Candidate is on interview after receiving referral email

Referral Email: Importance and Best Practices For Creating It

Lilit Yeranyan

Table of Contents

Is your goal to enrich your team with great talents? Then you need to master creating effective referral email, which plays a crucial role in the hiring process and is an integral part of the recruitment strategy.  The survey indicates that 45% of referral hires stay longer than four years, whereas only 25% of job board hires continue to work in that company.

These emails help companies to attract high-quality candidates through their employees’ networks. Continue to read the article, as we will discuss the benefits of referral emails and give actionable tips on creating them.

Definition and main benefits of referral email

First thing first, start defining what a referral email is. Simply put, it is a message sent to current employees, inviting them to refer qualified candidates for a job opening.

HRs interview candidate

This type of email typically includes information about the job opening, the referral program, and a link to apply for the job opening. It has a goal to encourage current employees to refer qualified candidates for job openings. 

Effective referral emails can guarantee a higher success rate in hiring and offer the following benefits as well:

Increased candidate quality

First and foremost, this type of email allows reaching out to qualified candidates who can fit the role perfectly. And that is because referring employees have firsthand knowledge of the company culture, and job requirements, and they will be able to identify suitable candidates.

Quicker hiring process

Another benefit of referral email is that it makes hiring faster since the referring employees have already screened candidates. Moreover, referred candidates often are more interested in the job opportunity because the offer is from someone they know and trust. In this matter, this strategy can help companies to fill open positions quickly and find outstanding talent.

Cost-efficient tactic

Creating referral emails is a cost-effective hiring method, as it saves companies money on recruitment advertising and other hiring and recruitment expenses. The reason is they use their employees’ network to attract high-quality candidates. What is interesting businesses can not reach those candidates through job boards and other recruitment channels.

Higher retention rates

Another benefit of creating referral emails as they can increase employee retention rates. The survey indicates that 45% of referral hires stay longer than four years. Referral candidates are more likely to stay with the company than candidates the companies find from other sources because they are more likely to align with the company’s mission and fit company culture.  

Increased employee engagement

Referral programs have the potential to boost employee engagement and satisfaction by showing that the company values the employees’ opinions and incentivizes them to find qualified candidates.

Five tips for creating a successful referral email

While it’s already clear how beneficial this type of email can be, next, we are going to suggest several tactics that will help create a referral email that brings excellent results.

Employees inbox that is full of messages

Create a strong subject line

Subject lines carry huge importance for increasing the open rate of every type of email, and employee referral messages aren’t an exception. They are extremely important as they are the first thing the employee will see in their inboxes and determine whether to open or ignore the message. For that reason, subject lines should be captivating enough to capture the recipient’s attention.

There are several characteristics that a strong subject line should have. Firstly, it should generate a sense of urgency and highlight the benefits of referring qualified candidates, like referral bonuses. In addition to that, great subject lines need to be concise and clearly communicate the purpose of the email.

The language of subject lines is vital, as they should be specific and encourage the employee to take action in their companies to find great talents. In the next step, it’s important to test different subject lines and find the ones that generate the highest open rates. Also, consider optimizing subject lines for mobile as a big percentage of employees check their inboxes on their smartphones.

Last but not least, it’s important to personalize the subject line as it increases the chances that the message will hook employees’ attention. In this matter, to make referral emails effective, it’s necessary to personalize not only the subject and the whole message, which takes us to the next point.

Employees create referral email

Personalize referral email

Personalizing employee referral emails makes them more effective, increasing the chances that employees will consider referring candidates to their company.

There are some tips for personalizing employee referral emails:

Include the employee’s name                                          

Addressing the employee by name indicates that the message is directed specifically at them.

Highlight the employee’s successes                                    

It is a beneficial idea to mention the employee’s previous successes in finding high-quality candidates in messages and this way to motivate them to refer again.

✓ Provide a clear and detailed explanation 

Be specific about the job duties, qualifications, and expectations. This can help the employee to identify potential candidates who would be a good fit for the role.

✓ Highlight incentives

Consider offering a referral bonus or other kind of incentive to encourage employees to take action. This strategy will boost the likelihood that employees will take the time to refer qualified candidates.

Highlight the job opening

When creating an effective referral email, it’s essential to make sure it is attention-grabbing and clearly communicates the key points of the career position. In that matter, companies should be clear to their current employees what the job entails and the type of candidate the company is looking for.

In this context, one helpful tactic is to give a short summary of the job opening, including the job title, department, and main responsibilities or qualifications. 

Additionally, it’s important to emphasize the importance of employee referrals and highlight employees’ efforts in helping build a great team. By doing so, companies can increase the chances of receiving qualified referrals from their employees and ultimately finding the best candidate for the job.

Sign that indicates companies looking for new hires

Include the referral program

Sharing about the referral program in a referral email is a critical way to encourage employees to refer qualified candidates and highlight the benefits of doing so.

The next step is to explain the referral program and its benefits and provide a clear  description and the rewards employees can receive for successful referrals. This way, it’s possible to make it easy for employees to refer candidates by providing clear instructions on how to do so. It can include a link to the job posting, a referral form, or other helpful information.

Furthermore, it is important to highlight why employee referrals are important to the company and how they can help the company find the best candidates. Another helpful tactic for the company that wants to promote its referral program is to send an internal email to inform employees about the referral program and how it works. 

Encourage employees to participate by writing clear and strong call-to-action by sharing about the referral program and its importance in referral emails; it’s possible to encourage employees to participate and help build an excellent team for your company.

Employees read referral email

Provide clear instructions

When sending a referral email, it’s important to provide clear and concise instructions to make the process as easy as possible for the employee.

Begin by explaining the process for referring candidates

Start, including any eligibility requirements and the steps that the employee needs to take. Provide all the necessary information, such as a link to the job posting, the contact information for the recruiter or hiring manager, and any relevant details about the job or company. 

Use simple language

Providing examples of what a good referral looks like in simple language will help employees understand what the company is looking for in a candidate. 

Provide referral forms

Additionally, it’s essential to make the process as easy as possible by providing a referral form or template or including a link to an online application form. 

Follow up with employees 

Lastly, following up with the employee to let them know what happens next and when they can expect to hear back is a strategic step.

Overall, by providing clear instructions in your referral email, you can make it easy for employees to refer potential candidates.

To sum up

A company’s workforce can be a great source to strengthen your team. Referral email plays a crucial role as it can encourage current employees to actively participate in the recruitment and hiring process.

In this blog post, we discuss the main benefits of this type of email and suggest tactics that can be helpful for strengthening your team with talents. Good luck creating a great referral email and bringing great talent to your team.


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