Introducing TRACY: Your AI Talent Partner for Hiring

November 14, 2023

min read


Bhargav Brahmbhatt

Today, we’re excited to launch our biggest product improvement since the founding of Searchlight: TRACY, the Talent Recommendation Agent Customized to You. TRACY is a game changer for hiring, predicting good hires 4x better than interviews, heralding a new age of confidence and efficiency never before seen in the hiring process.

We’ve spent the last five years working to give recruiters and hiring managers superpowers to build high-performing teams using artificial intelligence and behavioral science. TRACY is the result of thousands of hours of product research, tight feedback loops with our valued customers, and hundreds of thousands of data points on candidates and post-hire success in all kinds of roles. We’ve built our AI stack on ethical principles from the ground up, taking care to use our custom data pipelines and build continuous bias monitoring so that we’ve passed the most rigorous third party auditing. 

Here, we’re going to dive into what recruiting life looks like today, why we built TRACY to radically change old paradigms, and share what she can do for organizations—unique from the rest of the crowded AI market.

How do you hire quickly, but also hire the best?

It’s 9 a.m. on Monday morning at ACME Technologies.

Maria, Recruiter. 

Maria walks in, coffee in hand, and opens her inbox to see 1471 new applicants for a sales role. She skims a wordy resume, sighing as she squints to make sense of another vague, embellished PDF. Screening and delivering the right candidates to hiring managers requires filtering through hundreds of applicants with lengthy resumes. And it doesn’t stop there for Maria: there is immense pressure to finish this process ‘on time.’ Despite her best efforts to find the needle in the haystack, there’s no guarantee that the hiring manager will proceed with the candidate, or that the new hire will work out on the job. That decision won’t be up to her, but a bad outcome will impact her if she has to backfill the role. 

Chris, Sales Director and Hiring Manager
Chris walks into the office, doubting himself and the hiring decision he has to make. Despite interviewing dozens of candidates and getting decent feedback, he’s still not sure. Each candidate sounds mostly the same, and interviewers have been inconsistent in their assessments. There’s a lot of pressure to get the right person in the seat because there’s a big gap in the sales numbers for the year, and the team has seen a lot of churn. Chris asks Maria for a couple extra days and wants to see just a few more candidates so that he can be confident that he’s making the right hire for this role. If this ends up being a bad hire, it will affect his team and the company. But, it might still have to be left up to his gut feeling.

Robin, VP of Talent Acquisition and Maria’s Manager

Robin realizes this was another week where none of her team filled any open roles. She’s under intense pressure to meet key headcount goals while creating a top quality team. At the same time, her team has had to do more with a smaller budget and a smaller team. Her team finds and vets the candidates, but it is up to the hiring manager to make the final decision. However, when it takes longer to make the hire because a hiring manager doesn’t have the confidence they’re making a good hire, it’s Robin and her team that catch the heat. 

We know, from speaking with our customers, that this is a typical day in the hiring process for many talent teams. However, despite everyone's best efforts to find the best hire in the most efficient way, a recent study (and our own data) found that at least 50% of hiring decisions are wrong. These wrong decisions cost the business time and money, and lower morale for Maria, Chris, Anna, and candidates. We’ve found that relying solely on resumes and interviews isn’t enough to accurately predict a candidate’s success. There’s a deeper problem that needs to be addressed. 

The root of the problem

There are several reasons the traditional hiring process fails both candidates and companies:

  • Lack of insights. Resumes lack insights into soft skills, behaviors, and cultural alignment. Research shows that 89% of mis-hires are due to a mismatch in these soft skills factors, and they’re difficult to assess in 30-minute conversations.
  • Personal bias. Interviews involve personal biases that can skew evaluations. Naturally, each interviewer has their own style, experience, and beliefs about what makes the right candidate. This can present a challenge when the hiring team is looking for consistent, balanced feedback to judge candidates, not simply whether they went to Harvard or worked at the same company.
  • No objective definitions of what “good” looks like. There are no clear benchmarks in the hiring industry for what a “quality” hire looks like. Quality is a universal desire, but measuring it is difficult (only 15% have defined it), and attributing what drives ‘good quality’ even moreso. Ideally, there’s a framework that defines what good looks like so hiring teams can use it and improve it over time.
  • Inconsistent data. Data to assess candidates is inconsistent or sometimes completely non-existent. Data is often unstructured, and interview feedback styles vary, leaving hiring managers to piece it all together. And with no standardized framework, it can often be left to gut feel or a drawn out hiring process that can differ from one manager to another for the same role.
  • Administrative work. Recruiters waste tons of valuable time on administrative tasks, instead of strategic talent advising. The human element is critical to good hiring. Recruiters are best suited for the task, but often don’t have the time to focus on advising on a great match.

This outdated approach strains recruiters like Maria and frustrates hiring managers like Chris. Both are uncertain if they have the right hire. So how do they solve it?

Hiring teams like Maria and Chris usually default to making several adjustments to their hiring process—more interviews, more candidates, more criteria—to solve the problem, but this still doesn’t get them the results they’re looking for. After examining the interview data at top companies that spent years optimizing their interviews, we’ve found that most interviews are no better than a coin flip at assessing how someone will perform on the job. 

The status quo just ends up creating a longer, even more ambiguous process that exacerbates the same problems. This gives talent leaders like Robin the heavy task of creating a scalable way to effectively find the right person out of thousands for this very specific role. Should be simple, right? 

It is—with TRACY.

Transform hiring with Searchlight’s TRACY

Say hi to TRACY. TRACY is your AI talent partner who was built to evolve hiring at the intersection of AI and human collaboration. She is the modern solution for hiring confidence and efficiency in the hiring process, built to simplify hiring for everyone. Whether recruiter or hiring manager, TRACY brings confidence that you’re making the right decision via data-driven models. With TRACY, efficiently hiring the best talent is achievable, repeatable, and scalable.


