Use the following email template to ask candidates to provide references during the final hiring stages. Two or three contacts are usually sufficient to learn about candidates’ past work performance. To avoid back-and-forth emails, make sure you ask candidates to send you all necessary contact information, including names, phones or emails and the working relationship they had with their references. You can ask specifically to get references from managers if, for example, you want to learn whether your candidates can follow instructions, take initiative and meet deadlines. To check how candidates behave as part of a team, ask for references from coworkers.
Subject line: [Job_title] at [Company_name]
Dear [Candidate_name] / Hi [Candidate_name],
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us about the [Job_title] position and [completing your assignment]. We enjoyed getting to know you and we’d like to move to the [next/final] stage of the process. Could you provide me with [two] references of yours? It would be nice if you could send me the names, reporting relationship and phones or emails of [two] of your former [managers/colleagues].
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
All the best / Kind regards,
[Your email signature]