This is actually a very common use case which in CiviCRM, it doesn't seems to be a way to deal with it yet.


  • a CiviCRM integrated site that keeps both users and their employment information

  • they are collecting users' employment information via event sign up form

  • they have quite a field organisations with same name in their database but different postcode (or some other information)

  • they don't want to publish the names of organisations they have in their database (dislike auto-complete)

Currently with only 'current employer' field, users are not able to accurately match their record with correct organisation.

Is there any implementation out there to deal with this scenario?

Maybe we need to add a postcode field for current employer in CiviCRM profile?

  • It will help the community here to answer your question if you explain which version of CiviCRM you are using with what CMS? And I can not understand your actual question but that might be my bad :-) Mar 20, 2017 at 11:17
  • I think it wasn't formatted properly so all jumbled up. It should be clearer now. The main issue is around current employer field when having multiple organisation with same names in the database. I am not mentioning the version of CiviCRM since it is an issue across the board.
    – Guanhuan
    Mar 20, 2017 at 14:57

3 Answers 3


This will always be an issue if autocomplete isn't an option and you're dealing with user input... they will never do exactly what you want or expect :).

I think the solution will somewhat depend on the size of your organization. For our operation (events under 3k people), we display a non-editable field of Current Employer in our event registration profile so someone can see what we have on file but cannot touch it.

Just under that, we have a plain text custom field called employer update with some instructions. If they need to update what we have in the database or if it is empty, they should fill it out.

Before each event, our membership manager (or her intern, or a script but this org has lots and lots of 'special snowflakes' so I wouldn't recommend it in that case) goes through the registrants and updates people who have the "employer update" field filled in, and clears out that field as they go.

This prevents a massive number or organization duplicates from being created.


You could try out the Public Autocomplete Extensions which seems to do the job required namely provide an autocomplete for Current Employer, and control which Orgs get displayed by using Groups or Tags etc. Latter requires a bit of technical knowledge but is well explained.

Give it a try and let others know how you get on.


For those interested in deduplicating organisations with misspellings due to user input, check out https://github.com/futurefirst/uk.me.davidknoll.civicrm.orgdedupe.

This may meet your need for clean data and matching organisations without changing the form and exposing data.

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