Shift5 Announces Appointment of Christan (CJ) Johnson as First Head of People


Shift5 is excited to announce that Christan (CJ) Johnson will be joining their team as the first ever Head of People. In this newly-created position, she will manage talent through recruiting and onboarding, as well as focus on the day-to-day health and needs of team members and the overall company. With contracts in place requiring the company to double in size to meet the growing demands of its product, Johnson will lead the team’s growth and development, keeping diversity and inclusiveness at the forefront of the process.

In her most recent role, Johnson served as a Digital Service Expert, Talent Lead with the Defense Digital Service, recruiting and hiring 60 people over a six-month period. Through this course of massive hiring, she ensured the health and welfare of the culture by humanizing the process for candidates.

Johnson began her career as a public servant over 17 years ago as a Legislative Assistant to a US Congressman on Capitol Hill. During this time, she developed a keen sense of understanding the needs of others and working in challenging environments. After leaving Capitol Hill, Johnson remained a federal public servant as a civilian within the Department of the Army where she led new recruitment and hiring strategies for Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER). In this position, she successfully led efforts to establish the Army civilian cyber career program (CP-71), ensuring tech talent received appropriate resourcing and training.

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Recently, Johnson published a downloadable guide on recruiting best practices for government titled “Break the Code,” which is a guide to disrupting the status quo of traditional government recruiting and hiring, helping government organizations begin the conversation on how to engage with potential employees in online spaces where technologists gather. “I look forward to leveraging my knowledge and experience in this new role as Head of People,” Johnson said. “Discovering untapped talent is a superpower of mine and I am thrilled to help Shift5 welcome many new, diverse hires.”

Johnson is tenacious about developing strong relationships to find the right technical talent for the right roles. She champions the use of modern technology development and management approaches, drawing heavily upon best practices from the technology industry such as open source and agile development. Shift5 President Michael Weigand stated, “We are thrilled to have CJ join us during this time of unprecedented growth. She brings the ability to develop a strong and motivated team, creating a magnetic atmosphere that makes people want to show up and stay.”