Hi! 👋 You’re about to make a big decision, and we’re here to help.
Each Searchlight candidate profile is a gold mine of information, let's take a quick tour!
Searchlight works with dozens of partner companies 🏢, we’ve analyzed thousands of candidates and references 📊, and we’ve developed our science in collaboration with psychologists 🥼.
To ensure the security and legitimacy of our data, Searchlight verifies each reference by gathering data like
🔢 IP addresses
☎️ phone numbers
💻 LinkedIn URLs
One single datapoint on a candidate is not enough to make an informed judgement. The power of references is when they converge on patterns and themes. Searchlight makes that easy.
We recommend all candidates submit at least 1 direct manager reference, as these are the highest signal. We often hear that our customers weigh past manager references more heavily over other types of references. Past managers probably had to assess a candidate during a past performance review and track their professional performance closely, and have less reason to be biased.
References who ended their work relationship with the candidate more than 5 years ago will not have as accurate a picture of who the candidate is today.
At a glance, the Searchlight score answers the question: How respected is this candidate by their peer group and how excited would they be to work with this candidate again?
Our intelligence is informed by thousands of references, and our proprietary benchmarks map multiple heuristics from the references into a single score.
Peer ranking percentiles
Referencer years of experience
Length of work relationship
Recency of shared work experience
Has the referencer managed before?
Strength to weaknesses ratio
Overall strength of the recommendation
Pro-tip ✨: Sometimes a candidate will get a Searchlight score in the 70s and 80s, and hiring managers will wonder if this is a sign to not hire. The truth is, every team is different and no candidate is perfect! If you feel the Searchlight Score is low, then proceed deliberately to better understand how the candidate might fit on your unique team.
For each assessment, the hiring manager or recruiting team customizes the competencies important to the role. Searchlight asks each reference to rate the candidate across these competencies, and our heatmaps visualize the results.
Each column represents an individual reference’s feedback. The last column displays the candidate’s percentile score, which is calculated by taking a weighted average of individual reference ratings and then benchmarking the scores against our database.
Notice in the heatmap above that all references gave the candidate the best score on Problem Solving, and 3 of 5 references scored the candidate low on Time Management. This is very high signal data, especially because the references individually corroborated this assessment without knowing what other references shared.
Notice that 2 references gave perfect scores for all competencies.
In this situation, Searchlight recommends:
Here are some quick pointers that hiring managers have found useful. 🎉
This is where references share as much as they like about the candidate on a particular topic. If you have the time to read through everything they say, it’s like accessing the candidate's last performance review!
This is a favorite question among hiring managers, because the agreement between references gives an accurate picture of a candidate’s true ranking.
From our experience, any candidate profile with references that answer lower than 5/5 (Ecstatic) merits a deeper look. But, as always, it’s important to take all of the data in context, rather than a single answer in and of itself.
Having one person who isn’t a 5/5 is a yellow flag, but this becomes a bigger concern if the manager is the one who isn’t excited:
Multiple people who aren’t 5/5 excited is a red flag 🚨
This is always a must-read section for onboarding-focused managers (which should be everyone)! If you’re invested in your new hire’s professional growth, these answers are prescriptive and offer valuable suggestions to help you set your new hire up to succeed and stay engaged from day one.
Protip ✨: We've heard that many hiring managers use these insights to create personalized coaching plans for their new hires.
This is the icing on the cake! References provide their own short summary for the candidate. While this may not provide as nuanced information as other sections of their response, sometimes it’s a kicker.
🚨If the summary seems to be a “surprise” based on what showed up in the rest of the reference, we should take the summary with a grain of salt.
Here are 3 examples of summaries that are stellar: