CareerPlug 2020 Year in Review

There’s no sugarcoating it: 2020 was a hard year. When we face challenges as a business, we know we need to keep growing and adapting. This year, we helped our clients make the right hires, developed and shared our hiring expertise, improved our product, and innovated on our company’s processes and culture so that we can better serve our clients in the years to come.

Below are some of our silver linings from a difficult 2020.

Helped our clients make the right hires

At the beginning of the COVID-19, many businesses shut their doors while they adjusted to running a business during a global pandemic. Hiring the right people went from being the number-one challenge business owners face to not even making the top ten list. 

Knowing this, we worked with clients who were most affected by the pandemic to freeze their billing while they got their businesses back up and running. Like our Founder & CEO, Clint Smith, said in an email to our team: It was the right thing to do.

Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, our clients found creative ways to deal with setbacks. Over the year, our clients accomplished the following:

CareerPlug 2020 Hiring Stats

We want to give special thanks to our 2.6K clients who made their first hire with CareerPlug this year — we were able to plant as many trees in Brazil and Zambia in their honor through our partnership with WeForest!

While some industries saw a reduction in staffing needs, other industries increased their hiring. To help new clients hiring during the pandemic, we launched a “Hire Up” initiative, in which we offered a 60-day free trial of our hiring software along with a 30-day free trial of ZipRecruiter sponsored jobs.

Developed and shared our hiring expertise

Uncertainty was undoubtedly a theme of 2020. To combat this uncertainty, we conducted original research to give our clients the necessary data to understand the workforce’s needs during COVID-19 and hiring trends that will continue into 2021.

Delivered data-informed hiring best practices

By keeping up with hiring trends and best practices, we were able to help our clients figure out how remote hiring and remote onboarding could work for them during unprecedented times.

Here are more of our top achievements from 2020:

CareerPlug 2020 Hiring Expertise Stats

Original Research Studies and Reports

Read all of our 2020 hiring insights on the CareerPlug blog.

Trained our team of Hiring Experts

This year, we invested internally in our team. All of our employees have completed our professional development curriculum and are now certified Hiring Experts. They’re now better equipped than ever to help our clients make the right hires.

Improved our product

We’re committed to providing our clients with the most powerful technology to help them make the right hires. The more we innovate, the more our system evolves. 

Here’s what we accomplished this year:

Launched a redesigned user interface

The bulk of our work was redesigning our software, with client feedback in mind, to make it more intuitive to use.

As we do with all of our features, we met with stakeholders to figure out what they needed from us that we weren’t delivering, and we encouraged feedback from clients after features launched. We’ll keep innovating on our new interface, called Voyager, in the new year (and beyond!).

CareerPlug Voyager interface

Added new job board partners

We helped our clients maximize their applicant volume in 2020 by adding two new job board partners: Facebook Jobs and

Facebook Jobs has quickly become a major player in the recruiting space and has been a significant source of applicants for our clients — they received more than 900,000 applications from Facebook Jobs this year.

We also strengthened our partnerships with existing job board partners. In February, we became an Indeed Star Partner. In June, we launched a partnership with ZipRecruiter — all new clients get a free 30-day trial of ZipRecruiter sponsoring when they post their first job with us.

Made it easier and quicker to contact applicants with just one click

Fun fact: 30% of job seeker respondents to a CareerPlug survey ranked responsiveness after they apply as most important to them when it comes to candidate experience. Candidates are looking for prompt and clear communication as they evaluate their interest in a position.

CareerPlug’s hiring process automations allow our clients to do just that. With CareerPlug automations, hiring managers can review and email their new applicants with professional, pre-written email templates with only one click. This helps our clients get as many interviews as they can as quickly as possible.

Helped prevent interview no-shows

One of the biggest hiring challenges many of our clients face is interview no-shows. These no-shows waste time, which is especially valuable for our clients who are small business owners, responsible for both running their business and hiring. 

For clients who use our text messaging feature, CareerPlug sends automatic interview reminders to applicants. This saves our clients time and allows them to focus on what matters most: running their business.

text recruiting

Integrated with

In September, we partnered with to drive high volume recruiting for home care agencies across the nation. This is just one way we’ve been able to help clients with essential workers improve their recruiting and make the right hires.

Innovated our company structure and culture

Like many businesses, we were forced this year to grow and change in ways we’d never have imagined. We needed to focus on what matters most: being a great place to work for our employees and having the vision, values, and leaders in place to do right by our clients.

Went remote-first

After our team had been working remotely for months, we talked with them about what they still needed to feel supported, and it turned out that they had fully adapted to working remotely and were happy to continue doing so. So we decided to be a remote-first company, forever, in the summer of 2020.

We know the heart of our business is wherever our employees work — from our space in Austin, to a home office on Lake Michigan, to an outfitted van exploring the American West (true story!).

We’re proud to share our remote-first vision and tips for other companies to build their own.

