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Cognito Forms - Update Candidates/Availability


Once of the nice/neat things about using Cognito Forms as a way of submitting/receiving candidate registrations, is that it also has the ability to allow an update of existing records.

If you design a suitable  submission form, candidates can be sent an email with a link to the form, complete the details and submit the form. When imported into your Influence database the form can then find the existing candidate record and update the relevant information.

e.g. You may wish to design an "Update Bank Details" form, which captures the new Bank Name, Sort Code and Bank Account number for an existing candidate record.

Tip: When designing a form to update the details for an existing candidate, it is a good idea to make sure that fields are Mandatory so they cannot be left blank.

CONTENTS (Click an item to Jump to that Section)

Update Record Forms

Update Form - Example
Merge field to pre-fill the update form 

Candidate Availability Form

Video Example of using the Form    (<- VIDEO)

Step 1: Build the Form

Step 2: Edit the 'Availability' fields to match the system

Step 3: Create/Edit an email Template with a link to the Form

Update Record Forms

You can easily design a Form that can be used by existing candidates on your database to update various items on their record, such as Bank Details, Addresses, Contact numbers or even compliance items and certificates.

Design Considerations for Update Forms

Required Fields

If you are designing a Form to update the details for an existing candidate, the submission form must contain the following fields as the first fields in the form:-

Candidate Reference   (Calculation field you need is ="[[CAND_REF]]" )
Candidate Forename     (Calculation field you need is ="[[CAND_FORENAME]]" )
Candidate Surname     (Calculation field you need is ="[[CAND_SURNAME]]" )

Plus at least one of the following fields:-

Email address   (Calculation field you need is ="[[CAND_EMAIL]]" )    <OR>
Mobile Tel   (Calculation field you need is ="[[CAND_MOBILE]" )

NOTE:  In order to update an existing record the form must contain:

The form can then contain the fields that you want to update  
(e.g. Bank Details, Address, etc.)

TIP: When designing an update form it is a good idea to make sure that the fields to be updated are set as Mandatory so that they cannot be left <blank>.
{If they are left blank then the candidate in Influence will be updated with <blank> information.}
Tip: When designing the Form it is a good idea to send a link to the user that Pre-Fills these fields. You can then make these Pre-Filled fields READ ONLY for the [Public] Role - that way the user will not be able to change these details and the Form should always update thier details correctly with the Rest of the Info from the Form.  See below

Submission Settings

Any form which is being used to update an existing candidate record must have the submission settings setup so that:

a) The 'From' Address is  (or whatever is set in parameter FORMS, Paths(1) in Influence)

b) Make sure that the 'To' Address is flagged as [Internal]

{NOTE: For existing forms for those on a PRO level Cognito plan, you may want/need to choose [Reviewer] instead of [Internal].}

See below for example of Cognito submission settings.

NOTE: For Update Forms i.e. those that contain the Refererence, Forename, Surname and email/mobile and are used to update existing candidate records with new information, the Subject does not have to match FORMS, Text(1) in Influence (Though it is still a good idea to do so).
The subject can be whatever you like, e.g. Update Bank Details instead of Candidate Registration - Bank Detail Update

Influence Parameter 'Subject for Web Forms Registration'.

Requested Information/Data

Having made sure the form contains the mandatory information specified above, you may then include any of the information that you wish to be updated.

If you wanted to capture a new set of Bank Details, Bank Name, Account Name, Bank A/C No and Bank Sort Code, you would need to add the following calculation fields (and suitable Data fields) to your Form.

Bank Name  (Calculation field you need is ="[[CTD_BANK_NAME]]" )
Bank Account No.  (Calculation field you need is ="[[CTD_BANK_AC_NO]]" )
Bank Sort Code  (Calculation field you need is ="[[CTD_BANK_SORT_CODE]]" )
Bank Account Name  (Calculation field you need is ="[[CTD_BANK_AC_NAME]]" )

An example Form design is shown below:

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Design Considerations for Candidate Email 

When designing an email to send to the candidates, to instruct them to fill out and submit an update form, you should include the Mandatory information which they will need to put onto the form, in particular their Reference Number.

