Forms: Can't prefill a linked record

Hey guys, I am building a job board. I’ve written the following formula to prefill the application form for the candidate:

"https://airtable.com/embed/shrNEroLw9LDd5Hlg?prefill_Company="&ENCODE_URL_COMPONENT({Company Name}) & "&prefill_Position="&ENCODE_URL_COMPONENT({Position})

The Position is plain text and always gets prefilled. The Company Name is a linked record and doesn’t always get prefilled.

In cases where the company name is just one word, the prefilling doesn’t work.

Eg: Company name: “Shunya”, link: https://airtable.com/embed/shrNEroLw9LDd5Hlg?prefill_Company=Shunya&prefill_Position=Android%20Engineer

vs. Company Name: “Sixteen Grams Coffee” has a successful prefill: https://airtable.com/embed/shrNEroLw9LDd5Hlg?prefill_Company=Sixteen%20Grams%20Coffee&prefill_Position=Marketing%20Intern

Any pointers on what may be causing this? Thanks!

Unfortunately, prefills are extremely limited in Airtable, and I don’t believe prefills support linked record fields. However, if they did work, you would probably need to use the Record ID of the linked record, since that’s how Airtable stores values in the linked record field. I haven’t tested this today, so I’m just guessing about all of this here.

For us, the big problem with prefills is that they don’t work with any fields on the form that have been conditionally hidden. This is the real dealbreaker for me & many of my Airtable consulting clients. It essentially makes Airtable forms a non-starter for us.

You may want to consider using an Airtable automation to automatically add the linked record information AFTER the form has been submitted.

You may also want to check out On2Air: Forms, which might support prefilling of linked record fields. I’m not 100% sure if it does or not, so you might want to ask their support team. I’ve sent them an email as well to ask them.

@Moe also has some good form tools available at miniextensions.com — not sure if prefilling linked record fields is available on his site or not.

@Adam_Minich

I will try to do it with the Record ID, thanks Scott.

I don’t see a way to add the linked record after the form submission since I’m building a Job Board. The form is the Application form for a particular Job role in a particular company (these are the 2 fields I am pre-filling)

They need to be pre filled before so I know which candidate applied to which company-role combination.

Although it seems like prefills do work for Linked records. If it’s a Record ID issue, it should not work across records, so it makes no sense to me why Airtable would prefill one record and not prefill the other record (check the two links on my main post). Weird.

@YC1

Ahh, very interesting! It might be because you have multiple Shunyas to choose from that is throwing off Airtable.

And that’s very cool that it prefills with just the name! You taught me something today! :slight_smile: And this is why I should test things before posting. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

If you limit your selections to just ONE Shunya, does it work?

Ah yes, this is it I guess. It fails to prefill when there’s more than one entry with the same name.

Well I guess that breaks my project.

My base is structured such that the Company name is the primary field, with position being one of the field values in the “Jobs” table.

There’s a separate “Apply Now” form/table which is linked to the “Company name” field in the Jobs table. This form is prefilled with the Company Name and corresponding position for every job.

Not being able to prefill basically means I can’t have the same company post multiple jobs.

Damn it. Gotta think of a workaround. Let me know if you have any insights on this @ScottWorld!

Yes, I would just change your primary field to be a formula field that is a combination of company & position. (Meaning: move your company field to become the 2nd field, and just make it a normal text field.)

1 Like

Thanks for letting us know that prefilled linked records do not work when there are multiple possible linked records.

I agree with @ScottWorld. Move the company name to a different field (or better yet, a linked record to companies table). Then have the primary field be a formula field that combines the company and position.

In general, it is good practice to have unique primary fields.

1 Like

I agree with all of @kuovonne’s excellent points, especially the part about moving companies into their own table! That would very likely be the best way to structure your tables!

Awesome, thanks @kuovonneand @ScottWorld! I did the changes, works now :slight_smile:

1 Like

This topic was solved and automatically closed 15 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.