How Klaviyo Collected 200 Referrals in Their First 6 Months

Aubrie Przybysz
Marketing at Drafted

Raising the Bar

Started by founders from MIT, Andrew Bialecki and Ed Hallen, Klaviyo is propelling hundreds of enterprise customers into the modern age of e-commerce marketing. Their mission is to make it simple for businesses to provide a unique, 1:1 experience for each individual customer. From just 2 to over 150 people in just 3 short years, Klaviyo is growing… fast! They’ve managed to more than double their year-over-year growth with no signs of slowing. What makes Klaviyo a standout is their ability to maintain this tremendous growth while keeping an unusually high bar for quality talent.

We have a really high bar for hiring here at Klaviyo. Not as many people make it to even an on-site here. We take a really holistic approach to how we evaluate candidates. We’re looking at culture fit, technical fit, and are they able to come in and elevate our team. - Misael Abreu, Technical Recruiter at Klaviyo

While maintaining consistent growth and hiring top talent, Klaviyo also remains competitive in a city like Boston; a mecca for high growth startups. That means they’re sharing the talent pool with companies like Salsify, EzCater, and Toast, which is no easy feat. Not to mention competing with the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon offices. There’s a lot of companies reaching for the same talent right in Klaviyo’s backyard. What’s even harder is hiring quality people, fast. Something Klaviyo has found different ways to excel at. The number one way? Referrals.

They value every referral their colleagues send them and give those referrals a very serious chance. With a focus on referral hiring, Klaviyo’s talent team is able to move strong candidates along their recruiting pipeline quicker, saving them valuable time when hiring.

Removing the Busywork

Referrals aren’t their only secret to hiring, Klaviyo is all about automating busywork. They seek out cutting-edge technology to help streamline internal processes. In a world where speed counts, the cost of an unfilled position is incredibly high. By having the right technology platforms in place, this allows the talent team to focus on what they do really well, higher quality people fast. To translate their focus on referrals to the rest of their company, they’ve set an employee referral program in place, offering a monetary referral reward and an entry into a giant end-of-year raffle. But Klaviyo knows that a referral reward isn’t enough. Even with an official reward and a basic ATS in place early on, they still faced some challenges. One of the first lessons they learned was that not all applicant tracking systems are created equally. The first ATS they used didn’t have a place for employees to go in and submit referrals, so they had to get creative.

Before Drafted we had an email alias set up that was and we would ask people to send it there because we had a previous ATS that was just not good. So it was just the easiest way to have them send emails, but the big problem with that was no one would remember what the email was. - Matthew Podolski, Technical Recruiting Lead at Klaviyo

Without a clear or easy way to submit referrals, they weren’t getting the volume they were looking for. Even worse, referrals were slipping through the cracks because the process to record them in their ATS was arduous. The talent team took a step back and realized that their process was inefficient. It didn’t allow them to do what their team does really well. Fast growth.

Increasing Engagement

By implementing Drafted, Klaviyo was able to get the boost in engagement they were looking for. Drafted analyzed Klaviyo’s company network to make intelligent suggestions about referrals, send timely reminders, and seamlessly integrate with their ATS to make sure nothing would slip through the cracks again. When Klaviyo started using Drafted, some people were skeptical about whether anyone would use it - getting adoption internally at scale and change management can be challenging. Besides, people rarely sign into the ATS - why would they sign into Drafted and use it?The answer? They don’t need to. The Drafted Slack app takes employee referrals to the next level by creating a seamless workflow where recruiters can manage candidates in their ATS while employees can make and track their referrals without ever leaving Slack. It’s no wonder that Slack decided to invest in Drafted directly.


Most people don’t refer their friends for the bonus (even though it helps). People make referrals when it’s easy, there’s a clear positive impact, and they know that their referrals will get treated well by the company.We worked with Klaviyo to create a customized onboarding program and organic adoption through the incredibly simple product design, combined with transparency and control over how your data is used.


Hiring the right team is the #1 priority for any business - and referrals are one of the top sources of high quality hires. Drafted helps companies like Klaviyo scale their best hiring strategy while improving efficiency, diversity, and tracking.Learn more about modernizing your referral strategy and unlocking your full referral network here.

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