Asking candidates for references is a smart hiring move. It helps you verify information, provides additional perspectives beyond what you can gather in interviews and assessments and gives you more confidence in your hiring decision. (Because we all want to find the right person for our team and avoid mis-hires!)
Here we'll share when and how to ask a candidate for references and provide you with templates that you can pop right into your hiring tool or email client to help you communicate clearly and keep the hiring process moving along.
You may verbally mention to a candidate in an interview that you're going to need a certain number of references as part of your evaluation process, or you might share this in your job post. Either way, it's good to follow up in writing with clear instructions so nothing falls through the cracks. That's where an email to request references comes in.
There are typically two points in the hiring process when it's common to request references:
When you're ready, you can send a clear and concise email asking candidates for references. Then you'll need to contact their former managers and co-workers to set up calls. Use the templates below 👇 to get started!
This candidate reference request email template provides a clear and professional structure to ask candidates for their reference contacts. It also emphasizes the importance of the references’ input in the evaluation process.
This email to a reference provider highlights the value of their insights in helping you evaluate the candidate's qualifications and suitability for the role. It also suggests time slots for a future reference call or email exchange.
Keep these best practices in mind when creating and sending an email to request references:
References can be clutch for your hiring process because they offer a window into the candidate's past performance, work ethic and their suitability for the role. Hiring email templates like the ones above help you get those reference requests out in seconds, allowing you to communicate with candidates clearly, gather the information you need and move your hiring process along.
Sending a polite, professional and informative email encourages candidates and reference providers to respond quickly, leading to valuable feedback that’ll help you and your team feel confident in your hiring decision. 💪