Reference Check Email Templates and Examples

Updated: December 06, 2023

Conducting a reference check is a crucial step in the hiring process. It allows employers to verify a candidate's qualifications, skills, and work habits by speaking directly with someone who has previously supervised or worked closely with the applicant. This article provides guidance on crafting effective reference check emails.

What to Know About Reference Check Emails

Understanding the essence of reference check emails is pivotal in acquiring candid insights about potential employees.

A reference check email is a written request sent by an employer to a candidate’s references. The purpose of this email is to gather information about the candidate’s past job performance, work ethic, and other relevant traits.

Differences Between Reference Checks and Background Checks

While a reference check involves contacting previous employers or colleagues to discuss the candidate’s performance and qualifications, a background check is a more comprehensive process that may include looking into criminal records, credit history, and educational qualifications.

Tips on Writing Reference Check Emails

Crafting an impactful reference check email requires a blend of professionalism and personal touch. Keep the following in mind when crafting your message:

  1. Professional Tone: Maintain a formal yet approachable tone throughout the email. This balance conveys respect for the reference’s time and the seriousness of your inquiry.
  2. Clear Objective: Begin with a clear statement of your purpose. Mention the candidate’s name and the role they are being considered for right at the outset.
  3. Personalization: Address the reference by name to personalize the email. This shows that you have taken the time to research who the reference is and can lead to a more engaged response.
  4. Brief Introduction: Introduce yourself and your role in the hiring process. A brief introduction provides context to your request and establishes credibility.
  5. Specificity in Questions: Be specific in your questions about the candidate’s skills, work ethic, and experiences. Tailored questions are more likely to yield detailed and useful responses.
  6. Respect for Privacy: Acknowledge and respect the confidentiality of the information being requested. Assure the reference that their feedback will be used solely for the purpose of evaluating the candidate.
  7. Conciseness: Keep the email concise and to the point. Long emails may not be fully read, leading to missed information or a lack of response.
  8. Gratitude: Express your appreciation for the reference’s time and assistance. Gratitude can increase the likelihood of a comprehensive and timely response.
  9. Follow-Up Information: Include your contact details and express openness to further discussion or clarification. This invites the reference to reach out if they prefer a conversation over a written response.
  10. Proofread: Finally, proofread your email for any grammatical errors or typos. A well-written email reflects positively on your organization and helps to elicit a serious response.
How to Write a Reference Check Email
  1. What to Include
    – The name of the candidate.
    – The position they are being considered for.
    – Your relationship to the hiring process.
  2. Introduce Yourself
    – Briefly introduce yourself and your position.
    – Explain your role in the candidate’s application process.
  3. Provide Details About the Candidate
    – Mention the candidate’s name and the role they’ve applied for.
    – Include any specific skills or qualifications that are pertinent.
  4. Ask Specific Questions
    – Tailor your questions to the position.
    – Ask about the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and work ethic.
  5. Invite the Reference to Contact You Further
    – Provide your contact information.
    – Express willingness for further discussion.

Email Templates and Examples for Reference Checks

Template for Managerial Positions:

Focuses on leadership and team management skills.

Reference Checks for Managerial Roles Copy Snippet Copied!

Subject: Reference Check for [Candidate Name] – Managerial Role

Dear [Reference’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I am the [Your Position] at [Your Company]. We are currently in the process of considering [Candidate’s Name] for a managerial position within our organization.

Given your previous professional experience with [Candidate’s Name], I would appreciate your insight into their leadership and team management skills. Could you please share your views on:

– Their ability to lead and manage a team.
– Decision-making and problem-solving skills.
– Any notable achievements during their tenure with your organization.

Your feedback will be invaluable to us in our decision-making process. Please feel free to contact me if you need further information.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Best regards,
[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]

Example for Managerial Position Template

Subject: Reference Check for Jane Doe – Managerial Role

Dear Mr. Smith,

I hope this message finds you well. My name is John Lee, and I am the HR Manager at XYZ Corporation. We are currently in the process of considering Jane Doe for a managerial position within our organization.

Given your previous professional experience with Jane, I would appreciate your insight into her leadership and team management skills. Could you please share your views on:

– Her ability to lead and manage a team.
– Decision-making and problem-solving skills.
– Any notable achievements during her tenure with your organization.

Your feedback will be invaluable to us in our decision-making process. Please feel free to contact me if you need further information.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Best regards,
John Lee
[john.lee@xyzcorporation.com]

 

Template for Technical Roles:

Emphasizes technical expertise and problem-solving abilities.

