CareerPlug 2021 Year in Review

2021 came and went before most of us were finished processing 2020. Along with it, interesting trends in the labor market continued. “Now Hiring” signs became a permanent fixture on the doors of many businesses. Employees left their jobs in droves, a phenomenon dubbed “The Great Resignation.” Employers continued to face uncertainty and unprecedented challenges. 

Throughout the last year at CareerPlug, we continued to live our core values, hone and share our hiring expertise, and improve our product. We rolled with the punches, grew as a company, and remained a valuable hiring resource for many businesses. 

Let’s take a look back at some of our major milestones and changes in 2021. 

Helping our clients make the right hires

In the ever changing landscape of the last year, We are proud to still be a consistent source of hiring help for our over 33,000 clients including 16,159 new accounts that we partnered with in 2021! Our sales team continued to shine, building lasting relationships and bringing on nearly 80 new franchise networks and association partners. 

We helped all of these clients automate and improve their hiring process, allowing them to easily sort through thousands of applications, schedule thousands of interviews, and make thousands of the right hires. For every client that makes their first hire with CareerPlug, we plant a tree through WeForest, and this year, we planted over 3,274! 

CareerPlug client stats

CareerPlug team growth

CareerPlug’s year started out with a big announcement as Jenny Leman, CareerPlug’s former Senior Director of Client Operations, stepped into her current role as the company’s president. Clint Smith, our founder and first president, shifted into his new role as CEO. 

The change aligned with the framework for leadership organization that the company follows called the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This shift in leadership roles allowed for better leverage of the talents of Leman and Smith for the year to come. 

CareerPlug became fully remote back in 2020 which helped us expand our talent pool. This was great since we had a lot of hiring to do this year. Our team grew by 32 people across twenty-five different states! 

CareerPlug team

Sharing our hiring expertise

As Hiring Experts, educating small business owners about how to improve their hiring process and make the right hires is a big part of our mission at CareerPlug. We are happy to offer so many educational opportunities and free resources on hiring including live webinars, our blog, and original research reports that shed light on the rapidly-changing state of hiring today. 

CareerPlug hiring resources

Original research reports: 

Free hiring templates we shared: 

We made huge strides this year towards becoming an authoritative resource for all things hiring. Our content was cited over 200 times with 60 of those citations coming from our Candidate Experience Report, including a mention in Forbes. We’re proud to be industry leaders in candidate experience research and plan to continue conducting studies that provide our clients with trustworthy up-to-date insights on recruiting and hiring.  

Product improvement 

Every year, we seek to improve our product based on the changing needs of our clients. 

A big goal for 2021 was phasing out the “classic” version of our software. This took a lot of time and work, but we are happy that as of 2021 all clients are on the latest and best version of our product. 

We launched a new “Careers Page Editor” in September that we plan to expand to everyone. This allows for easy creation of a branded careers page! Why is that so important? Our research shows that an applicant who applied through a company’s career page was 7x more likely to be hired than an applicant from a job board.  

We also continued to improve text recruiting, which we implemented back in 2018, and have enjoyed seeing the impact text recruiting has made for our clients since then. 4,236 of our current clients have added the text recruiting feature which helps them hire faster than other businesses in their industries. 

As of this year, clients can also now schedule text messages and send email and text simultaneously. We know that text recruiting makes hiring easier and will continue to focus on expanding this feature to all clients in the year to come.  

Living our core values 

The four core values at CareerPlug are: Be Kind; Speak Up, Step Up; Keep Growing; and Work Together, Win Together. We repeat these values at every meeting and allow them to guide the decisions we make as a company and as individual team members. 

We love to show each other gratitude, and “shout-out” team members that go above and beyond in living our values each week. As of December 22, 2021, there were 432 shout-outs given out by our team through Assembly’s Employee Recognition software! 

Giving back is also extremely important to us. As individuals, our team contributed $2,885 to charity this year which was matched dollar for dollar by CareerPlug. We donated to additional causes throughout the year, like For the Love of Alex and The Children’s Defense Fund for a grand total of $124,000 in charity donations.

We also came together to sponsor six foster teens for Christmas through our partnership with Foster Angels of Central Texas. Each team shared a Christmas list and everyone got to help shop for gifts to donate. 

Looking to the future

Our core focus at CareerPlug is empowering people to reach their full potential by making it easier to hire and develop the right people, and every year we are looking for new ways to live out this mission.  

In 2021, our founder, Clint Smith spent a lot of time talking with our current clients about their needs and learning how CareerPlug can provide even more support.  As we look to the future, we are excited about the impact we can have on employee management and development. We know that more than anything, employees need jobs where they can grow and reach their full potential. 

The future holds lots of exciting possibilities, and one thing is for certain: CareerPlug will continue to stay focused on our mission and remain a valuable resource for business owners for many years to come. 

Recent Posts

Steve Fowler

Manager of Partner Growth

Christina Waite

Platform Engineering Manager

Taylor Coleman

Tier 2 Manager

Al Foote

Consultant Manager

Sydney Kidd

Tier 1 Manager

Nicolle Gatlin

Manager of Partner Success

Aiden Kinney

Consultant Manager

Joe Lepis

Engineering Manager

Polly Schandorf

Engineering Manager


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!



Use our prescreen questions and assessments to identify the best applicants. Then use our interview questions and scorecards to evaluate for the right things consistently.



Use our notifications and automations to be the first to respond to qualified applicants. Send texts and emails from directly from CareerPlug to convert applicants to scheduled interviews.



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.