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SmartSuite & Fillout Join Forces for Enhanced Form Creation

SmartSuite & Fillout Join Forces for Enhanced Form Creation

13 minutes

June 2, 2023

We are thrilled to announce an exciting integration between SmartSuite and Fillout, two industry leaders in data workflow management and form creation!

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our commitment to delivering top-notch solutions to our valued customers. With this new integration, SmartSuite users now have access to Fillout's powerful and highly customizable form creation capabilities.

We understand that every business has unique data collection needs, and our partnership with Fillout enables us to provide even more advanced features to meet those requirements.

Rest assured, SmartSuite's native forms capability will continue to be fully supported and enhanced.

We believe in empowering our customers with options, and the integration with Fillout allows us to offer a comprehensive suite of form creation solutions.

Whether you prefer the simplicity of SmartSuite's native forms or the enhanced functionality of Fillout, the choice is yours!

Here's a glimpse of what the SmartSuite-Fillout integration brings to the table:

🔹 Advanced Customization: Create highly tailored and branded forms to match your unique style and brand identity. With Fillout's extensive customization options, your forms will reflect your company's professionalism and distinctiveness.

🔹 Enhanced Features: Enjoy a broader range of features that cater to complex data collection requirements. Fillout's robust set of tools allows you to capture and organize data in ways that align with your business objectives.

🔹 Seamless Integration: The SmartSuite-Fillout integration ensures a smooth and hassle-free experience for our users. You can seamlessly incorporate Fillout's form creation capabilities into your existing SmartSuite workflows without any disruptions.

Use Case: Building a Robust Custom HR database

The initial stages of establishing a new human resources team are typically marked by a flurry of activity. Often, management authorizes the hiring of the first full-time HR staff member belatedly, following an incident or the realization that inadequate onboarding and performance evaluations have resulted in painful departures. Alternatively, the process might be proceeding as planned, but the team is essentially starting from scratch. In either scenario, your role is to construct well-structured and thoroughly documented HR procedures.

Initially, off-the-shelf human resources applications such as BambooHR and Workday might appear to be the logical choice for supporting these endeavors. However, the functionalities of these applications are surprisingly replicable. Moreover, opting for a do-it-yourself approach is not only more cost-effective than applications that charge per employee per month, including instances of zero activity, but it also offers greater customization. All that is required are three fundamental elements:

  1. A comprehensive list enumerating the data points and events necessitating collection and organization (as outlined below).
  2. A user-friendly tool facilitating information submission and addressing HR-related inquiries.
  3. A secure and searchable database to store and systematize pertinent information.

Constructing an HR database closely resembles the process of crafting a customer relationship management (CRM) database using platforms like Airtable or Notion. However, there's a significant distinction: while it's acceptable to allow a homegrown CRM to evolve and improve over time, newly appointed HR managers lack such a luxury. They must have fully developed databases ready for immediate implementation. Presented here are several strategies and templates to assist you in achieving this goal.

Initiate with a fundamental employee directory template

The cornerstone of any HR database is the employee directory – a repository housing all employee information. While it's conceivable to brainstorm and devise a list of fields that each profile should encompass, popular database applications frequently furnish pre-designed directory templates to expedite the process. Notable choices include Notion's People Directory and Airtable's Employee Directory, particularly if these applications are already in use. However, for the purposes of this guide, all examples will be based on SmartSuite's Employee Directory.

To commence, create a complimentary SmartSuite account and click on "Add New Solution" upon accessing your new account dashboard. Opt for "Start with Template," search for "Employee Directory," and choose "Use Template." The template is already populated with 20 fabricated employee profiles, affording you the opportunity to acquaint yourself with the database and its various views before initiating any customization of fields or data.

SmartSuite’s Employee Directory Solution Template (Card View

In the card view, each profile showcases an employee photograph at the top, accompanied by listed data below. By switching to the Kanban view, employees can be grouped into columns according to their respective departments. It is important to note that unless a record is clicked, only the information selected from the "Fields to Display" list will be visible. This is a critical distinction if you intend to share your directory beyond the HR team.

