Case Study: The Search for Mad Scientists

“CareerPlug has found me more applicants and applicants of higher quality than I have found through any other medium.”

-Atomic Allen, Mad Science of Southern MA & RI

As young students, many of us thought the school days lasted forever and would crave anything that would break up the routine. Remember looking forward to school assemblies and presentations that provided time away from class? The best assemblies were interactive, fun, and included animated presenters and demonstrations. With explosive experiments and theatrical presenters, Mad Science provides exactly that type of experience.

Founded 30 years ago by brothers Ariel and Ron Shlien, Mad Science is now a leading science enrichment provider to children in schools, after-school workshops, birthday parties, and other events. Their worldwide franchise network operates over 150 locations in 28 countries across the world. They are an integral part of the education service industry, one of the fastest growing segments in the franchise market due to the rise in popularity of parents who want to enrich their children’s science learning.

CareerPlug’s relationship with Mad Science started with a single franchise group that was looking to hire part-time instructors for their after-school programs. The group’s process included posting jobs on Craigslist, reaching out to applicants via email, and asking them to complete a separate application with screening questions. CareerPlug could offer job posting syndication to over eight job boards including Indeed and a streamlined process for prospective candidates. All of this would allow Mad Science to accelerate their process and make better hiring decisions.

In addition to having a disjointed hiring process, Mad Science had a variety of other issues:

  • Their ideal candidate is a unique type and can’t be put into a one-size fits all model.
  • Their job titles and descriptions were not structured in a way that would attract the many different types of applicants they needed.
  • Requiring multiple steps and platforms, their process was overwhelming from the perspective of an applicant.  
  • Posting on multiple job boards proved to be a costly expense.
  • The franchise group didn’t passively recruit and would have to start from scratch each time an employee moved on.

Partnership Goal: to develop a streamlined hiring process with a focus on attracting unique and qualified applicants to allow Mad Science franchise owners to make better hiring decisions and build a talent pipeline.  

Creating a Streamlined Process

The partnership started with an in-depth look at the Mad Science job titles and descriptions. We focused on the quality, not quantity, of the post and added keywords that would attract the right candidate. This resulted in a couple of standardized templates for the group to experiment with and see which one produced the best results.

The screening procedures built into CareerPlug had the most impact on the Mad Science franchise group. By asking questions upfront during the process, Mad Science franchise owners were able to capture key information.

In the beginning, we used standard questions about experience and education level, but we quickly realized that using the custom question feature would allow us to ask more questions related to the specific qualities Mad Science was looking for. Once these questions were set, they could easily determine which applicants were worth moving forward with by using the numbered prescreen scores in CareerPlug. This process was not entirely new, but automating it saved a significant amount of time.

After the preliminary review, Mad Science sent out CareerPlug assessments to applicants to gather information regarding their math/verbal skills and personality traits. Prior to sending these out, current team members completed these assessments and were set as benchmarks to help provide a target for the best candidate’s scores.

With the job board syndication and integration with Indeed, Mad Science groups were receiving more applicants than ever before. That made the efficient screening process even more valuable. The group continued with their steps and conducted phone screens and interviews to complete the process. By remaining consistent during the review and interview steps, they were able to determine who the best candidates were and make better hiring decisions. Once they made a hire, the remaining quality applicants could be funneled into a pipeline for future opportunities.

Since that initial relationship, CareerPlug now partners with a number of Mad Science groups across the country. With the lessons we learned from the first group, we are able to provide a hiring solution customized for the unique Mad Scientist.

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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!



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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.