An example email is shown below:

Hi Rob.

In order to update your banking details, please click on the link below and complete the form with your new details. Once done press [Submit]

Update Banking Details Form:  https:\\xxxxxxxxx\yyyyyyy\zzzzzz

When completing the form you will be required to enter the following information:
Reference No:  000008765
Forename:  Rob                                       Surname: Smith

And either your email address and/or your mobile telephone number. (If these details do not match those we have on file, then the update will be rejected)

You will always need to provide them with their Reference No (as they won't know this.) Providing the Forename/Surname is a good idea, as they may not know exactly the way it has been recorded in your database. (e.g. They may be called Rob or Robert - and wouldn't know which to use.)
Optionally you may want to provide/suggest the email/mobile number too, as people sometimes have more than one and they may not know which one was used when they applied to you.

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Update Form - Example

If you wish to design a form that allows you to update an existing record in your database you must include the Reference Number, Forename, Surname and either Mobile or Email in the Form, so that the system can identify the existing record when it is imported into your database.


We suggest that you use the template below as the basis of your Form. It can be imported into your Cognito account by clicking the link below.

If you are using the example 'Availability Update' Form below please be aware that the form will not work 'as is' . You will need to amend the 'Booking Types' field to match your database.  e.g. The example has a Booking type of (PM) but your system have a booking type of (APM)

FORM 1:  Example Candidate Availability Form

Form 2: Example Update Record Form  

This form has been specifically designed to be 'mobile friendly' and is designed to fit most mobile phone screens - an example is shown below

IMPORTANTAfter you have imported the Template into your Cognito Account, remember to go to the Submission Settings and change the notification email to your own.

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Merge field for Pre-filling the Details

If you use the form suggested above as the basic for your update forms, then the merge field below can be added to your email template (in Influence) to send a link to the candidate that will Pre-Fill the top section of the form with their details (Ref, Forename/Surname, email & mobile.)

This ensures that they cannot get things wrong and means that the update will find the candidate when imported back into your Influence database.

Step 1: 
Copy/Paste the field below into your Template email in Influence,

[[*HTML_LINK=put_your_cognito_Form_Address_here?entry={"REF":"[[ENID_REF$]]","EMAIL":"[[ENID_EMAIL$]]","FORENAME":"[[ENID_FORENAME$]]","SURNAME":"[[ENID_SURNAME$]]","MOBILE":"[[ENID_MOBILE$]]"}*]][[*HTML_TEXT=Click here to update your availability*]]

Step 2: 
Replace the text that says put_your_cognito_Form_Address_here and replace it with the url for your actual update form, e.g.

so you might end up with a filed looking like:-

[[*HTML_LINK={"REF":"[[ENID_REF$]]","EMAIL":"[[ENID_EMAIL$]]","FORENAME":"[[ENID_FORENAME$]]","SURNAME":"[[ENID_SURNAME$]]","MOBILE":"[[ENID_MOBILE$]]"}*]][[*HTML_TEXT=Click here to update your availability*]]

IMPORTANT: When adding the url for your form into the merge field, remember to leave the ?entry= bit at the end. Do not remove the ?

Example of an email Template

NOTE: This method is not suitable for sending a Pre-Filled link via SMS Text messages 
This is because the SMS message does not convert the link into a single link with all the parameters. (Ref, Name, email, etc.)

If you want to send a Pre-filled link via SMS the best way to achieve this is to create a specific URL using a shortening service such as and then copy/paste the short URL into the text message prior to sending.

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Candidate Availability Form

In a similar manner to the general update form above, it is possible to use a Cognito form to import the Availability of a worker in your database. This imported availability will be shown on the [Planner] 

The basic process is:

Send an email to the candidate with a link to the FORM that the candidate needs to fill out. 

The Candidate completes the form and clicks 'Submit' to send back their availability to a specific mailbox/email address

The email can then be dragged/dropped into the system to update the candidate availability. 

Tip: The link in the email can be setup so that it pre-fills the form with their name, email, mobile and reference number.


