SUMS Consulting is excited to launch a new 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 participating universities to accurately benchmark salaries, improve employee retention, and assess their equal opportunities.

Register your interest

Other private benchmarking services provide generalist salary data from a wide variety of other sectors and can be more costly. Our aim is to ensure that the benchmarking information participating universities receive is aggregated, relevant, accessible, and cost-effective.

Based upon an annual salary survey designed by SUMS and using the latest data directly from our members, we will share access to the results via an online dashboard, to provide HEIs with a powerful benchmark dataset for their most senior , so they can:

  1. measure their competitiveness;
  2. set internal compensation policies and optimal salaries for each role; and
  3. ensure their pay is positioned effectively against the market.

The survey will provide an independent and impartial benchmark for the most senior institutional members (e.g., CFO, HRD/CPO, Provost, University Secretary, COO, etc.) and will identify salary ranges and benefits inclusive of:

  • Base pay
  • Bonuses/variable or performance related pay
  • Pension schemes or payment in lieu of pension
  • Any other additional financial entitlements and payments (e.g., London weighting, relocation, additional responsibility, acting up etc.)

This new service differs to currently available whole-organisational salary benchmarking as the data will be aggregated by specific fields (e.g., gender, geographical region, specific areas of responsibility) making comparability more accurate and detailed.  We also offer a ‘Chatham House rules’ style conversation for all participating universities to discuss the findings and identify ways to resolve any challenges highlighted by the data.

Key benefits

Contributing to the survey will provide your institution 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.

Our principal goal is to provide market rate data, which will enable you to make effective comparisons for rates of pay offered at your institution with other roles within the sector.

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 from across the sector to participate in the benchmarking service by Friday 17 March 2023.

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

The survey will close at 23.59 on Sunday 26 March 2023. 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. Participating institutions will also be invited to attend a face-to-face HR Summit Day discussion (provisionally planned for Thursday 13 April 2023) to discuss what the findings mean and how it is taken forward.

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

If you are interested in taking part, please contact our Consultant Emma Ogden, via email at: by Friday 17 March 2023.

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