Searchlight: Unearthing new insights to hire top performers

The company: Searchlight

Searchlights performance-driven hiring platform helps companies leverage references to scale winning cultures. The company’s scientific reference assessments evaluate candidate competencies and working styles in a way that is faster, more accurate, and less biased than interviews. Over time, Searchlight’s talent analytics create a dynamic model of a company’s top performers. This closes the loop between recruiting and hiring outcomes, and teaches organizations how to improve diversity and quality-of-hire.

Why you should pay attention 

Boards always ask their CEOs and leadership teams: “How do we know we’re hiring the best talent?” There’s been no data-backed way to answer this question, until now. Searchlight is built by operators for operators who recognize that measuring and improving hiring quality is a competitive advantage.

Forty-six percent of all hires fail within their first 18 months, costing an organization 1.5-2X their salaries in compensation, lost productivity, and missed deliverables. Teams that rely solely on credentials and interviews are unable to get the full picture of a prospective hire before making their decision. While interviews aren’t predictive, feedback from prior colleagues can be. References, if used correctly, are a secret weapon to hiring better and building a structured trove of data to drive a vast array of smarter talent decisions.

The details 

Searchlight’s solution starts with a reimagined reference check process that is predictive and easy-to-use. The platform assesses candidates objectively, putting greater emphasis on reliable indicators of top performers like real-world feedback on strengths and weaknesses that might not come through in a resume or interview. Searchlight’s visually compelling reports deliver consistent, structured, and honest data that changes the way companies make hiring decisions.

Using Searchlight, companies like Zapier, Discord, TalkDesk, Coda, Snapdocs, and Udemy are saving thousands of hours, reducing time to hire by 45%, improving their quality-of-hire by more than 20%, and increasing the number of hires they make from underrepresented backgrounds. But the team is just getting started. Beyond references, Searchlight aligns recruiters and hiring managers and surfaces predictive recommendations for future hiring. With verified data on historical hires over time, the software suite provides intelligence at both the start and end of the hiring process, so it can continuously improve hiring outcomes.

Why we’re obsessed 

In order to create a more diverse and equitable future, companies need to rethink traditional approaches to hiring. Thankfully, there’s still tons of untapped potential in the recruiting process, especially around talent intelligence. Searchlight provides both the data and analytics to help recruiting teams hire more top performers—without adding steps to the recruiting process. 

The key to merit-based hiring that moves the needle for diversity is uncovering new data points (outside of credentials) that offer a holistic understanding of a prospective employee, and then tying them to real performance outcomes. We believe Searchlight will set a new standard for companies serious about hitting their diversity targets and increasing talent density.

Searchlight’s origin

First-generation Asian American twins Anna and Kerry Wang decided to create Searchlight soon after they graduated from Stanford, with bachelors and masters degrees in computer science and artificial intelligence. During their own job searches, they saw several shortcomings in how organizations evaluated their (nearly identical) resumes—noticing that the unique competencies, working styles, and strengths that set them apart were overlooked. 

Natural entrepreneurs, they set out to fix that by making references a central part of the hiring process and started out their journey with Y Combinator. They’ve since been recognized on the Forbes 30 under 30 list

Get involved

Curious to see what your next reference check will find? Join Searchlight’s candidate waitlist so you can set up your own profile. If your company is hiring, give Searchlight a try and let us know what kind of difference it makes.

We believe culture, diversity, and operational excellence are a key part of building truly great companies. Learn more on our website or by connecting with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.