Below is a video showing how a candidate can complete and submit  the form to update their availability.

If you are using the example 'Availability Update' Form below please be aware that the form will not work 'as is' . You will need to amend the 'Booking Types' field to match your database.  e.g. The example has a Booking type of (PM) but your system might have a booking type of (APM)

Availability Form

Setting up an availability for is a simple 3-Step Process

Step 1

Use the link below to import an example Availability form into your Cognito account.

Once you have imported the form, go to the BUILD page in Cognito and adjust the Submission Settings so that the Notification Email (Responses) comes to the right email address for your company.

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Step 2

You may now need to EDIT the form so that the Availability Types match those which are setup in your system

(i) Find the Availability section of the form, and edit the 'Rating Scale' field. The Ratings should match the names of the Availability (Booking Types) that you want them to submit.

TIP: You may want to add an additional Rating for Already Booked, which users can choose for any days where they aready have an existing booking with your Agency. In that case make sure to add a matching entry in the Calculation Field that precedes the Rating scale but do not add a booking type. e.g. ="[[BKTY_TYPE=[Morning(AM),Afternoon(PM),Unavailable(UNA),Already Bkd]]]" 
Notice that there is no (???) after the Already Bkd option.

(ii) Now select the calculation field for Booking types. This will need to be edited to match the Ratings (Booking Types) you entered (above).

The field is of the format

= "[[BKTY_TYPE=[Desc1(??),Desc2(??),Desc3(??),Desc4(??),Desc5(??)]]]"

Where Desc1, Desc2 etc are the names of the availability in the same order as the Ratings and ?? is the CODE for this Booking Type in Influence

An example of a Calculation field is shown below.

= "[[BKTY_TYPE=[All Day(AV),Morning(AM),Afternoon(PM),N/A(NA),Standby(SBY)]]]"

TIP:  Within Influence you can find the Names/Codes of your Booking Types by going to Maintenance > Setup > Booking types
Once the option opens click the [...] to choose a Booking Type and make a note of the Code (AV), the Description (Available All Day), and make sure to tick Web Form Availability if you intend to import this using the Cognito Form.

Make sure to SAVE your Cognito Form after any changes you have made.

Make sure to tick the Web Form Availability option on the Booking Type within Influence. If you do not do this, then the availability will not be updated when a form is submitted.

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Step 3

(Optional) You may now want to setup an email template in your system to allow you to send a candidate a LINK to the Form, that is pre-filled with their details (i.e. Name, Email, Mobile & Reference No) - NB: Pre-filled links only work from Influence version or later

To do that go to a candidate, click on their email, and click the [Edit] button to enter the Template Editor.

Within the Template Editor copy/Paste the Weblink field we have provided into your template, then adjust the filed to suit your form.

Copy the field below and replace the fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff with the web address of your Form, but leave the question mark at the end.

[[*HTML_LINK=fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff?entry={"REF":"[[ENID_REF$]]","EMAIL":"[[ENID_EMAIL$]]","FORENAME":"[[ENID_FORENAME$]]","SURNAME":"[[ENID_SURNAME$]]","MOBILE":"[[ENID_MOBILE$]]"}*]][[*HTML_TEXT=Click here to update your availability*]]

NOTE:  If you have edited/amended our form at all  and renamed any of the fields such as Ref, email, Forename, Surname or Mobile, then you will need to replace the relevant field name

e.g.  We have called the field "REF", but if you have named it "REFNO" you will need to replace that in the field above.

[[*HTML_LINK=fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff?entry={"REFNO":"[[ENID_REF$]]","EMAIL":"[[ENID_EMAIL$]]","FORENAME":"[[ENID_FORENAME$]]","SURNAME":"[[ENID_SURNAME$]]","MOBILE":"[[ENID_MOBILE$]]"}*]][[*HTML_TEXT=Click here to update your availability*]]

Example of Availability Form

Users can click the [+ Add Week] to allow them to send availability information for multiple weeks.

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  1. Graeme Orchard

  2. Posted
  3. Updated