Tips & Tricks

How to collect recommendations without holding up your process

Ross May

Third-party input is extremely valuable when making decisions on applicants. That’s why application processes often require applicants to submit recommendations (also called references).

But coordinating requests for recommendations can be challenging. In most cases, applicants need to reach out to their desired recommender in person, or via email, and make the ask. The recommender then needs to manually send their recommendation to you, or send it back to the applicant, who has to forward it along. This back and forth can take up time and prodding.

But, there’s a way to collect recommendations that’s simpler and faster for applicants, referrers and administrators. You can automate recommendation requests and submissions!

What are automated recommendations?

In a nutshell, automated recommendations put the process of collecting recommendations from third-parties on autopilot.

Imagine this: when submitting completing their application, an applicant provides the email of the person from whom they would like to receive a recommendation. Instantly, an email is sent to that person asking them to provide their recommendation through an online form or by uploading a document. Then, as soon as the recommendation is submitted, both the administrator and applicant receive a notification.

It’s that simple.

We’ll go into the nuts-and-bolts of how to make this happen, but first, let’s answer the question: why does this even matter?

You’ll save time

Automated recommendations make a formerly cumbersome and time-consuming process fast and straightforward. We know that you have a lot on your plate, so why not take this off? With this automation, you won’t have to manually reach out to recommenders, wait for letters to arrive via mail or email, or try to match recommendation letters to applications. It’s set it and forget it – everything happens automatically.

You’ll get more recommendations, faster

Automated recommendations streamline the process of requesting and submitting recommendations and cut out unnecessary back-and-forth through email. Applicants can easily request recommendations as they complete their application, and recommenders can easily upload letters or complete forms in one place. The result? You’ll get more recommendations in less time.

Sounds great, but how does it work?

SurveyMonkey Apply makes it possible to automate the entire recommendation request and submission process with just a couple of clicks.

As part of your application process, you can set include a “request a recommendation” task.

When applicants click on the task, they’ll be asked to fill out a simple form to request a recommendation. All they’ll have to do is enter their recommender’s name, email and provide a brief message to provide some context.

Once the information is submitted, an automated email will be sent to the recommender letting them know that they’ve been asked to provide a recommendation.

The recommender can then click on the link in the email and easily proceed to upload a letter, or complete and submit an online recommendation form (administrators can customize their own online recommendation forms).

When the recommendation is submitted, applicants and administrators will be instantly notified. That’s all there is to it!

But what if you need, or receive, hard copies of recommendation letters? If recommenders want to fulfill a recommendation request through another channel (for example, mail or email), administrators can still accept the letter and manually upload it into the system.

To automate the collection of your recommendation letters, get in touch by filling out the form below!

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