SharePoint Document Sets for Performance Reviews

This post demonstrates how to use SharePoint Document Sets in a Human Resources scenario for managing Performance Review.

SharePoint Document Sets for HR Performance Reviews

Here’s the breakdown of how things are going to be setup:

  • There will be a custom content type, Performance Review, that is based on the out-of-the-box SharePoint Document Set content type.
  • On every division’s top-level site, there will be a Performance Reviews document library.
  • Within the document libraries, each Manager will have a private SharePoint Document Set which they use to store their direct team’s Performance Review documents.
  • After signing-off on the reviews, the Manager will use the Content Organizer and Send To Connections feature to route the reviews to a protected library accessible only by Human Resources.

Performance Review Content Type and Site Columns

Read the Office 365 and SharePoint – Sales Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) – Taxonomy with Content Types and Site Columns post to learn more about content types and site columns. Afterwards, see the definition below for Performance Review Content type. These are all created at the Site Collection level so that they can be re-used across sites.

The Performance Review site columns created by Human Resources are as follows:

Business Management O365 SharePoint performance review columns.

Don’t forget, you can enforce min-and-max values for PR Score in the definition of the site column:

Business Management O365 SharePoint enforcing minimum and maximum values.

When applied, the final site-collection available content type (Performance Review) looks as follows:

Business Management O365 SharePoint performance review content type.

Performance Review – SharePoint Document Sets Content Type

Set-up the site columns and content types as captured. Here are the site columns:

SharePoint Document Sets performance review site columns.

And, here is the site content type definition. Note the “Parent” value:

Business Management O365 SharePoint performance review content type.

Configure Document Library for Performance Review – SharePoint Document Sets and Documents

Set the new Performance Review Document Set as a document library content type:

  • Create a document library for Performance Reviews.
  • Specify the default content type and new button order for the library to promote the SharePoint Document Set.
  • Specify the new button order again, but this time for the Document Set instead of the library.

This is all review if you’ve been following along with the series…except for the application directly to a document set.

First, create the library and go to the list settings:

Then, enable management of content types. That’s through Advanced Settings > Allow management of content types

Setup the list to support the new Performance Review and PR Review Set content types. Then, change the available options on the list to only allow PR Review Set:

SharePoint Document Sets as a library content type.


Create the new Performance Review Document Set:

Change the default order on the Performance Review document set itself.

Business Management O365 SharePoint document set button order.

Finally, set permissions on the document set so that only Marketing Owners and the manager himself/herself can work with the content. This is a key feature of Document Sets, in that, permissions management is promoted.

Configuring the Content Organizer

Here’s an overview of what’s going to occur in this section:

  • Create a private site under the Human Resources top-level division site that’s setup to hold finalized performance review document sets.
  • Enable and configure the Content Organizer feature.
  • Configure the Content Organizer Settings and Content Organizer Rules settings.

First, create a new “Performance Reviews” site with unique permissions. I won’t cover all of this here because it’s written-up in depth in the blog titled Office 365 and SharePoint – Sales Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) – Creating the Sales Site and Setting Unique Permissions. Create the site and grant access only to those users who should be able to work with Performance Reviews, for example, the HR Owners group or a new group “Performance Reviewers”.

Now, enable the Content Organizer Feature:

Go back into Site Settings and you’ll now see the Content Organizer Settings and Content Organizer Rules options as well as a new Drop Off Library document library. I’ll touch on the Drop Off library at the end of this post. For now, let’s keep moving forward.

Business Management O365 SharePoint Content Organizer site settings.

Click into Content Organizer Settings, and scroll all the way to the bottom – the default values are good. Copy and save the Submissions Points URL…you’ll need it for later.

Business Management Office 365 SharePoint content organizer submission points URL.

Go into the “Documents” document library in the Performance Review site and add “PR Review Set” and “Performance Review” as available content types (see Management of Content Types above if you are unsure about this step).

Business Management O365 SharePoint Documents Content Types.

Now, click into Content Organizer Rules, add a new item, and configure it as follows:

  • Name: Send PR Review Sets to Documents
  • Status: Active > Priority 1 (Highest)
  • Content Type: PR Review Set
  • Destination: Select the site’s “Documents” library
  • Automatically create a folder for each unique value of a property: PR Year

Business Management O365 SharePoint Content Organizer Rule.


Configure Records Management – Send To Connections

You’ll need to be a SharePoint Admin to carry out the next steps. If you’re not, partner up with your Information Technology SharePoint lead.

Before proceeding, make sure you have the Submission Points URL from above copied/saved.

Navigate to the SharePoint Admin Center and choose “records management“. Paste the Submission Points URL into the “Send To URL” setting. It’s recommended to use the “Click here to test” link to validate your entry into that field.

Business Management O365 SharePoint Records Management.

When configured as above, you’ll see the new Send To Connections entry:

Business Managemetn O365 SharePoint saved Send To Connections.

That’s it…time to test!

Test the Send To Connections and Validate the Content Organizer

So, you end-up with a document set full of employee reviews:

Business Management O365 SharePoint document set of reviews.

Select the Send To button and choose the new “Submit….” button

Business Management O365 SharePoint document set send to button.

Choose the new “Submit Performance Reviews” Send To Other Location option and click Send. You’ll be presented with a success dialog:

Below is the success dialog:

Business Management O365 SharePoint Content Organizer Saved to Drop Off LIbrary.

The most important sentences are “Saved to Drop Off Library” and “It will be saved to its final location by a scheduled process“.

If you go to your Human Resources (HR) Performance Review site now, you will not find the content in the correct location immediately. You need to wait approximately 24 hours and it will be moved as designed.


Note at the end of the video above that we have a “PR Year – 2018” folder. That folder was created automatically because of the, “Automatically create a folder for each unique value of a property“, setting that was specified when creating the Content Organizer Rules. And, after waiting the necessary ~24 hours, you’ll have an empty drop-off library and find the restored document set filed under that library:

Business Management O365 SharePoint content organizer complete.

Another great advantage of this setup is that the Content Organizer and Send To Connection features will automatically elevate privileges. The features will copy content from a site into the Human Resources Performance Review site even when users cannot do so “manually” due to restricted permissions.



Categories: Business, Business Management, Human Resources, Office 365 and O365, SharePoint

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