SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2559585 - Employees are hired as Inactive and All Event Reasons are displayed in the Add New Employee wizard on an instance which has been migrated to MDF Picklists


  • Newly hired Employees are not becoming Active on their Hire date - running Full HRIS Sync does not solve the problem.
  • All Event Reasons (of all types) are displayed in the Event Reason menu in the Add New Employee wizard


  • SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central
  • MDF Picklist Migration

Reproducing the Issue

  • We are starting the implementation of Employee Central on an instance which has already been migrated to use MDF Picklists.
  • This meant that we had to manually create the EC picklists via MDF Picklist import.



This configuration issue will only occur on an instance that was migrated to MDF Picklists prior to starting the Employee Central implementation, and where the following switch was not enabled



  • This issue is caused by an MDF Picklist configuration issue.
  • Certain picklists used by Employee Central are used by the application on a code level, to determine certain actions, such as what type of Event the Event Reason is related to, what type of Employee Status the Event Reason will set (if any) or what Phone Type to synchronize to Employee Profile.
  • When an instance has been migrated to MDF Picklists, the Migration process itself will correctly set the MDF Picklist values for "externalCode" and "nonUniqueExternalCode" columns in the MDF picklist. BUT, if the picklist was created in MDF post-migration then you would be expected to fill these columns manually.
  • The reason why New Hires do not sync, and why all of the Event Reasons display in the New Hire wizards, is because the Picklists "employee-status" and "event" are not configured correctly. For EC Core features such as New Hires or HRIS Sync to work properly, you must also maintain the "nonUniqueExternalCode" column in the MDF Picklist.
  • Below is an example where the MDF Picklist was created successfully (via Import) but, the "nonUniqueExternalCode" column was left empty, leading to the above unexpected behavour.




  1. Go to 'Import and Export Data'
  2. Select Export
  3. Select Picklist-Values
  4. Export and download the results in 'Monitor Jobs'.
  5. Use this data to filter the required picklist IDs that needs an update for non-unique external codes.
  6. Remove the picklist IDs that do not need update from the file.
  7. Copy values from externalCode column to non-unique external codes column
  8. Go to 'Import and Export Data'
  9. Select Import.
  10. Select Picklist-Values
  11. Select the updated import file
  12. Perform import and verify the updated picklist from "Picklist Center" select Non-unique external code values using settings/cog icon to see the data in same page.

Example Screenshot to show the non-unique external code value:
picklist setting.png

picklist setting select non unique codes column.png

picklist setting non unique codes column visible.png

See Also

Please also refer to the fllowing helpful articles on the MDF Picklist Migration topic:

  • 2328179 - Legacy to MDF Picklist Migration General Information
  • 2906608 - What is Picklist Migration?
  • 2518461 - Unable to Create Leave of Absence Time Types after Picklist Migration to MDF
  • 2464855 - HRIS Sync stopped working for certain mappings after MDF Picklist Migration


add new employee, rehire inactive employee, event, event reason, hris-sync, hris sync, employee central, ec, picklist migration, mdf picklists, External Code, Non-Unique External Code, externalCode, nonUniqueExternalCode , KBA , non-unique external code , mdf picklists , show extra columns directly , picklist center , successfactors , LOD-SF-EC-HIR , Hire & Rehire Wizards , LOD-SF-EC-HRS , HRIS Sync , Problem


SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central all versions