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Recruiter Integration Guide

The ChannelSUITE Recruiter function helps facilitate and organize your partner recruiting efforts. It provides a list of open “in process” partner recruit applications, along with useful features for collecting and organizing data on each recruit. When a recruit is approved, the data is used to create a new Partner record in channelADMIN, along with a new Location record and a new Contact record. Historical data for both approved and rejected recruit applications is available.

Technical Overview

The approach is this: you supply a “Join our Partner Program” form on your website, and POST the form to our server. The information entered on the form will then be stored and placed in the queue of prospective partners. There are certain required fields (see “required fields” below) that we require in order to get the process started. There are optional fields that are available to you if you want to capture extra information about the prospective partner (see “optional fields” below). View sample code here for a form that utilizes all fields available. There are also required hidden fields that need to be added into the form in order for our server to be able to process the information.

Integration Steps

  1. request a free directRecruitPost key from your channelSUITE account manager
  2. include the necessary javascript files
  3. set up form using specified field names and field IDs
  4. add the hidden yourEmail field to the form to discourage spambots
  5. set the form ACTION to send form submissions to your channelSUITE install
  6. test the form using the built-in test mode
  7. turn off test mode

more details on these steps are shown below

Javascript Includes

several javascript files are needed to set up client-side validation and the country-specific state/province select box. all the files can be loaded from the channelsuite server as shown, or if you prefer you can download the files and host them on your server. Note: The stateProvinceMap technically contains dynamic data, but it only changes if support for states/provinces is added for an additional country in your channelsuite database, so in practice you may treat it as a static file.

add this in the <head> section of your html

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://yourChannelsuiteURL/API/js/prototype.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://yourChannelsuiteURL/API/js/recruiterForm.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://yourChannelsuiteURL/API/js/stateProvinceMap.js.cgi"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://yourChannelsuiteURL/API/js/stateWidget.js"></script>

Form Contents


The following fields are required in order to create a prospective partner:

  • Company Name - the name of the company looking to become a partner
<input value="" name="company_name" type="text" id="company_name">

  • First Name - the first name of the contact belonging to the company
<input value="" name="contact_first_name" type="text" id="contact_first_name">

  • Last Name - the last name of the contact belonging to the company
<input value="" name="contact_last_name" type="text" id="contact_last_name">

  • E-Mail - the e-mail address of the contact belonging to the company
<input value="" name="contact_email" type="text" id="contact_email">

  • Phone - the phone of the contact belonging to the company
<input value="" name="phone" type="text" id="phone">

  • Country - the country code for the country in which the prospective partner is located. See below for more information about standard country codes. Note: the “onchange” event handler is only required if you use a state/province field in your form (recommended if you recruit in US or Canada)
<select id="countryCode" name="countryCode" onchange="stateWidgetCallback();">
  <option> tags go here, see below

OPTIONAL standard fields

Severeal standard fields are optional, and may be used to record more information about the prospective partner. You may also define your own fields (see the Custom Fields section below). The optional standard fields are:

  • Middle Name - the middle name of the contact belonging to the company
<input value="" name="contact_middle_name" type="text">

  • Fax - the fax number of the contact belonging to the company
<input value="" name="fax" type="text">

  • Gross Sales - the gross sales of the company
<input value="" name="gross_sales" type="text">

  • Total Staff - how many staff members work for this prospective partner
<input value="" name="total_staff" type="text">

  • Establish Year - what year was this prospective partner formed
<input value="" name="establish_year" type="text">

  • Street 1 - street address of prospective partner
<input value="" name="address_street1" type="text">

  • Street 2 - additional street address of prospective partner if needed
<input value="" name="address_street2" type="text">

  • City - city of prospective partner
<input value="" name="address_city" type="text">

  • State/Province - the code for the state or province of prospective partner. Leave an empty element with ID “statecell”, this will be filled in dynamically by the stateWidget javascript. See below for more information on setting up the state/province codes.
<span id="statecell"></span>
  • Postal Code - postal code of prospective partner
<input value="" name="address_zip" type="text">

  • Total Locations - total number of locations for the prospective partner
<input value="" name="total_locations" type="text">

REQUIRED hidden fields

The following hidden fields are required in order to save the information to the database:

  • directPostKey
    • The value of this field must match the directRecruitPost key assigned to you on the server. Please ask your account manager to get you a “Recruiter direct Post Key”.
<input type="hidden" name="directPostKey" value="someRandomKey">

