Coda Uses Searchlight’s Behavioral Data To Improve Quality of Hire

Download Success Story


Integrated collaboration platform


Mountain View, CA



Company Size

200-500 employees

Ready to get started?

Contact sales
right arrow

Coda is an all-in-one doc startup that brings words, data and teams together. With a valuation that doubled to $1.4 billion in under a year and a destiny to make Excel a thing of the past, Coda needed to grow and foster a team of top talent.


Searchlight allowed Coda to win competitive talent faster using behavioral data. Leveraging Searchlight data, Coda scaled by tripling their headcount, avoided mishires, and armed their hiring managers with valuable insights to build a stronger, more aligned team.

Key Wins

Results with Searchlight:

• Saved 1-2 hours per candidate by using atuomated Reference Checks

• Caught a 6% false positive rate with candidates, preventing costly mishires

• Scaled their recruiting team to hire 3x more people

"Searchlight makes me feel good that we’re digging into the signals that are most predictive for quality of hire. It’s taken a lot of guesswork out of our hiring."

Kenny Mendes

Head of People & Operations, Coda


Kenny Mendes, Coda’s Head of People, considers himself a “reference snob” and has a track record of high velocity recruiting from building teams at Box and now Coda.


Kenny refuses to make any hires without hearing from their references first — and was initially wary about automating this process with Searchlight. But taking three hours to schedule, call references, and take notes by hand was inefficient, said Harry Dannenbaum, Coda’s Head of Recruiting. Harry said his team was wasting too much energy on slow processes and tedious scheduling.


After integrating with Greenhouse, Searchlight’s automated Reference Checks immediately saved Coda one-and-a-half to two hours per candidate by delivering reference data back to hiring managers within 36 hours.

Kenny started to understand the value of Searchlight when he saw the data. The reference data was consistently structured, unbiased, and high quality. “Searchlight’s data visualization shows valuable information on a candidate’s strengths, gaps and working styles. I love the way it helps us invest time much more efficiently and ultimately, feel better about our hiring decisions.” Now, whenever a candidate gets to the offer stage, Coda’s hiring managers open up the interview feedback and Searchlight feedback side-by-side to help make the final decision.

Coda’s talent team values Searchlight’s systematic, automated approach to bringing a candidate’s competencies and soft skills to the surface. Coda hired three times more people with Searchlight, all based on quantifiable data. With Searchlight’s structured data, Coda’s hiring team was able to quickly align on whether a candidate would make their existing team stronger. The increased hiring rate was only the beginning of Searchlight’s impact at Coda. The advantage Kenny and his team quickly noticed was that they not only hired more candidates faster, they were hiring better with Searchlight’s actionable insights, based on onboarding speed and on-the-job performance. There were times when interview feedback almost made them pass on a candidate, Harry said. “But Searchlight’s quantified and corroborated data disproved our impressions, and showed that the candidate had the strengths and culture alignment that we needed.” After hiring these candidates, Coda’s managers used Searchlight’s data to fine-tune their onboarding to play up the candidate’s strengths while proactively addressing their gaps. Harry estimated that five percent of their hires were candidates that Coda would otherwise have turned down without Searchlight.

We’re Helping These Great Brands See the Light

See how Searchlight can find the right person forevery role

Book a Demo