Recruiting Communication 101: Combating Engagement Fear

Aubrie Przybysz
Marketing at Drafted

Is engagement fear holding you back from going all-in on your referral program? It’s time to get out of your own way and start focusing on the one thing that will help you increase your referral program in an organic way. Communication. Mastering the art of communication around your referral program will help keep the spark alive. Before diving deeper into how to become a better communicator, it’s important to understand all the moving parts involved in these ongoing conversations.  

The Moving Parts & Key Players

The Recruiter (That’s you)

The Referrer (A colleague or connection)

The Referred (The Good, The Hard to Get, The Passed)

The Passed

Maybe you think that you’re doing just fine communicating with these parties. But this is what we hear time and time again. “Referrals at my company are a black hole.” Unless you work for NASA that’s not the feedback you want to hear.

So why is this happening?

We get busy and cut corners. When you’re in review mode you’re not necessarily paying close attention to who referred the candidates you’re passing. And unless the Referrer is following the Referred in your applicant tracking system, they have no idea. This can become problematic if the Referred checks in with them to see their status, then they reach out to you and find out they’ve been passed. Ouch.

Communication Fix: Use the passed referrals as an opportunity to fine-tune your referral program. Make a note of who made the referral and why you’re passing them. Then make sure you communicate that to the Referrer. They’ll appreciate the thought behind the outreach and will be more likely to refer someone more on target next time.

This might sound like it’s going to be more time consuming, but it will actually save time in retrospect. You’ll see a decline in people interrupting you to find out the status of their referrals and most likely an uptick in higher-quality referrals.

Bonus: Implement automated notifications to the Referrer. Drafted’s referral tool notifies the Referrer when the status of their referral has changed via email. A solution for more transparency and less busywork at the end of the Recruiter.

The Good

You get a good referral and start moving quickly with the candidate. Looping in the Referrer at an early stage will help create a good candidate experience and keep things moving. The time it takes to hire someone matters and if you can rope in some help to get a candidate in as soon as possible, why not take that low hanging fruit. When the Referred has a champion on the inside helping them prepare before their big interview, chances are the interview will go a lot smoother. They’ll feel comfortable from the moment they walk through the door. Plus having someone in the candidate’s ear talking about what they love most about the company doesn’t hurt.

The Hard to Get

There are times you get a referral so good, you know it’s going to be a tough sell. At that moment, it’s time to pull out all the stops. Call in the Referrer for that warm introduction.


In fact, using Drafted’s introduction tools can increase your response rate to 80%. That’s the power of a warm introduction. Leveraging the Referrer to help start the conversation and nurture the candidate will be a great asset. Communicating with the Referrer around these hard-to-get candidates will help make them more reachable.

The Takeaway

Do you see the communication trend here? Creating an open and transparent line of communication with the Referrer is just as important as the communication with the Referred. It’s easy to remove the Referrer from the conversation equation, but they could actually be the secret sauce. Use the opportunity of a referral to build trust and rapport with your colleagues. It will greatly increase the quality of your referrals and improve the overall candidate experience for the people being referred.

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