Verana Created a Performance-Driven Hiring System to Raise their Talent Bar with Searchlight

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Digital health company that delivers quality drug lifecycle, medical practice, and medical society insights


HQ in San Francisco, with offices throughout the United States



Company Size

200-500 employees

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With Searchlight, Ann could make quality-focused hiring and onboarding a strategic and measurable initiative. She could finally be confident when reporting on Quality of Hire to her CEO and Board. She could also provide specific insights to what made Quality of Hire lower in some teams and higher in other teams, and had the data she needed to identify strengths, areas for improvement, and potential changes to Verana’s hiring process. Growing fast didn’t mean they needed to sacrifice quality in favor of speed. Growing slowly doesn’t mean they can afford to take their eye off the quality ball. Looking back on her experience, Ann called Searchlight “her best partner.”

Key Wins

  • Created and reported a Quality of Hire OKR to the CEO and Board of Directors during both rapid and conservative growth.
  • Gained a strong leading indicator of employee attrition and performance.
  • Made higher-quality hires emphasizing competencies and traits that align with high performance and low attrition.
  • Connected recruiting to business performance by monitoring organizational behavior during a period of cultural change and adapted hiring to newly required behaviors.

"Searchlight is my best partner: a comprehensive solution that operationalizes Quality of Hire and reduces employee attrition. After using Searchlight, we saw an almost immediate impact in recruiting efficiency. My hiring managers weren’t getting enough signal through interviews, leading to decision paralysis. Searchlight’s assessments filled in the data gaps."

Ann Watson

SVP of People and Culture, Verana Health


In 2021 Ann Watson, Verana Health’s SVP of People and Culture, had a problem. Verana was doubling in size, and their CEO and board asked her, “We’re spending all this time hiring. How do we know we’re maintaining quality as we push to hire faster?” In order to answer this question, Ann needed a representative metric to measure whether her team was bringing in great hires – and if not, provide visibility into why. 

Ann had used Searchlight in the past to improve hiring efficiency and onboarding at Masterclass, a leading education technology platform. She immediately prioritized implementing Searchlight into her tech stack at Verana Health. Searchlight’s “Quality of Hire” solution would not only measure how well each new hire was performing, but also provide unique insight back to her team on the Talent Model for a great hire at Verana. Then they could apply this knowledge back into recruiting.


One of the key challenges Ann faced at Verana was how siloed employee data was across the employee experience. The candidate and interview data were in one system. The pulse checks Verana were conducting during onboarding were in one tool. The reviews Verana used to measure performance was in another. This created a lot of manual work to collect, structure and analyze the data. On top of that, the data in existing systems were designed to answer completely different questions. This meant even the most rigorous analysis struggled to find any correlations or insights across the hiring lifecycle.  

Ann needed a holistic and trusted solution that would measure and understand what makes a new hire great at Verana and relay those insights back to her team to bring in more great hires.

Enter Searchlight.

“Searchlight was extremely easy to implement, integrating into our existing systems with a few clicks. It felt seamless to add Searchlight into our existing process. They also have a stellar customer success team that is a pleasure to work with! The responsiveness and immediate action taken by the customer success team continues to add value to the partnership.”

Heather Weidekamp

Sr. Manager, People & Culture


Searchlight is a unified solution that creates a learning loop that continuously improves hiring by connecting it to post-hire outcomes. Searchlight’s AI augments data already in the ATS and HRIS with its own assessment on candidate strengths, growth areas, culture alignment and work motivations that is more consistent and accurate than interview feedback. Searchlight’s technology can also measure employee outcomes more holistically and much earlier than their first year performance review. Taken together, Searchlight’s intelligent system translates hiring outcomes into actionable recommendations on who to hire and what qualities to search for.

Implementation was straightforward and took four weeks. Searchlight integrated within Verana’s existing tech stack and then could measure, analyze and report insights. Integrations with the ATS and HRIS system happened directly in Searchlight’s platform and did not require tech support from Verana. Searchlight’s customer success team provided communication and training templates to make the change management and rollout seamless.

Searchlight’s Impact at Verana Health

With Searchlight, Ann was able to set a People and Culture OKR for Quality-first Hiring, measured by having a Searchlight Quality of Hire score above an 8.

Searchlight’s Quality of Hire Analytics first measured each team’s hiring quality and identified which teams needed the most guidance to improve their Quality of Hire. During quarterly business reviews with department leads and hiring managers, Verana’s teams utilized Quality of Hire Analytics to focus their interventions and monitor the impact of those interventions over time. 

A few examples of these interventions were:

  • Reducing first-year attrition. For one team, Verana uncovered that first-year attrition rates were above industry average. Searchlight’s onboarding plans for each new hire’s growth areas, cultural alignment and work motivations helped support managers in their onboarding. Searchlight’s measurement on hiring outcomes in the first 3-6 months also served as an early warning system to prevent regrettable attrition. 
  • Scoping interview plans to assess for high performer traits. With Searchlight, Verana was able to focus on finding the predictive traits of their top 20% highest-performing employees. Searchlight surfaced the strengths that were most highly correlated to performance. Verana applied those insights to targeted hiring criteria and interview plans, aligning and focusing their hiring teams on predictive criteria.
  • Improving hiring efficiency. Even at Verana’s high growth rate, Searchlight helped Verana close top candidates and improve hiring quality. Searchlight’s Candidate Assessments and Reference Checks gave the team a complete view of candidate strengths, growth areas, culture alignment and work motivations. Hiring Managers leaned on this data to make the offer decision, and reviewed Searchlight’s Onboarding Guides with new hires during the first few weeks to start investing in career growth early. Not only is Searchlight data 3x more predictive of on-the-job outcomes than interviewer ratings, but it’s also fast. For example, Searchlight’s gold-standard reference check automates a three-hour manual process with a click of a button.

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