Reference Checks for Technical Roles Copy Snippet Copied!

Subject: Inquiry Regarding [Candidate Name] for Technical Role

Dear [Reference’s Name],

I am [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Your Company]. We are considering [Candidate’s Name] for a technical position and understand that they previously worked under your supervision.

Your insight into their technical skills and problem-solving capabilities would be greatly beneficial. Could you please provide your perspective on:

– Their technical proficiency, particularly in [Specific Technologies/Skills].
– Examples of how they have approached and solved complex technical challenges.
– Their contribution to team projects and collaborative tasks.

We value your input and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]

Example for Technical Role Template

Subject: Inquiry Regarding John Smith for Technical Role

Dear Dr. Johnson,

I am Emily Green, Hiring Manager at Tech Innovations Inc. We are considering John Smith for a technical position and understand that he previously worked under your supervision at ABC Tech.

Your insight into his technical skills and problem-solving capabilities would be greatly beneficial. Could you please provide your perspective on:

– His technical proficiency, particularly in Java and cloud computing.
– Examples of how he approached and solved complex technical challenges.
– His contribution to team projects and collaborative tasks.

We value your input and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Emily Green
[emily.green@techinnovations.com]

 

Template for Creative Positions:

Inquires about creativity, innovation, and project management.

Reference Checks for Creative Positions Copy Snippet Copied!

Subject: Reference Check for [Candidate Name] – Creative Position

Hello [Reference’s Name],

My name is [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Your Company]. We are assessing [Candidate’s Name] for a role that requires creativity and innovation. As you have worked with them in a creative capacity, your feedback would be extremely helpful.

We are particularly interested in knowing about:

– Their approach to creative problem-solving and innovation.
– Specific projects where they demonstrated exceptional creativity.
– Their ability to work in a team setting on creative endeavors.

Thank you for your assistance and insights on this matter.

Best,
[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]

Example for Creative Position Template

Subject: Reference Check for Sarah Johnson – Creative Position

Hello Mr. Adams,

My name is Rachel White, Creative Director at Bright Minds Agency. We are assessing Sarah Johnson for a role that requires creativity and innovation. As you have worked with her in a creative capacity at Design Studio, your feedback would be extremely helpful.

We are particularly interested in knowing about:

– Her approach to creative problem-solving and innovation.
– Specific projects where she demonstrated exceptional creativity.
– Her ability to work in a team setting on creative endeavors.

Thank you for your assistance and insights on this matter.

Best,
Rachel White
[rachel.white@brightmindsagency.com]

 

Template for Customer Service Roles:

Centers on interpersonal skills and customer handling.

Reference Checks for Customer Service Roles Copy Snippet Copied!

Subject: Reference Request for [Candidate Name] – Customer Service Role

Dear [Reference’s Name],

I am [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Your Company]. As [Candidate’s Name] is being considered for a customer service role, your insight, having supervised them previously, would be very valuable to us.

We would appreciate your thoughts on:

– Their interpersonal skills and ability to handle customer inquiries and complaints.
– Examples of how they have managed difficult customer interactions.
– Their overall contribution to customer satisfaction and team dynamics.

Your feedback is crucial for us to understand [Candidate’s Name]’s suitability for this role.

Warm regards,
[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]

Example for Customer Service Role Template

Subject: Reference Request for Mike Brown – Customer Service Role

Dear Mrs. Clark,

I am Lisa Martinez, HR Specialist at Sunshine Products. As Mike Brown is being considered for a customer service role, your insight, having supervised him at Your Service Call Center, would be very valuable to us.

We would appreciate your thoughts on:

– His interpersonal skills and ability to handle customer inquiries and complaints.
– Examples of how he has managed difficult customer interactions.
– His overall contribution to customer satisfaction and team dynamics.

Your feedback is crucial for us to understand Mike’s suitability for this role.

Warm regards,
Lisa Martinez
[lisa.martinez@sunshineproducts.com]

 

Template for Administrative Positions:

Queries about organizational skills and multitasking abilities.

Reference Checks for Administrative Roles Copy Snippet Copied!

Subject: Reference Inquiry for [Candidate Name] – Administrative Role

Hello [Reference’s Name],

This is [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Your Company]. We are considering [Candidate’s Name] for an administrative role and are seeking input from individuals who have worked closely with them.

