Scholarship Opportunity To Achieve Your Certified Equity Professional (CEP) Designation

CEPIThe Certified Equity Professional Institute (CEPI) has announced that it award two scholarships to professionals who wish to pursue their Certified Equity Professional (CEP) designation. The deadline to apply for the Marilyn J. Perkins Claassen Memorial Scholarship is August 16, 2016 and the details are listed below.

Marilyn J. Perkins Claassen Memorial Scholarship:

Marilyn Perkins Claassen was Continue reading

Quantify Your Qualities

Transforming Your Resume for a Higher Paying Career

Today’s guest post was written by Lynda Spiegel, the Founder of Rising Star Resumes.Quantify Your Qualities

How can your resume get help you earn higher compensation? If your resume clearly presents your professional brand as a value proposition to an employer, you can expect to earn a better salary, with greater perks like stock options or performance shares.

When a potential employee is the absolute avatar of what a hiring manager needs to fill a job opening, that employee can command top dollar. So how can your resume position you as “The One,” the obvious and best candidate for the opening?

First and foremost, your resume needs to begin with a succinct paragraph that defines your professional brand; in other words – who you are, what you represent and why you are special. To do this well, you should avoid overused phrases, like “team-player” (if you weren’t, would you admit it?), or “successful,” although there are thousands of equally overused words. Instead, show how you are a team-player or are successful at what you do. For instance, instead of saying that I am a team-player, I’d say, “establishes consensus among multiple business units.” Rather than simply calling myself “successful,” I would note that I “achieved 150% increase in web engagement over 3 consecutive quarters.”

Candidates who achieve the biggest salary jumps when they change jobs are those who quantify their achievements and talents on their resumes. Again – show, don’t just tell hiring managers how good you are. Have you consistently exceeded your sales quota? Give a percentage. Did you negotiate leases for multinational brands? Provide a total dollar per square foot. Do clients at your PR firm get recognition thanks to your work? Name those wins!

And finally, read the job description thoroughly. While it would be a slam dunk if you had every single attribute listed in the bullets, most employers are thrilled if you hit most of them – particularly if you demonstrated how well you performed. So go through your resume to make certain that key words used in the job description are embedded appropriately throughout your resume.

Crafting a professionally branded resume is a lot of work – but it will provide you an even better payout when you land your next opportunity.

Lynda Spiegel is a human resources and communications professional with over 14 years’ experience in sourcing, recruiting and hiring top talent in a variety of industries. She founded Rising Star Resumes ( to help professionals develop their professional brand and get noticed by headhunters and hiring managers. 

You Pay Women TOO MUCH!

Stickman You Pay Women TOO MUCHSERIOUSLY. This was implied by a survey a client of mine recently completed. The survey, from a reputable organization that is dedicated to creating better workplaces and businesses, asked about a wide range of business practices including compensation. One of the questions focused on the pay differentials between male and female employees.

The topic was basically framed as follows.“Women at our company make the following compared to men: 0% – 25%, 25%+ – 50%, 50%+ – 75%, 75%+ – 100%.” You may immediately see the problem, or maybe not. No, it is not a lack of granularity. It is not a problem of Continue reading

What are some examples of incentives you used to keep top employees as per the recommendation in the book “How Google Works”?

Question details (orig. on Quora)

In their book “How Google Works”, the authors recommended that startup founders should do their best to keep top employees. For example, in Google, they offered a key employee, who was about to leave, the opportunity to attend founders meetings. This kept him for two more years. What other incentives did you offer your key employees who were about to leave?

Answer by Dan Walter

I think the key answer to this question is “Play Offense.”

By that I mean, don’t wait until a key person is considering leaving to try and “save them. Talk to your key people and learn what they need, want and what motivates them to excel.  Most times it is a surprisingly easy to put things in place long before anyone would ever consider looking somewhere else.
Most of the programs I have seen to save leaving talent have been failures, or, at best, very temporary. I had a boss years ago tell me that you can always get back someone’s mind, but if you have lost their heart you will probably never get it back.
Communicate early, often, consistently and passionately. This will allow you to put things place to stem the flow, or prepare things to be ready in the event someone expresses a desire to leave.

How do I recruit top talent to work in an ‘unsexy’ industry?

Question (Orig. on Quora)

We are a medium sized building supply distribution company with an aging work force.
Any advice other than paying well and offering competitive benefits?(that is our current strategy)
Are using outside recruiters a good option?

Answer from Dan Walter

There is great top talent in every industry and location. Finding it is is never easy (even for the sexy companies and industries). Identifying what you mean by “top talent” is the first step.

I have a client, located in the SF Bay Area, who stated unequivocally that they wanted “World Class Talent”, game-changers and leaders. But, they were only willing to pay a bit more than the median for these people.  Turns out that “world class people” want world class pay…and autonomy, advancement potential etc.