CareerPlug company photo

Restructured and revitalized our core values

This year we saw the opportunity to provide better education to our clients on how to use our software and hire with confidence! We re-evaluated our organizational structure to ensure we had the right people in the right roles, creating a new Client Engagement team and investing in our Hiring Expert Team so they can better serve our clients.

As part of this change, we re-imagined our company vision and values. We’d had the same seven core values since 2007, but we realized that was too many! We boiled down our core values to the following four:

CareerPlug core values

These values embody who we are and guide how we hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize one another. They are in our language, in our decisions, and in the heart of our culture. 

Developed new leaders

We’re welcoming Jenny Leman as the new President of CareerPlug starting in 2021! Jenny joined our Operations Team in 2017 and has stepped up to help us develop the processes that we need to continue to grow and evolve.

CareerPlug’s Founder & CEO, Clint Smith, will continue to focus on the big picture, setting the vision for the business and developing new ideas to move us forward. Jenny will manage our day-to-day operations and processes — much like she has been doing for some time, if we’re honest.

We want to leave you with this quote from Clint Smith:

“A big theme of 2020 — for all of us — was learning to cope with events and factors that we cannot control. It’s because of our clients, who found creative ways to deal with setbacks, that we were able to cope with changes as well, and even grow from them. We’re looking forward to continuing our work in 2021 to help our clients hire and empower people to reach their potential.”

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Hiring is hard, but partnering with us makes it easier. From posting jobs to scheduling interviews, CareerPlug allows you to automate certain parts of the process to improve your results and save you time.



Once you think you have found the right person, use our reference and background check resources to verify them. Then, send an electronic offer letter from CareerPlug to close the deal!



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Use our templates to create an attractive careers page and job posting. Then promote it through our job board partners, as well as directly with your employees, customers, and social network.


Brandy Lee

Business Intelligence Manager

Eric Morales

Manager of Account Executives

Kirsten Penaloza

Director of Client Experience

Zach Garcia

Senior Manager of Operations

Tulay Solak

HR Manager

Tyler Berndsen

Manager of Partnership Account Executives

Ashley Johnson

Senior Manager of Partner Services

Originally from small town in central Texas, Ashley Johnson graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was hired by CareerPlug as a Talent Specialist in 2014, and moved up to ultimately lead the Recruitment Services team. From there, she pivoted to Implementation, and is now the Implementation Manager.

As the Implementation Manager, Ashley and 3 direct reports function as a transition between Sales and Partner Success in helping our clients get set up and established in our software. She spends her free time raising her 2 dogs, playing cornhole, and perfecting the art of charcuterie.

Kate Sensmeier

VP Marketing

Ashley Garia

Director of Product Marketing

Canaan Davis

Director of Engineering

Teresa Hall

Director of UX & Product Design

Brad Pilot

Senior Director of Sales

Leslie Chamberlain

Senior Director of Client Experience

Natalie Morgan

Senior Director of People

Andrew Robinson III

Vice President of Product and Engineering

Chris Igou

VP of Business Development

Chris accidentally started a 20-year career in franchising when he was 18 years old and took a job painting houses for College Pro Painters. That job turned into the ownership of his first franchise (a house painting franchise). While at Monmouth College in IL, he operated his business, played on the varsity football team, and studied to become a teacher.

The taste of entrepreneurship and desire to coach others led Chris deeper into franchising, working with a few franchise brands helping them grow their businesses. He lived in the Chicagoland area his entire life until recently moving his family to Austin, TX.

In his free time Chris coaches youth sports, especially youth football, and spends as much time as he can with his wife and 2 children.

Jenny Leman


Native to Texas, Jenny graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and joined CareerPlug in 2017. She retired her first career path as a Registered Dietitian after 10 years, and has found her true belonging in business operations.

As CareerPlug’s President, Jenny leads all teams to an aligned effort toward achieving our vision. She works to build healthy and scalable internal systems to equip and empower the CareerPlug teams to bring their best for our clients. She loves contributing new ideas and rethinking the status quo. Jenny really connects with the company’s core values, but especially with our intent to “Keep Growing.”

In her non-work life, Jenny enjoys time with her family, playing drums and performing with the Austin Samba School, and finding excuses to be on the lake.

Clint Smith

Founder & CEO

Clint founded CareerPlug in 2007 with the simple idea that there was a better way to help employers connect with quality applicants. Today Clint works every day to fulfill CareerPlug’s mission: Make Hiring Easier. Leading by example, Clint loves spending his time developing new ideas and teaching others.

After graduating from the University of Florida, Clint worked in investment banking and strategic marketing; both experiences influenced the development of CareerPlug. He also spent a year away from the business world teaching 5th grade in Boulder.

Clint is passionate about helping others succeed and is involved in numerous mentoring programs. He and his wife, Sarah, are also foster parents. Clint enjoys family time, beach volleyball, and outdoor adventures.