Suppose you wish to generate a version of the employee directory displaying specific information. For instance, you might decide to make email addresses publicly accessible while concealing home addresses. By clicking "Share View" (found in the same row as "Fields to Display") and toggling the switch within the permissions panel that appears, individuals possessing the Shareable Link can now sort, filter, or group records based on the "Fields to Display" list – even if they lack a SmartSuite account. Nonetheless, only you and other solution administrators can access an employee's complete information upon clicking their profile.

Rather than sharing the entire database, SmartSuite permits sharing specific views.

Once you are comfortable with the layout and viewing alternatives, switch to the Grid View, mark the checkbox in the "Name" column, and click "Delete Records." This marks the commencement of incorporating actual individuals into your directory.

Formulate an employee onboarding form guided by database fields

In addition to disseminating welcome messages and coordinating training sessions, it's essential for current employees to promptly access contact information for new hires. Given that new hires often need to furnish data not already present, such as emergency contact numbers, the swiftest means of populating the directory with this data involves employing an onboarding form. This form adds an employee profile to the directory upon form submission. The easiest approach to creating this form entails an AI prompt rooted in preexisting database fields.

Commence by setting up a cost-free Fillout account, logging in, and selecting '+ New Form' located in the upper right corner of the screen. Despite the forthcoming integration with SmartSuite, opt for a Blank Form, choose a theme, and click "Create Form." Assign a name and proceed to the next step.

The real fun begins now. Open your Employee Directory in SmartSuite and add all the fields intended for your onboarding form to the "Fields to Display" list. Subsequently, click the three dots adjacent to "New Record" and select one of the applications from the Export list. This step involves creating an AI prompt rooted in the field names. Open the exported database and copy all the content from the initial row.

AI-driven form generation based on preexisting database fields

Returning to the blank form in Fillout, click on the purple spark icon next to the "Search fields" textbox. This feature represents your AI form constructor, capable of generating forms based on prompts as uncomplicated as "employee onboarding form" or stemming from lists of questions/fields duplicated from another application. Choose the "Multiple questions" tab, paste the field names copied from the exported database, and click "Add questions." Within a matter of seconds, you should possess an employee onboarding form featuring questions and field categories mirroring those within your employee directory.

This concludes the form creation process. However, there remains the need to ensure that submission data synchronizes with SmartSuite automatically. Below, we explore the integration of Fillout and SmartSuite through the establishment of another essential HR database.

Synchronize an employee evaluation form with a confidential database

Centralizing the storage and organization of performance appraisals facilitates the identification of patterns in team-specific turnover rates, correlations between salary and tenure, and career advancement trends. Since an employee directory has already been established, the only requirement is the creation of an employee evaluation form that transfers feedback data to fields accessible exclusively to HR managers.

For this scenario, envision creating a system based on an existing form, such as the provided employee evaluation template. One method of establishing fields within SmartSuite for each Fillout question involves deploying the same CSV export > import process utilized for the onboarding form, albeit in reverse order:

  1. Open the form template within Fillout.
  2. Publish the form.
  3. Input placeholder answers for every question and submit the form.
  4. In the form editor, click the download icon located to the right of "Help?" within the "Results" tab.

Next, for the CSV file import to SmartSuite, initiate the process by generating a new "App." Click the '+' icon positioned just below the Solution name and name it "Performance Reviews." Following this, click the downward arrow on the right side of the App name and choose "CSV Import" from the "Import Data" list. This functionality enables you to establish fields corresponding to the questions from your Fillout form. Upload the CSV file and associate questions with new fields by selecting '+ Add new' from the associated dropdown menu.

Importing data into SmartSuite expedites the process compared to manual field creation

Finally, navigate to the form editor within Fillout and access the "Integrations" tab. Click on "SmartSuite," select your employee directory from the connection and solutions lists, and designate "Performance Reviews" from the App list. The remaining task involves linking database fields (left column) with form questions (right column). Upon completing a test form submission, you should observe Fillout response data within your SmartSuite database within a minute.

Upon completing the setup of your Performance Reviews app, you'll be empowered to construct chart views grounded in data from employee evaluation form submissions. Additionally, you can link individual evaluations to concealed fields within employee profiles situated in your directory app.

With the ability to seamlessly synchronize data between Fillout and SmartSuite, the final step entails assembling workflows and applications to address other imperative HR documents.

To learn more about how you can leverage the power of the SmartSuite-Fillout integration, visit: