` to generate a new key pair

> if my computer is not set up to accept this command?  The `ssh-keygen` or `puttygen` apps can be downloaded for free with a search online.

  • When prompted, enter a file path and filename to save the new key pair to, for example `users/firstname.lastname/department-key-pair/[filename]`

    You may be asked for a passphrase.  It's a good idea to set (and keep a record of) a passphrase if you want to, but it's not compulsory: you can hit enter at this step.

NOTE: create a new folder to save your key pair to so that you don't overwrite any existing key pairs you may have saved.

You can now navigate to the file in which your keys are saved, and

> Copy the public key to Culture Amp's Employee Data Integration setup page.

> Copy the private key to your SFTP client setup side.

NOTE: be wary of sharing your private key.  Don't send it anywhere via email, text or through any other insecure means.  Multiple key pairs can be generated so you can choose to have a private key per person/SFTP connection.


Helpful links

Here's an example of how to generate SSH key pairs in a Mac environment

Here's an example of how to generate SSH key pairs in a Windows environment

There's specific information about how to correctly format and save SSH keys here.

The popular SFTP Client Filezilla has helpful documentation about how to set up keys here -


Uploading employee data files using the SFTP connection

Using the Hostname and Username provided on the setup page, along with your Private Key generated above, you’ll now be able to upload employee data files in CSV/XLSX format to your SFTP Server/Client.  Culture Amp will process the files using our partial import process.

Here's a video example of how to set up a full connection:


Tips for resolving issues with the SFTP connection:

  • You may receive a 'connection refused' error when setting up an SFTP client. This could be because your organisation has an internal Firewall (either a local or network firewall) that's blocking the SFTP connection.  If this is the case, your firewall needs to be configured to allow outbound access via the hostname (NOT bound to a specific IP address: the IP will change) on TCP Port 22. 
  • make sure the hostname and username you use to set up your SFTP client are copied directly from the setup form in Culture Amp.  Both are case-sensitive. 



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