Following success last year, SUMS Consulting is excited to offer their Senior Salary Benchmarking Service uniquely designed for the higher education sector. It aims to provide comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date insights, which will empower you to accurately benchmark salaries, improve employee retention, and assess your equal opportunities.

Register your interest in taking part in this year’s service by 1 March 2024

Last year, we were able to present data which identified:

  1. Roles and differences within their portfolios
  2. Pay distribution and ranges
  3. Recruitment sources
  4. Different pension schemes and allowances offered
  5. Role profiles (i.e., length of service, gender, ethnicity)

Headline findings included:

  1. Average pay distribution was £80k to £150k with 3 roles commonly exceeding £200k. Four roles had a differing minimum and maximum pay distribution of over £100,000 among reportees
  2. Nearly 90% of Directors of Research had less than 2 years’ service
  3. 43% of DVCs had been internally appointed; whereas 55% of CIOs had been externally appointed outside of the sector. There was a direct correlation between internal appointees and the lowest salary being offered
  4. 83% of University Secretaries identified as male; whereas 83% of Learning and Teaching professionals identified as female

Our aim for the 2024 survey is to:

  1. Ensure that the benchmarking information you receive is aggregated, relevant, accessible, and cost-effective
  2. Co-created by you; informed from feedback last year and developed by you this year
  3. Provide insight and reporting through an online dashboard to provide you with a powerful benchmark dataset, so you can:
    1. measure your competitiveness;
    2. set internal compensation policies and optimal salaries for each role; and
    3. ensure your pay is positioned effectively against the market.

Key benefits

Contributing to the survey will provide you with a wealth of information, including:

  • A thorough understanding of executive pay rates and trends within the sector.
  • A broad comparison of all aspects of remuneration to ensure you have an accurate reflection of the total reward.
  • An external view on the changes within the HE employment market; supporting institutional planning and annual pay reviews.
  • Insights to inform senior recruitment and talent retention strategies.
  • Defensible decision-making regarding pay strategies and salary, benefits, and changes in pay.
  • Effective comparison with institutions of a similar size, shape, role remit and geographical region.
  • Pay gap reporting.

Who is it for?

The survey and report will be free for SUMS members as an additional cost-saving member benefit within their existing membership package. Non-member institutions that participate and receive the report will be subject to a one-off fee.

How will it work?             

In the first instance, we are seeking expression of interest to participate by Friday 1 March 2024.

Named contacts will be issued with a survey designed by SUMS to provide the required information.

The survey will close at 23.59 on Sunday 2 June 2024. Once the survey is complete, the SUMS Group Data and Insights team will pull the outputs into a report using our Tableau data visualisation tool and provide a separate benchmarking report.

Ensuring data quality and confidentiality

The information you provide through the survey will be used to categorise responses in an aggregated form and ensure that enough responses have been gathered. All data collected will remain anonymous and will be reported at the aggregate level, which means we will not produce or publish any data that would identify you as an institution. SUMS Consulting will keep your data for the 12-month period of the benchmarking service, via a Tableau report.

For further information and to register your interest in taking part

SUMS is holding a webinar on Wednesday 21 February 2024 for any interested parties to explore the survey further and help shape the format for 2024. Please register now to secure your place!

If you are interested in taking part, please contact our Consultant Emma Ogden or register your expression of interest by Friday 1 March 2024.

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