Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Why now?

A company’s success starts first with its culture, which is often the combination of how a company embodies its core values and the way it rallies employees around a common purpose/mission.  

For 15 years now, CareerPlug has been an organization that is deeply rooted in its Core Values, of which we truly live out and model in how we interact with one another. These values are the bedrock of our culture and are a large component of what makes CareerPlug so special.  In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to name them as one of our biggest strategic advantages.  Our Core Values have slightly evolved over the years, but have kept the same spirit and heart. Since we started EOS in August of 2020, we’ve adopted a condensed, revised set of Core Values that have proven to be tried, true and genuinely authentic to who we are.  

Soon after we revised our Core Values, we also repositioned our mission statement to become our Core Focus™ – a combination of our Core Purpose (the what) and our Niche (the how) – to articulate our intention to impact the world around us – combined as our “why.” 

Nearly two years into EOS and a pandemic that forced us all home, we’ve found ourselves, like many other organizations at this moment, responding to the changes and crises our world has experienced.  The work we do everyday tells the story of how the last two years have changed the labor market, likely in perpetuity.  The impact of the pandemic crisis and the interrelated labor market changes have allowed (and maybe caused) the broader workforce to even more deeply examine what they want and expect in an employer and workplace experience.  Today’s employees are placing greater weight in everything from company culture, commuting requirements and wage transparency in their employment options.  The patterns are so notable that they’ve earned names like “The Great Resignation,” “The Great Reset,” and “The Great Reshuffle.”  Considering the substantial shift in employee expectations over the last two years and how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have become workplace practices that are understood, valued and expected, employers have two choices:  ignore the shifts or respond to them.  

An organization that not only navigates but thrives within these societal shifts has to be willing to examine itself, listen to the unique calls of the market and its employees, and respond strategically and empathetically, all while remaining focused on progress toward the business goals.  It’s not an easy balance to strike, but it’s necessary to achieve in today’s business environment.  

Even beyond navigating societal shifts, a company’s success is heavily determined by its culture.  Great culture is the foundation of a strong employee retention strategy.  Employee retention is critical for business success and employees stay when they feel connected to one another and engaged in their work.  Connected and engaged employees are more innovative, performant and foster healthier relationships within the workplace.  All of those factors are ultimately very important building blocks for an organization’s success.  

So, how will CareerPlug respond to this moment and the various lived experiences of our people today?  How will we foster the desire of employees to feel more connected while working remotely?  How will we make sure we are creating the best possible work experience for all employees?  How will we compete in our industry amongst other technology organizations to attract and retain talent? How will we respond to the overwhelming data and research that supports the business case for creating a diverse workforce?  How can we answer the call to articulate our approach and intentions for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts within our organization?   Ultimately, this moment calls for intentionally digging in and beginning to define how these concepts are and will be even more woven in the CareerPlug employee experience ongoing.  

In early 2022, we set out to learn and understand why and how other organizations are approaching DEI. This was done as a step toward CareerPlug arriving at what this means to us. 

Here are the larger insights after this quarter of learning & understanding more:

  • In general, prioritizing diversity, inclusion, and safety (both physical and psychological) within organizations is becoming a moral expectation and a strategic business decision that innovative and successful companies are consistently engaging head-on.  
  • Our industry, “technology and software,” has the highest Inclusion Score of any other industry, with a base of talent that has increasing expectations on inclusive employee experiences. (“Top 100 Most Diverse and Inclusive Companies”) (“Forbes – America’s Best Employers For Diversity”)
  • Companies that invest in DEI practices are more innovative, make better decisions, and experience better shareholder returns.  
  • The companies that have the greatest success in advancing these areas are able to naturally connect the existing core elements (values/mission/culture) of their organization to DEI.
Our Beliefs
  1. We believe in our Core Values of Be Kind, Speak Up-Step Up, Keep Growing and Work Together-Win Together.  These values are the bedrock of our culture and we commit to live them purposefully and consistently as we interact with one another.  We place our values above our opinions and these four values align with the underlying principles of DEI – the relationship between our Core Values and DEI feels very natural and clear.  We believe in building a culture that empowers, supports, and values diverse voices, by creating equitable and inclusive spaces for all people to Belong.  

  2. We believe in our Core Purpose – empowering people to reach their potential.  It’s the “why” behind the work we do, the product we bring to the marketplace and the expertise we deliver to our clients/partners, all in effort to positively impact millions of people.  We believe the call of our Core Purpose is intrinsic to and inseparable from the call of creating an environment where everyone feels safe, included, supported and that they belong.  Those elements must be present in order to reach our individual and collective potential. 

  3. We believe that if we continue to live out our Core Values and intentionally pursue our Core Purpose, we find ourselves intrinsically committed to the foundational elements of DEI. Put more plainly, we believe that upholding our Core Values and passionately pursuing our Core Purpose will naturally result in advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (and have already had an impact on where we are today), though clear opportunities still exist and new intentional focus areas may arise as we actively engage this work together and evolve our maturity as an organization.  

  4. We believe in the power of human beings innovating in shared service to our Core Purpose, recognizing that our organization is simply the sum of many coming together to impact human potential. We recognize that our identities extend beyond the work we do and we work to structure our employee experience to support this fundamental humanness, while also balancing appropriate boundaries for the workplace.  

  5. We believe in the value that diverse lived experiences and identities can bring to an organization.  We acknowledge that an equitable and inclusive workplace, where everyone belongs, is foundational and interrelated to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce.  This experience begins at the start of the employee lifecycle, and we strive for equitable onboarding, compensation, performance evaluation and promotion potential for all employees. We believe inclusion requires safety (both physical and psychological), connectedness, and a sense of belonging. 

  6. We believe that the work of DEI is an ongoing organizational practice/process  without a finish line.  It includes cycles of examining, learning, implementing and measuring progress to understand impact.  It is a journey of maturity and a process of growth in which we welcome and value transparency and accountability.  We realize that committing to this work doesn’t mean we’ll get things right every time, but it does mean we’ll Speak Up when there’s an issue, we’ll Keep Growing through moments of learning, and we have to Work Together to make CareerPlug the diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that our Core Purpose calls us to be. 


What does DEI mean?

Diversity is the representation of many identities and lived experiences (across the company and within teams/levels). 

Equity is individualized access to opportunities and resources needed so that all can thrive equitably. 

Inclusion is about valuing perspectives and belonging for all employees. 

Our Approach

CareerPlug will approach this work as an ongoing journey of maturity and a process of growth.  We welcome and value transparency and accountability along the way.  As we engage this work, we will use four primary motions to identify and decide on initiatives and/or related goals as we proceed:  Examine, Learn, Implement and Measure.


  • We will regularly examine existing processes, practices, employee feedback (which relies on our Speak Up value), measurables and outcomes within our organization related to our intention of creating a workplace of inclusion, equity and diverse representation where we can all reach our potential.  We acknowledge that within moments where intent and impact are not aligned, therein lies an opportunity to learn and grow.


  • We will live our value of Keep Growing by listening, learning, and cultivating a deeper understanding of one another and how our organization benefits from this work.  We will invest in resources to continually educate ourselves, working to honor people’s lived experiences in order to create an inclusive culture where everyone can find belonging.


  • We will be action-oriented, living our Work Together-Win Together value, when we recognize there are improvements or changes we can make toward creating a workplace where our Core Purpose can be achieved and our folks experience inclusion, equity and belonging. 


  • We will lean into new and existing measurables and data to determine baselines and progress toward any stated goals.  This will heavily rely on sourcing and hiring data, internal feedback and insights that come from our employee engagement surveys.  

The CareerPlug Leadership Team

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.