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How to write an email for employee referrals

You’ve created a great employee referral program, full of the most appropriate incentives and rewards when they engage, so how do you get them to become actively involved?

We’ve spoken about raising awareness during meetings and company events, but one of the most direct, readily available, and easily accessible options is email.

If you’re a company that hires regularly, an internal email update featuring the latest roles to fill, reward scheme, new hires, and winning referrers will go a long way to encourage your highly-desired employee referrals.

But what should go into those emails, and how should you write them? We’ve got a sample employee referral email or two, to get you up and running.

What information goes into your employee referral program emails?

Each time you deliver an email to your team, it’s vital that the call to action is clear, so you receive all the information you need. It’s also necessary to deliver the information your recipients (employees) need too.

What you need:

  • Name and contact details of the candidate
  • How the employee and candidate are connected
  • Why the candidate is relevant for the position
  • The candidate’s expertise and experience

You don’t want to make the process too complicated to put your employees off, so keeping things simple is always the way forward. You can do your own probing and research if you feel the candidate is a good match.

What your employees need:

  • The open positions, their roles, and responsibilities
  • The department and the team they’ll be working with 
  • Position requirements
  • Referral rewards
  • How to make a referral

To keep your email simple, you should refer your employees to your company’s careers page or website and all of the information available on your employee referral program page.

Every recruiter or HR department will want to write their message within the guidelines of the company brand voice, but because it’s internal, you can afford to lighten the tone a little. It all depends on what’s appropriate, but you’ll know how far you can and should go.

Sample email—employee referral program template

Subject line: We’re Hiring! Do you know a great [job title]?

That’s right, we’re looking for a new [job title], and we think you can help us find them. They’ll be joining our [team/department] and working at [role details].

You know better than anyone who is great at [company name] and the type of person who would be the perfect fit for our expanding team of unique talent.

What’s in it for you?

If you can help us to connect with any great candidate possibilities, our employee referral program rewards you with:

  • [basic reward] for every referral
  • [additional compensation] for each referral who makes it to the interview stage
  • [further compensation] for every successful hire
  • [top-level reward] for every hire who stays with us for [x months]

For full details of our rewards and how our referral program works, visit:

www.companywebsite.com/employeereferralprogram

How to make a referral:

All we need from you is your candidate’s name and some form of contact details. If you could provide us with a little extra information about them, that would help us out.

  • How do you and the candidate know each other?
  • Why do you believe they’re a great fit for the role and the company?
  • Can you provide any experience, qualifications, or skillsets that you think makes them an ideal candidate?

Send us an email, give us a call, or fill in our online referral form at [insert link], and we’ll take it from there. We’ll keep you updated on all progress and your rewards!

Thanks for helping us with such an important task; we’re thrilled that you want to help, it’s what makes us such a great team, after all.

[Name and position]

[Department]

Sample announcement of employee referral program

Subject line: Did you know you could earn fantastic rewards with our Employee Referral Program?

Hi there!

As you know, our company is continually expanding to meet the demand we’re facing, while continuing to provide a high level of operation expected from our brand.

We’re continually searching for new and talented players to join our team, and we know our existing employees understand exactly what it takes to be the type of acquisition we’re searching for.

With that in mind, we want our existing employees to consider their networks and let us know about any people they believe we should be hiring.

If you know just one person you think would be an ideal fit, we’d love to hear about them.

Earn rewards at every stage of the referral process

We appreciate all the help our employees bring to our recruiting team, and that’s why we reward them at every step of the process.

  • For every referral
  • For candidates who reach interviews
  • For every hire
  • For every hire that reaches [number] months with the company

The more you help, the more you earn

We’re regularly hiring, and we’d love you to consider all the roles that are open for applications.

  • Why not drop by our careers page/site [insert link] to keep an eye out for all the ideal positions for your network connections?
  • Learn everything there is to know about our employee referral program and how helping us can help you, at www.companywebsite.com/employeereferralprogram
  • We’ve got a list of the different rewards you can choose from; bonus payments to paid time off—it’s up to you how you’d like to take your benefits.

If you need any information about an open position, how you can help, or to chat over a possible candidate, we’d love to hear from you.

You can call us on [phone number], make your referral via our online form [insert link], or reply to this email.

Thanks for listening—and also your help in our search for your new colleagues!

[Name and position]

[Department]

Finally—don’t just sit back and cross your fingers, keep those wheels turning

With your process and all the tools in place, your work still isn’t complete. You’ve created some great tools and broken the ice with your employees; your next job is to keep them interested, engaged, and the referrals flowing.

Regular reminders, via email or otherwise, are the best way to re-engage, alerting your employees to existing and new openings in the company, new rewards, and winners. And never forget to give credit where it’s due—make sure to thank every member of the team who engages with you and your process.

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