Integrating Greenhouse ATS with Workday (Kognitiv FAQ)
Greenhouse is a common Applicant Tracking System (ATS) among Workday clients, to some degree because of Greenhouse’s built-in Workday integration functionality… and because of their Webhooks. A quick search around the web will reveal multiple internet posts describing Greenhouse webhooks and Workday import connections, with some info on how to set them up but little explanation of their pros and cons. We here at Kognitiv have integrated Workday with several different ATS providers: iCIMs, Jobvite, Lever, Gr8 People, Brassring, Silkroad, and of course, Greenhouse. The typical set of integrations required between Workday and any ATS platform actually differs very little from vendor to vendor.
Greenhouse’s Workday Administration portal and webhooks offer real value to Workday customers, because they are essentially out-of-the-box integrations which provide quick & simple methods for exchanging data between both systems. But I routinely have conversations with Workday clients about what these webhooks are, and what Greenhouse is able to offer Workday customers.
Let’s see if we can shed some light on what Greenhouse’s webhooks are, and how clients can best capitalize on the platform’s Workday Administration options.
FOUNDATIONAL DATA TO GREENHOUSE
Any ATS, of which Greenhouse is no exception, requires some amount of foundational data in order for recruiters to synchronize their candidate applications with Workday. This should come as no surprise. To automatically hire a candidate into Workday from Greenhouse, Workday must know what Position ID or Job Requisition ID the candidate is hiring into. Is it an Employee or Contingent Worker? What are the scheduled weekly hours and at what location? What compensation plan assignments, one-time-payments, or contracts? What about importing the signed offer documents?
Recruiters need to know this information in Greenhouse as part of their recruitment workflows. And this data is typically stored in a Greenhouse custom field. Greenhouse custom fields can be connected to Workday RaaS endpoints to automatically import and maintain drop-down list values in Greenhouse custom field selection lists. For example, if the recruiter needs to select the appropriate Workday Location for the hire, this can be configured as a custom field in Greenhouse, with a Workday endpoint to import Locations from Workday.
Workday Administration options in Greenhouse are actually just two things: Custom Reports or Get_References API calls. A simple custom report of Workday locations, which contains the name of the location and its reference ID is all that’s needed (you can control what values are sent to Greenhouse with filters). By enabling the custom report as an external RaaS, the endpoint to this report can be configured in Greenhouse. Greenhouse will then periodically call the custom report and update that custom field’s list of menu values.
The second option is extremely clever. Greenhouse can be configured to make a Get_References API call to Workday, with specific Reference ID types as parameter to extract them. This allows customers to get values that have no direct report data source in Workday (like Work Shifts or Employee Types). The limitation here is that no filter can be used to restrict the values that are imported by the API call. In every case, the custom report RaaS is the preferred solution, but it’s nice to have a secondary option.
All Greenhouse clients should maximize their use of Workday RaaS imports to Greenhouse custom fields. For Workday critical data points, there should be no “free text” fields. And existing Greenhouse clients should seriously evaluate whether they can import more Workday report data into Greenhouse custom fields. Workday clients who are shopping around for ATS platforms with automation in mind can realistically expect implementation cost reductions by choosing Greenhouse. By comparison, other ATS providers will require custom integrations to exchange files or navigate an API to synchronize foundational data.
Nothing is without limitations. Only Greenhouse Custom Fields can import data from Workday RaaS reports or API calls. Greenhouse native requisition fields, such as Offices & Departments, can only be updated using Greenhouse’s more robust API offering, Harvest. This is on par with other ATS platforms which only offer foundational data updates via API/file.
JOB REQUISITION IMPORTS VIA WEBHOOK
Greenhouse offers Workday clients an import option for automatically pulling new Job Requisitions out of Workday and “staging” them in Greenhouse. A recruiter in Greenhouse, when opening a new job, can choose a requisition from a drop-down list that was imported from Workday. Once the Workday requisition is selected, the new Greenhouse job will pre-populate with the data supplied from Workday, and the recruiter must populate the remaining data fields to complete the job. Updates are not made to existing requisitions in Greenhouse.
“No Updates” means that if a requisition is created in Workday at Location A, but then changed to Location B, that Location change is not reflected into Greenhouse. If a requisition is closed in Workday, it will remain open in Greenhouse. Any data changes to requisitions post-creation are all manual in Greenhouse. Furthermore, the Job Requisition import does not expose all Greenhouse native fields. For example, clients cannot bring Job Description from the Workday Job profile into the native Greenhouse description field via the import.
While this Job Requisition import option is certainly nice and quick, it’s probably the one area where clients should most consider investing in a more robust integration directly to the Harvest API. Using a Job Requisition connector + Studio Integration in Workday, clients can create, update, and close Job Requisitions directly in Greenhouse, and clients gain access to all the native Greenhouse data fields. Using the Harvest API, clients can fully synchronize all Job Requisitions from Workday to Greenhouse, which is on par with the API offerings of most other ATS providers.
The Workday RaaS Report Job Requisition import is nice for smaller clients who do not mind their recruiters doing a heavy amount of manual work on the requisitions in Greenhouse. But once volume becomes an issue, most clients will spring for the Harvest API.
REALTIME HIRES INTO WORKDAY
Workday clients can push candidate hires to Workday at real-time using Greenhouse’s candidate hire webhook. Greenhouse can be configured with a Workday Listener Service endpoint to automatically export a JSON package of application data whenever a recruiter moves a candidate’s application into a “hire” status. Of all the ATS providers I regularly work with, this is the most real-time offering I’ve encountered. Generally, Greenhouse pushes the hire data within a matter of seconds. When Greenhouse pushes the hire data to the Listener Service, the Workday integration will be launched and your Workday integration will hire the worker into Workday.
One of the nice things about Greenhouse’s candidate hire webhook is that if the integration fails to complete the hire in Workday, recruiters can easily re-push the hire data to Workday as many times as needed. I strongly recommend that any Inbound Hire integration into Workday contain a heavy amount of pre-validation before executing the event. This ensures that the recruiters have not missed any required fields, and if they have, integration validations and Workday custom notifications can be used to route the data validation errors back to them. The recruiter can then clean up the bad data and re-push the candidate to Workday.
Greenhouse webhooks and Workday Administration portal offer real out-of-the-box value to Workday clients. The Custom Field imports and Candidate Hire webhooks should always be used by Workday clients of all sizes, but the Job Requisition import is mostly targeted towards smaller employee populations. Clients who choose to integrate Workday with Greenhouse should succeed at lower implementation cost when compared against other major ATS competitors.