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How we use data to keep our recruiting processes running smoothly at Zapier

By Supreet Hundal · May 28, 2021
Hero image with the Zapier, Searchlight, Greenhouse, and Coda logos all connected by dots

Successful hiring is a multi-faceted process of deciding who you're looking for, finding that person, and then getting them started on the right foot. We like to think of it as four broad steps:

  1. Kickoff

  2. Sourcing

  3. Interviewing

  4. Onboarding

Over the years, we've found that the better the data we have at each point of the process—and the more digestible this data is—the better we are at finding exceptional teammates that stay at Zapier for a long time. Being even slightly better at hiring gives us a competitive advantage for delivering on our business goals.

To spread the knowledge, we're giving you a sneak peek into the software that we rely on to help us hire through stages of hypergrowth. Here's the list:

  • Coda (documentation and project management)

  • Searchlight (quality of hire / references)

  • Gem (sourcing)

  • Greenhouse (applicant tracking system [ATS])

  • BambooHR (human resources information system [HRIS])

Two unique pieces of our tech toolkit

Most companies use ATS and HRIS systems, but we've found that adding the following tools to our tech stack has majorly streamlined our recruitment process. 


Coda is a document-slash-project-management app that makes it really easy for us to transparently centralize information—including the team's KPIs—so that everyone can move more quickly.

Because Coda is super collaborative, team members can easily chime in about any given topic, making it more likely that voices are heard and opinions are surfaced. For us, Coda acts as our information hub.


Once a candidate is in our applicant tracking system, we use Searchlight, an intelligent referencing tool. Its seamless integration with Greenhouse helps us better set up hiring teams for success and ensures a more equitable and inclusive hiring experience. 

In Searchlight, hiring managers and recruiters align on success profiles and structured interviewing criteria for each role. Searchlight's automated reference checks assess objectively against these specific criteria. This data is discussed during the interview debriefs, augmenting the information we get from our virtual interviews. We also use Searchlight's onboarding guides, which are unique to each candidate, so that we can set candidates up for success if we choose to move forward.

The behavioral data returned from Searchlight was so effective that it gave us the conviction to eliminate an entire interview round dedicated to evaluating a candidate against our values. This gave hundreds of hours back to the business, reduced our time-to-fill by seven days, and improved our candidate experience.

The process


Aligning recruiters and hiring managers is absolutely essential, but it's easy to miss steps along the way. Standardizing the kickoff process through Coda makes it easy for our teams to prioritize the information needed and assign action items to the right people. 

A screenshot of Zapier's hiring Coda doc

Searchlight helps us get more nuanced when it comes to defining the behavioral preferences we want for the next hire, customized by each hiring manager. By using Searchlight as a repository of success profiles, hiring managers and recruiters stay disciplined in hiring against their success criteria. 

A screenshot of success criteria from Searchlight


Our recruiting team uses Gem as a CRM to help us straddle the balance of personalization and efficiency, by keeping a close watch on our top-of-funnel conversion metrics. 

A screenshot of outreach stats on Gem

Searchlight then provides a view of all the references that have opted in to new career opportunities. It organically unlocks a source of passive candidates for us.

A screenshot of prospects in Searchlight


Greenhouse, Coda, and Searchlight combined inform our interviewing source of truth when it comes to what we evaluate, how we evaluate, when we evaluate, who does the evaluating, and tracking candidates who advance.

Here's an example of how Greenhouse helps keep track of what we evaluate:

A screenshot of focus attributes in Greenhouse

Here's an example of how Coda helps organize how we evaluate:

A screenshot of backend questions in Coda

Here's an example of how Searchlight helps us evaluate our candidates against success criteria:

A reference report in Searchlight


Once a candidate is hired, their profile gets sent into BambooHR, our source of truth for employees. The platform makes it easy for everyone to stay in the loop when it comes to our employee time-off and helps our People team track organizational metrics and safeguard sensitive employee information.

A screenshot from BambooHR

We mentioned already how Searchlight makes our reference process incredibly easy, but Searchlight also supports onboarding and getting new hires off on the right foot with their managers. 

Our managers have an easy way to quickly understand the strengths and growth areas of their new hires to prepare for how they might fit into the team and accelerate their time to productivity during onboarding. This is an especially helpful piece of data for our newer managers, and even for our more experienced ones who usually need six months to calibrate on a new hire.

A success profile from Searchlight

There you have it—these are the platforms that keep our modern recruiting process running smoothly.

The best businesses are the best at hiring, and data-driven hiring is how companies differentiate from the pack. We're happy to share the latest and greatest of how we currently hire. And we're still rapidly growing—if you're interested in joining our team, see our open roles here!

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