Start here:

What do you mean by “Top Talent?” Do you mean people who are looking to transform and industry? Visionaries? Amazing Tactical minds? Consistent high level executors? Something else?


Who are they “top” in relation to?  The top swimmers in the countries best high schools are unlikely to be competitive with the top swimmers in the world (although it can sometimes happen.)


Once you have clearly identified WHO YOU WANT (and why you need them), you need to define WHO YOU ARE.


What makes your company great? 


Is there something your company can offer that a sexy industry or company can’t.  Not everyone is looking to live in a metropolitan hub.  Lot’s of people are looking for space, or good schools, or less stress, or paid sabbaticals, or two extra weeks off each year or…you get the point.


What is the opportunity for growth?  Most “top Talent” are at the top because that has been a goal. Do you offer the ability to continue to grow?  If not, can you find a way to add this to the job


AND…Don’t sell yourself short! I have met people from all over who believe what they do is sexy, important and fascinating.  They are passionate about something that many others would find mundane or boring. They are strivers who want to be the best and don;t care about the industries they have nothing to do with.


Sell to your strengths. A former sales manager used to tell me when I sold cars (for a very short time) “Sell the car that’s on the lot.”  In other words it doesn’t matter what else is potentially out there if you do a good enough job building interest in what is immediately tangible.

Lastly, if there are good recruiters, who know your industry, then by all means use them!

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda: An Incentive Compensation Story

Stickman woulda coulda shouldaNot so long ago in a town not so far away, there was a growing company. Inside that company, worked a compensation professional (“Yolanda”) who juggled many projects. Not the least of them was the creation, design and management of the company’s long-term incentive program.

Yolanda was very good at her job. She planned her year well and executed with the precision of a heart surgeon. She brought creativity to her communications and structure to her base pay and Continue reading

Startups: How can a startup provide the necessary diversity of projects to its employees?

Question from Quora

As a software developer I worked at companies both large as well as small and I can tell that the former have a greater diversity of projects and technologies compared to smaller ones.

I consider diversity of experiences an important part of a professional’s improvement because I met people that mastered well one technology but lacked the overview that a wider range would give.

Having said the above, do you consider wise to join a small startup (before A series) early in your career (after college)? If you were to stay for 4 to 5 years there, I think that lack of diversity can put an upper bound on one’s learning. For senior guys (10+ years) it might not be a problem to go deep into an area but for a graduate, diversity is quite crucial.

What’s your opinion about this?

Dan Walter’s Answer

Diversity of projects at a small company comes in a far different form.  I wrote an article about this a few years ago and thought it might be good to provide a summary here.

At a small company you may be focused on a single technology or single product, but you will likely be involved in far more aspects of that single thing.  It is common to have a voice in the product name. But at a small company you may also find yourself designing a logo, or working directly with internal or external market experts to get the word out. You will learn more about the nuances of sales and finance and probably how to change a roll of toilet paper and how to make good coffee.

As a company grows your job become more focused, even as you use more (and sometime better) technology. Some people love the ability to contribute to almost every piece of a company.  Some people like the deeper dive that a big company has to offer.

When hiring people it is a good policy to dig into these questions.  Hiring a people that matches the reality of your company is the best way to succeed.

my article: Offer the World First and Money Second. “Small Company, Big World”

Quick Fixes May Not Be Good Fixes

Stickman King TutRecently, it was reported that employees at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo accidentally broke the braided beard off of the iconic burial mask of King Tutankhamen. Even more disturbing is that the beard was quickly glued back on using common epoxy. To make matters even worse, the epoxy got on the face of the mask, leaving marks where it was hastily scraped off. Curators at the museum said they were told to make the repairs quickly since the mask is one of the main attractions (revenue generators) for the museum.

I have seen many broken incentive plans similarly repaired. Incentive plans are tightly Continue reading

What Do You Do?

Stickman What Do You DoThe holiday season is now in the rear-view mirror and everyone reading this post has recently had to answer some version the question, “what exactly do you do?” Maybe you had to explain it for the umpteenth time to a family member who spent the past year sending you articles about payroll. Maybe you had to explain it to someone who blames you, personally, for the disparity in pay between executives and “everyone else.” Perhaps you had to deal with why you had not yet fixed the minimum wage, income taxes, health care or some other headline issue. Or, this might have been the year where the light went on and someone Continue reading

The Mind Heart Body and Spirit of Total Rewards

Stickman Mind Heart Body SpiritWorld at Work defines Total Rewards as:

“All of the tools available to the employer that may be used to attract, motivate and retain employees. Total rewards include everything the employee perceives to be of value resulting from the employment relationship.”

We have invented more tools with corresponding rules, regulations and variations. And our employees have become more diverse. Explaining the totality of Total Rewards has become increasingly difficult for many in and Continue reading