OPTIONAL hidden field

  • saveRecord
    • this hidden field is used for testing your form. when this hidden field is set to 0, submitted form contents are echoed back to the screen and are NOT submitted to the channelsuite recruit database. if this field doesn't exist or is set to any value other than 0, the form is processed normally.
<input id="saveRecord" name="saveRecord" value="0" type="hidden">
  • source
    • this field is used when you have multiple public forms submitting new recruit records. once a form is submitted, the forwarding URL is retrieved from the recruitDirectPostThankYouURL setting in your channelSUITE configuration. the source variable is then appended to this URL as a parameter so that your public web site that processes this URL can distinguish from which page this recruit has been submitted. an example of how this URL would look with the source attached is as follows:

if your config setting is:

    recruitDirectPostThankYouURL = '' 

and your form's source variable is set in a hidden field like this:

    <input name="source" value="publicSite1" type="hidden">

then after submitting the form, the user will be redirected to this URL on your site:

CUSTOM fields

In the even that you want to capture more information than the fields outlined above, you can also add in your own custom fields which will be saved into the Comments field in the table. Should you have two custom fields, namely:

<input type="text" name="custom_1" value="Custom field 1">
<input type="text" name="new_field" value="A new field">

The following will be appended to the Comments field:
custom_1: Custom field 1
new_field: A new field

The name of the field will be entered first, followed by a colon (:) and then the value the user entered. Any of these extra fields will be added to the end of any existing Comments already entered. A new line will separate multiple user defined custom fields.

Anti-spam: the 'comments' hidden field

Forms on public websites are often targets for “spambots” – automated “spiders” that wander around the web looking for forms. The spambot puts its irrelevant message in whatever fields it can find, and submits the form in the hopes that the posted content will show up somewhere where it will be seen. These submissions would show up as bogus entries in your recruit database. Quite annoying.

Spambots aren't very sophisticated, and they can be effectively defeated by using a “captcha”, the most common example being to ask your users to type in the text from a distorted text image. This works, but it's irritating to your users. We're using a simpler method called a “honeypot”. We add a field to your form that users can't see, but that the spambots can't easily identify as a hidden field. The spambots will typically insert content into this field. If the field isn't empty, it's usually a spambot submission, and we reject it with an appropriate error message. It contains a label that instructs users of alternative browsers (handicapped-accessible screen readers, for example) to leave the field empty. This method is very effective, and causes no problems for legitimate users.

To implement the honeypot, simply add the following hidden span containing the empty field 'comments' in your form:

                          <span style="display:none;visibility:hidden;">
			     <label for="comments">
			     Ignore this text box. It is used to detect spaambots.
			     If you enter anything into this text box, your submission
			     will be rejected.
			     <input type="text" name="comments" size="1" value="" />

Note: prior to October 2010, the form element name for the honeypot field was 'yourEmail'. This was deemed problematic because some automatic form population tools (like the one built into the Google Chrome browser) were over ambitious and were putting an email in the honeypot field as well, generating false positives.

Setting Up the Country Code Select Box

Channelsuite uses a normalized list of standard country codes. Using these same codes in the Recruit form allow us to easily convert recruit applications to Partner records after they've been processed and approved. The list of country codes used in your channelSUITE install can be found by running the “country list” API as described in api_helper_functions. Just copy and paste this list of html <option> tags (or a subset if you don't recruit globally) into the countryCode <select> container.

Setting up the State/Province Code Select Box

If you recruit in countries such as US and Canada where states or provinces are commonly used, you'll want to use the channelSUITE list of normalized stateProvinceCode values for that country. But this is even trickier than the countryCode select box, since the list of states/provinces is country-specific. The good news is, all the steps necessary to make this work have already been covered above:

  1. load the stateProvinceMap and stateWidget javascript files
  2. set the “onchange” on the countryCode field
  3. provide a <span> or table cell with id=“statecell” for the javascript to insert the state/province select box.

Now your form will dynamically provide the correct state/province field options for the chosen country, based on the list of supported countries in your copy of the channelSUITE database.

Testing Your Form

set the hidden field saveRecord value=0 and submit. you should see the correct form values echoed back. make sure to check that the state/province field options look right for countries that use standard states or provinces (by default we support US, Canada, and Mexico, but you may request others). when you're ready to go live, change saveRecord to value=1.

recruiter_integration.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/22 20:05 by jason