While most AI solutions on the market focus on making your existing workflows simpler or less painful, TRACY seeks to flip the script and propose a new paradigm in hiring altogether. She can point out signals in your applicants that you may have missed, surface diamonds in the rough, and save you hundreds of hours of interviewing time by giving you confidence that you’re considering the right people.

TRACY, when combined with human expertise, can reliably create high-performing teams. AI’s unique superpower is that it can ingest magnitudes more data than the human brain and see patterns, invisible to the human eye, that lead to great hires. TRACY combines decades of Industrial & Organizational Psychology research, organizational behavior science, hundreds of thousands of post-hire outcomes, and responsible AI into a capable advisor to any recruiter or hiring manager.

Use cases for TRACY

Let’s get specific. Below is how TRACY can make your life easier right now—and you can dig into these and other use cases in this eBook.

  • Find the top 5% of qualified applicants faster. You could manually go through hundreds of applications, or just let TRACY filter them out based on job titles, years of experience, and our special sauce: soft and hard skills.
  • Assess candidates to better predict your future rockstars (those most likely to be top performers). Imagine replacing interviews with AI assessments that are 4x more indicative of the quality of a candidate. Less time interviewing for a better result!
  • Validate and improve quality of hire. Discover what makes your top performers tick, and filter for that in your hiring process to make each successive hire better.

When we tested TRACY on the thousands of candidates that have gone through Searchlight over the years, we found that TRACY was over 80% accurate at identifying who would become top and low performers once on the job. This is up to 4x more accurate than traditional hiring techniques

How does it work? 

Yes, TRACY might seem too good to be true. Check out our whitepaper about TRACY to dive into how we arrived to these conclusions. The proof is in the pudding, after all.

At the core of TRACY are proprietary organizational models and data pipelines that deeply understand candidate working styles, soft skills, qualifications, and job requirements. 

TRACY starts by structuring and quantifying your unique organizational culture, so candidates can be evaluated for cultural alignment. Then, she assesses candidates holistically across skills, and behaviors using a variety of methods.

It’s a three-step process:

  • You feed us data so TRACY can learn and personalize herself to you. You have two options: ATS and HRIS data, or simple candidate assessments.
  • During the hiring process, TRACY compiles that information into a report and provides a recommendation on the candidate. You get info about a candidate’s Predicted Performance and their Quantified Culture Match.
  • You share that information internally to make better interviewing and hiring decisions. For example, you can tailor interviews to dive into surfaced growth areas, or replace culture interviews altogether. Or, you could use the hiring recommendation to validate whether a hire is the right one.

The result?

TRACY curates a shortlist of recommended hires tailored to the team’s needs. Her suggestions take the guesswork out of sifting through hundreds of applicants to shine a spotlight on standout talent.She delivers standardized candidate data to hiring teams, proven to accurately predict job success. Find out more about how customers are using and benefiting from TRACY in this eBook.

TRACY brings a new level of confidence and efficiency to recruiting teams and hiring managers everywhere. Hiring teams can transform the painful, drawn out hiring process into one that is simple, efficient, and effective.

And TRACY goes deeper, too. She learns what your unique cultural DNA looks like and what success looks like, taking that feedback to tailor future interviews and assessments to what ‘good’ looks like for you and provide even better recommendations. She can also use these unique characteristics to help recruiting teams to kick off job requisitions faster and generate interview guides that bring in higher-quality candidates from the get-go.

What does life look like with TRACY? 

Maria, Recruiter. 

For Maria, this means more time advising hiring managers instead of scheduling interviews and sifting through resumes. She can quickly identify qualified candidates from the applicant pool using TRACY’s insights, and reduce the number of candidates that need to be interviewed. No more unclear, biased interviews dragging out hiring. Instead, Maria spends her time with the candidates most likely to succeed at her organization. She works alongside TRACY to give hiring managers and candidates the utmost confidence that they’re making the right choice.

Chris, Sales Director and Hiring Manager

For Chris, this means more confident hiring decisions, sooner. Instead of wondering if he’s hiring the wrong person, he asks himself how he can hire more rockstars. He uses TRACY’s hiring recommendations and candidate data to make an informed decision based on how the candidate has worked in the past, whether he and the candidate would be a good match for each other, and how he can best support their growth.

Robin, VP of Talent Acquisition and Maria’s Manager

For Robin, it means a simpler, more efficient hiring process that doesn’t compromise on quality. She’s able to cut down on the number of interviews conducted, minimize the time and money spent making each hire, and ensure that she can consistently hit hiring goals while repeatedly and scalably bringing on top performers. What’s more, TRACY helps Robin drive home the value of talent acquisition with her peers in management. Instead of straddling the line between speed and quality, she ensures both are always in place and her team is seen as a business driver.

What TRACY means for you

TRACY represents a new era in recruiting. She is your AI talent partner in hiring better people, faster.

With TRACY, you can:

  • Make faster, better decisions and get it right 4 out of 5 times
  • Reduce time-to-fill roles by 40% by surfacing the most qualified candidates
  • Lower cost per hire by 20% through making recruiting processes more efficient
  • Prevent mis-hires that lead to turnover 
  • Satisfy hiring managers by presenting them with only the best candidates

TRACY complements human intuition with data-driven intelligence to hire better people, faster. The results are transformative: improved productivity, quality, and speed. 

We’re thrilled to bring TRACY and her capabilities to you and your team. If you want to learn more about TRACY, book a demo and see how AI can transform how you hire—forever.

Bhargav Brahmbhatt

Head of Marketing

Bhargav, our Head of Marketing, blends storytelling and customer empathy to drive business growth. Special flair for bringing new products to market.

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