How to Check References Via Email

How to Check References Via Email

How to Check References Via Email

How to Check References Via Email


Reference checks are a vital part of the sourcing and recruitment process for quality new hires. Reference checks can be conducted in a variety of ways, but one of the most efficient ways is via email.


Conducting a reference check via email is essentially just as it sounds: the standard questions and information gathering, but done through the convenience of an online, confidential questionnaire via email. 


As references must comply with state and federal regulations, as well as individual company policies around what information can and cannot be shared, it is important to do your due diligence before conducting a reference check via email. 


What’s The Difference between a Reference Check and a Background Check?


It’s important to note here that many people confuse reference checks and background checks. Both are vital parts of the hiring process, but they each have key differences. 


Background checks are primarily looking at issues of identity, criminal history and specifics around dates, times, place, and legal factuality. Background checks can also be conducted via email and have a specific background check email format that can be followed for the optimum results. 


Reference checks are functioning in a similar way, but seek to elaborate and expand upon a broader understanding of who the candidate is, outside of their resume. Reference checks open the door to learning about leadership skills, collaborative abilities, and unique strengths and weaknesses that speak to a more qualitative analysis, as opposed to a quantitative analysis.  


This is extremely helpful in creating the fullest context possible when proving the validity of someone’s professional resume, skills, and attributes. 


This process of vetting a professional resume can be make or break in the hiring experience, especially when cross checking the factuality of applicant work skills and investigating the likelihood that said applicant would thrive at your company or organization, based on their unique skill sets.

Modern digital reference checks, like Crosschq, are by far the most efficient and cost-effective way of conducting reference checks.

Crosschq is unique in that it allows the candidate to have an additional voice in the hiring process. Both candidates and their references complete surveys developed by IO Psychologists, who are survey experts, to see if they are a good candidate match, thus providing a better experience for all involved: candidates, references, and the recruiting staff.

With Crosschq 360, their data-driven, automated digital reference checking solution, consistently shortens time to hire by:

  • Streamlining reference checking
  • Removing unconscious bias
  • Providing actionable information on each candidate

Hire a better, diverse team 95% faster

What Is a Reference Check Email?


First, let’s walk through what a reference check email looks like and exactly what one might expect when sending or receiving a reference check email. 


While the formatting and structure can vary, typically a reference check email consists of a brief introduction, identifying the employer, the applicant, and what to expect from the questionnaire. 


Following this brief introduction, there will usually be a link, attached document, or portal to a confidential questionnaire that is sent via email to cross reference employee data and source additional useful information for the hiring process. 


What’s the Purpose of a Reference Check?


A reference check email serves as the intermediary between the potential employer and the previous employer, to ensure that a prospective employer has done their due diligence and is hiring the best possible candidate for the position. 


The best way to do this is to rely upon the information from past employers as a predictor of future behavior. 


Sample Reference Check Email


Let’s take a look at a sample HR reference check template email below to familiarize you with what you can expect. 


Email subject header: Reference Inquiry for [Insert Name of Candidate]


Hello [Insert Name of Reference],


[Insert Applicant Full Name] has listed you as a professional reference on their application for the [Insert Company Position] at the [Insert Company Name] 


We would kindly ask that you please fill out the below questionnaire, at your earliest convenience, as a way for us to evaluate if [Insert Applicant Full Name] would be a good fit for our organization. 


We thank you for your time and please feel free to reach out with any questions.



[Insert your name]


Following this, you would include a questionnaire that allowed for the previous employer to honestly evaluate the candidate. 


You might ask them to rate the candidate's reliability on a scale of one to five or to answer more simply a series of yes-no questions about the candidate’s ability to follow instructions. 


Either way, this format would allow for a seamless experience from the reference giver to the hiring manager.

You may be wondering just how to go about formatting these types of email questionnaires and if an existing product or service exists that can take out the hassle. That’s where Crosschq comes in. 

Improve new hire satisfaction by 26%.

Crosschq’s Automatic Email-Based Reference Checking


Utilizing the capabilities of a recruitment platform like Crosschq can truly make the reference checking process of your company or organization much easier.  


Powered by its Talent Intelligence Cloud™, Crosschq’s data-driven reference checking and analytics platform will help your business or organization source diverse new talent, and take all the hassle out of reference checking.

To learn how Crosschq can help you build a better, diverse team, schedule a free demo and a team expert will show you how. 

Take the Guesswork out of Hiring

From pre-hire to post-hire, Crosschq helps you source, screen, onboard, and measure the best talent. Fast.

Request a free demo from a team expert to see how we can help your company.