How Searchlight Improves Productivity and Performance

December 12, 2022

min read


Kerry Wang

Within the last month of writing this, new Twitter owner Elon Musk has laid off half of Twitter’s staff, Meta has fired 11,000 employees and Amazon plans to fire about 10,000. Lyft, Stripe and Robinhood all laid off 10-20% of their staff as well. Beyond tech, US inflation remains high, the stock market keeps taking hits, and a potential recession is on the horizon. In this uncertain environment, many organizations are forced to do more with less - and that includes people. Many HR departments are focusing on new ways to improve employee productivity and performance. This is made even more complicated by how many are still figuring out how to work effectively while remote or hybrid.

Feels like this doesn’t need to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: maintaining high levels of performance is hard!

An organization has two ways to improve their performance bar:

  1. Hire people who will perform well in their role at that specific organization
  2. Train existing employees up on how to perform well

Both options rely on a Step 0: understanding what leads to high performance at their company. Only when organizations have this foundational understanding can they know how to hire for those attributes, or train existing employees to get there. This is where Searchlight can start to help. 

Model Current Employees to Know What Impacts Performance

Searchlight’s Predictive Talent Models uses our proprietary 360 assessment on existing employees to build a holistic model of success for an organization. Since each organization is different, each talent model will be different as well - people who excel at one organization won’t necessarily do so at another.

Without the data from Searchlight, the People Ops team are left with educated guesses, gut feelings, or the limited data they can gather with focus groups or pulse surveys. 

See below for an example of the Performance Indicators and Inhibitors that Searchlight created for a sales organization:

Picking a Performance Improvement Lever

Once organizations understand what leads to high performance, they can take action. At Searchlight, we believe that organizations should spend the same amount of time and effort on both options: hiring and training. But in reality, most organizations rely more on hiring than on training (some even design their company for high levels of turnover because they don’t expect anyone to stay for more than a few years). I believe this approach undercounts the cost of attrition and is less effective than many think. 

The Searchlight Platform has products that can address both the hiring and training performance levers. 

Hiring with Science

Searchlight’s pre-hire assessments for candidates and their references help hiring managers better understand candidates (including their power skills, strengths and gaps, competencies, cultural alignment and career interests) and gives a match score based on their organization’s Predictive Talent Model. This leads to better hiring decisions that raise overall performance across the organizations. It also contributes to a positive feedback loop where better hiring leads to better performance, which in turn attracts more candidates likely to excel. It is possible to predict employee success before hiring them. Searchlight’s assessments are three times more predictive of a candidate’s future job performance than a standard interview scorecard. 

Training with Science

Searchlight’s employee 360 assessments help managers better understand how their direct reports map to their organization’s Predictive Talent Model. This leads to personalized and directed coaching plans that help turn more employees into high performers. This investment in internal talent also does more than raise the talent bar; it also increases employee engagement and retention, which provides further value to the organization. 

Searchlight is a versatile platform - it can help organizations both improve their training programs or hire more effectively, enabling them to use whichever method of raising the performance bar works best for their situation.

Kerry Wang

Co-Founder & CEO

Kerry, our CEO and co-founder, merges Org Psychology and Computer Science expertise. Passionate about people, psychology, and tech, she enjoys weekend reading and reality TV.

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