I am fairly new to SP as well as workflows and was looking for some help.

I have a list that contains a series of columns that we are using to track an employees hiring process. As part of this process, I would like to setup a workflow that will notify that person's supervisor when HR has given the employee an 'effective hire date'

The workflow would look like this:

New record created --> If employee has an effective hire date then email their supervisor --> if not, wait until they have an effective hire date then email their supervisor.

I created a calculated value column using the =ISBLANK formula with the column name effective hire date as it's value. When I look at the column on the list it does exactly what it's supposed to. If column 'Effective hire date' has a date it returns "No", if it does not, it returns "Yes".

When I design my workflow in SP13 Designer however, it is not sending out the email as it is supposed to. I have tried a million different combinations to no avail. Here is the most basic one I created which I believed would achieve my goals:

Stage:Stage 1 Wait for EffectiveHireDateCalc to equal No then Email Current Item:Supervisor1 Transition to stage Go to End of Workflow

I have also tried it with "If" statements

If Current Item:EffectiveHireDateCalc equals No then Email Current Item:Supervisor1

All of these contained statements telling the workflow to go back to stage 1 if EffectiveHireDateCalc to equal Yes

But still NOTHING!

Like I said, I a am fairly new at this so any help you can provide would be appreciated!

Thanks in andvance


  • I had the wrong comparative in my original answer. See edit below.
    – Erin L
    Mar 18, 2016 at 21:47

3 Answers 3


I think this can be done in a simpler fashion;

effectiveDate is a date field and emailSent is a Yes/No field with default No

A workflow which runs on Item Change and Creation If effectiveDate is not blank AND emailSent = No; send and e-mail and set emailSent to Yes

Otherwise you don't need to do anything.

Also you don't really need a calculated field. A blank date is simply a date which is equal to 01/01/0001 but to use this in an if statement you need to put the date in a String variable first.


You want the Wait for field to Change workflow action... then set wait for [Effective Hire Date] to be greater than 1/1/1900

  • Thanks for the idea Erin. I am sure this is a MUCH easier way to do what I wanted to do lol. I am new at the whole SharePoint, workflows, formula thing so when my way did not work it became a goal to make it work. Fortunately I was able to do it :). Thanks again for the reply and I will keep this much easier solution in my bag of tricks
    – Alan H
    Mar 21, 2016 at 15:48

Thank you to all who posted in an attempt to help.

After testing and retesting the workflow to no avail I discovered that some versions of Designer do not allow workflows to operate when the inputs are "yes, no" or "true/false". In order to get around this and after a LOT of fiddling around I was able to bypass this issue by tweaking the ISBLANK formula to return a value of 0 for No and 1 for yes.

It looked like this =IF(ISBLANK([EffectiveHireDate],"0","1")

After having done this the workflow works perfectly :).

Thanks for your replies and help

  • Alan

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