Aligning Talent with Strategy


Talent optimization

We provide a proven framework, underpinned by powerful behavioral & cognitive analytics, to get the right people in the right seats to achieve your business goals.

process consulting

Whether you need an assessment of your recruiting processes and systems, or a specific stage of the recruiting cycle managed, we can support your recruiting efforts.


employer brand

We help you understand where you stand in the market with regard to your employer brand and provide you with a detailed SWOT analysis with clear next steps.


executive search

When a critical role needs to be filled, it requires a dedicated partner who will dive deep to understand the business need and commit to seeing the process through.

what is talent optimization?

Talent Optimization is a methodology to understand how people fit into an organization’s broader business strategy, and to optimize the output and productivity of talent and achieve business results through:

• Measuring, analyzing, and using data to identify people gaps and drive business strategy

• Utilizing people data to hire high-performing talent and build & develop world-class teams

Building a startup? Talent Optimization is especially powerful when you have the opportunity to build an organization from the ground up. Learn More 


First we help you to understand whether your organization’s structure supports your business strategy. From there, we evaluate your leadership team’s competencies and dynamics, and identify gaps & a plan to close them while embracing a philosophy of “leaders at every level”. Next, we establish and define a culture through the lens of your strategy.


Gathering input from all stakeholders involved in a hire, we provide a synthesis of behavioral and cognitive expectations, leading to a clear vision of the role. From there we equip your leaders with the right data and questions to conduct effective interviews. We also provide insights into a hire’s impact on team dynamic.


Great organizations have clear career paths for all employees. We help you to establish and communicate compelling paths and refresh job roles to evolve with your business strategy. Your leaders are developed, and by extension their teams, with the training and frameworks we provide. Culture is reinforced, desired behaviors are ingrained, and outcomes are achieved.


A cycle that wraps around Design, Hire and Inspire, Diagnose happens at all stages of Talent Optimization as your organization uses its People Data to measure what matters, analyze the data, and prescribe improvement actions. These three steps are an ongoing loop, the insights of which will lead to changes in how you Design, Hire and Inspire.

recruitment process & SYSTEMS

All organizations have talent acquisition challenges, and it’s not always the right business decision to engage an outside recruiter. Often there are specific stages of your recruitment life cycle you need help with, not the entire process. We work together to identify these bottlenecks and provide process support in the areas you need it.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are a critical information system for your business. If you don’t have one, you need one, and if you have one it needs to be conducive to your workflows, making your recruiting team more efficient, and contributing to candidate experience. We provide an assessment of your current system vs. your business need, and if needed we can select and implement an ATS for you.

Employment branding review

With the recruiting landscape more competitive than ever, distinguishing your Employment Brand is paramount. It’s equally critical to understand if the brand you wish to project is the one that candidates are seeing, as well as being aware of what they are seeing from your competition.

We gain an understanding of your desired brand, assess your existing brand through all channels you utilize, and benchmark against your competition. From there we provide an analysis of your desired brand vs. actual, your brand vs. competition, and recommendations.

executive search

When hiring for roles that are critical to your organization’s success, especially leadership positions, you need a committed search partner. A more thorough and unbiased process is needed, one which a conventional recruiting engagement cannot provide.

We meet with all stakeholders involved in the hire to understand all perspectives regarding the business need and the ideal candidate, and then provide a synthesis of this information and gain consensus before sourcing begins. As the search progresses, we provide detailed weekly updates that give you a project update as well as a sense of the market. We use best-of-breed behavioral and cognitive analytic tools to provide you with deeper insights into candidates, and after securing offer acceptance we continue to provide support throughout onboarding and beyond.


Chris is a certified Talent Optimization Consultant, applying his knowledge of the framework and his 17 years in talent acquisition to help clients define job requirements, identify and attract the best candidates, and understand how to leverage team dynamics and people data to align talent with strategy.

Chris has recruited top talent for organizations across a broad range of industry verticals since 2004. He has consulted on recruitment process and systems, architected solutions for large scale hiring campaigns, trained and developed recruiting teams, conducted hundreds of behavioral assessments, and helped companies select and implement the best software for their recruiting needs. He has worked as a recruiter for local and national recruiting firms, owned and managed firms for over 11 years, and is a frequent speaker and panelist on the topic of talent acquisition and retention.

Chris holds an MBA from the University at Albany with a Human Resource Information Systems concentration, and has been an HRCI certified PHR since 2009. He has been a Director of the 1,500+ member Capital Region chapter of SHRM since 2008, and served as its President from 2016-2018.

An active board member of Junior Achievement of Northeastern NY, he enjoys volunteering in classrooms bringing financial education to Capital Region youth. He is also an active board member of the Greater Loudonville Association, committed to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in his community. Chris has previously served on the boards of organizations such as New York State SHRM, the Capital Region Recruiters Network, Schenectady County Community College Foundation, and the University at Albany Alumni Association. Currently, Chris is on advisory councils for Albany Law School and Excelsior College, and an adjunct Business instructor at SUNY Schenectady.



As the Founder and President of two consulting practices, Ms. Johnson is an accomplished business professional with over thirty years of leadership in technology commercialization, coaching and organizational development working with start-ups through Fortune 100 organizations. The firms, Capstone Inc and Celedon LLC, partner with clients that are targeting accelerated growth, moving into new markets, or building highly productive teams through organizational assessment and development, leadership coaching, executive and technical retained search, behavioral analytics, succession planning and in aligning talent with business strategies.  The two firms together have successfully completed more than 1700 projects, building, optimizing and coaching highly productive teams for regional, national and international organizations. Ms. Johnson is also currently serving as the EIR at the Biomedical Acceleration and Commercialization Center at Albany Medical Center.

Graduating from Union College in Schenectady, NY with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Ms. Johnson leveraged her technical, business and communication skills into senior assignments in manufacturing and product engineering at Texas Instruments and as a very early employee at Apple Computer.  During her tenure with Apple Computer, she was selected to lead the first team responsible for the transfer of Apple’s desktop systems manufacturing operations to Singapore.

In addition to her business pursuits, Ms. Johnson has actively participated in the community serving on several boards including CDPHP a large not for profit health plan, EYP, Sunmark Credit Union, Proctor’s Theater, and Ms. Johnson was an inaugural member on the Tech Valley High School (A Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored school of Excellence) Board.  Professional recognition includes selection by the Small Business Council of New York State with the Entrepreneurial Enterprise Award, The Center for Economic Growth in for Technology Mentor of the Year, The Center for Economic Growth Jeff Lawrence Life Time Achievement Award and as a recipient of The Women of Excellence in Business Award by the Albany Business Review.

Optimize your talent

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