Your insights on the following would be greatly appreciated:

– Their organizational and multitasking abilities.
– Specific instances where they demonstrated exceptional administrative skills.
– Their reliability and efficiency in completing tasks.

Thank you for your time and valuable input on this matter.

Kind regards,
[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]

Example for Administrative Position Template

Subject: Reference Inquiry for Emily Parker – Administrative Role

Hello Mr. Bennett,

This is Alex Thompson, Office Manager at Global Enterprises. We are considering Chris Parker for an administrative role and are seeking input from individuals who have worked closely with them at Quick Solutions Ltd.

Your insights on the following would be greatly appreciated:

– Their organizational and multitasking abilities.
– Specific instances where they demonstrated exceptional administrative skills.
– Their reliability and efficiency in completing tasks.

Thank you for your time and valuable input on this matter.

Kind regards,
Alex Thompson
[alex.thompson@globalenterprises.com]

Each template is designed to elicit comprehensive feedback tailored to the specific requirements of the role, ensuring a thorough understanding of the candidate’s capabilities and fit for the position.

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Subject: Reference Check for [Candidate Name] - Managerial Role <br> <br>Dear [Reference's Name], <br> <br>I hope this message finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I am the [Your Position] at [Your Company]. We are currently in the process of considering [Candidate's Name] for a managerial position within our organization. <br> <br>Given your previous professional experience with [Candidate's Name], I would appreciate your insight into their leadership and team management skills. Could you please share your views on: <br> <br>- Their ability to lead and manage a team. <br>- Decision-making and problem-solving skills. <br>- Any notable achievements during their tenure with your organization. <br> <br>Your feedback will be invaluable to us in our decision-making process. Please feel free to contact me if you need further information. <br> <br>Thank you for your time and assistance. <br> <br>Best regards, <br>[Your Name] <br>[Your Contact Information]
Subject: Inquiry Regarding [Candidate Name] for Technical Role <br> <br>Dear [Reference's Name], <br> <br>I am [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Your Company]. We are considering [Candidate's Name] for a technical position and understand that they previously worked under your supervision. <br> <br>Your insight into their technical skills and problem-solving capabilities would be greatly beneficial. Could you please provide your perspective on: <br> <br>- Their technical proficiency, particularly in [Specific Technologies/Skills]. <br>- Examples of how they have approached and solved complex technical challenges. <br>- Their contribution to team projects and collaborative tasks. <br> <br>We value your input and look forward to hearing from you. <br> <br>Sincerely, <br>[Your Name] <br>[Your Contact Information]
Subject: Reference Check for [Candidate Name] - Creative Position <br> <br>Hello [Reference's Name], <br> <br>My name is [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Your Company]. We are assessing [Candidate's Name] for a role that requires creativity and innovation. As you have worked with them in a creative capacity, your feedback would be extremely helpful. <br> <br>We are particularly interested in knowing about: <br> <br>- Their approach to creative problem-solving and innovation. <br>- Specific projects where they demonstrated exceptional creativity. <br>- Their ability to work in a team setting on creative endeavors. <br> <br>Thank you for your assistance and insights on this matter. <br> <br>Best, <br>[Your Name] <br>[Your Contact Information]
Subject: Reference Request for [Candidate Name] - Customer Service Role <br> <br>Dear [Reference's Name], <br> <br>I am [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Your Company]. As [Candidate's Name] is being considered for a customer service role, your insight, having supervised them previously, would be very valuable to us. <br> <br>We would appreciate your thoughts on: <br> <br>- Their interpersonal skills and ability to handle customer inquiries and complaints. <br>- Examples of how they have managed difficult customer interactions. <br>- Their overall contribution to customer satisfaction and team dynamics. <br> <br>Your feedback is crucial for us to understand [Candidate's Name]'s suitability for this role. <br> <br>Warm regards, <br>[Your Name] <br>[Your Contact Information]
Subject: Reference Inquiry for [Candidate Name] - Administrative Role <br> <br>Hello [Reference's Name], <br> <br>This is [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Your Company]. We are considering [Candidate's Name] for an administrative role and are seeking input from individuals who have worked closely with them. <br> <br>Your insights on the following would be greatly appreciated: <br> <br>- Their organizational and multitasking abilities. <br>- Specific instances where they demonstrated exceptional administrative skills. <br>- Their reliability and efficiency in completing tasks. <br> <br>Thank you for your time and valuable input on this matter. <br> <br>Kind regards, <br>[Your Name] <br>[Your Contact Information]

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