Set up employee data integration (technical guidance for IT support specialists)

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.

Here is what you will find in this support article:


Setting 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.

NOTE: The Employee Data Integration only supports openSSH key pairs, not SSH2. If your HRIS or command line tool generates keys in SSH2 format, you can convert them to openSSH using the instructions in the troubleshooting guide below.

First, check that you have the command line tools you need to generate openSSH 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 set the connection with your SFTP client (you may need help from your internal IT department/HRIS consultant to do this), and upload employee data files in CSV/XLSX format via that connection.  Culture Amp will process the files using our partial import process.


Most SFTP clients will require the following information to set a connection:

Protocol: SFTP

Logon Type: Key File

Host/Hostname: copy this directly from the Employee Data Integration setup form in your Culture Amp account (Account Admin > Integrations > Employee Data Integration)

Username: copy this directly from the Employee Data Integration setup form in your Culture Amp account (Account Admin > Integrations > Employee Data Integration)

If required by your SFTP client, you may specify `/` as the upload directory


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. 

  • Using SAP Success Factors + Employee Data integration? Convert SSH2 keys to openSSH format. 
    When SAP generates SSH keys for an SFTP integration, the keys are generated in SSH2 format by default.  To successfully configure the SFTP integration, the public key need to be converted to openSSH format

    To convert an SSH2 public key into openSSH format:

    1. Locate your public SSH key (named for example ``).  This is a file that, when you open it, contains this kind of information:


    ---- BEGIN SSH2 PUBLIC KEY ----


    ---- END SSH2 PUBLIC KEY ----


    1. Ensure that the file has the file format `.pub`
    2. Run this command on the SSH2 file: `ssh-keygen -i -f >`



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