Fitness: The Fast Track to Hiring Success

Today, one out of every five Americans pays for a gym membership and across the country, new fitness centers and boutique fitness studios are cropping up to keep up with the demand for staying fit. As many of these gyms are part of larger franchisees, new franchisee owners and entrepreneurs must learn how to operate their business in a highly competitive industry.

Being able to compete in the fitness world and offer premier service means employing the right people. This makes the hiring process one of the most important areas for club owners and their managers. CareerPlug works with over 4,000 fitness and health clubs and from experience we’ve learned that the hiring process is not solely about the strongest resume. It’s about the questions you ask a candidate during the process.

Asking the Right Questions

Questions relating to communication, listening skills, and an applicant’s general attitude are more appropriate for an in-person interview, but there are certainly insights you can gain during the application process by asking specific screening questions.

For example, if you are hiring for a Personal Trainer position, you would want to know more details regarding the candidate’s experience level and education. Are they a certified in CPR/AED? Do they have a personal training certification? How many years of experience do they have?

These questions can all be asked by clients at the beginning of the process by using the prescreen functionality within CareerPlug. While receiving information upfront is great, it’s only half of the race. In an industry booming with new clubs and facilities, a truly qualified applicant has plenty of opportunity for employment. Applying to several gyms is the norm and applicants have the power to choose a position based on fit, rather than necessity.  As a hiring manager, following up with quality applicants right away is critical and ensures you are not letting those star candidates slip through your fingers.

Fast Track

CareerPlug helps you follow up with your quality applicants promptly and make better hiring decisions with our Fast Track program. Using Fast Track gives you the ability to quickly identify quality applicants who fit your specified ideal criteria. For example, one of our Planet Fitness groups in Michigan was looking for a Fitness Trainer who was certified, had their CPR/AED certification, and had at least 1 year of experience. Using the Fast Track feature, they were able to select the ideal answers as Fast Track and were notified in real time as Fast Track applicants applied.


Contacting your quality applicants faster and starting the hiring process sooner could prevent you losing them to a competitor and ensure your fitness franchise continues to win.

Ready to Start Identifying Qualified Applicants?

Contact us today to schedule a free demo!

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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 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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Kirsten Penaloza

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Tyler Berndsen

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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.

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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.