Growing budgetary pressures, out-of-sector competition, the rise of remote work, and volatile labor markets have made it all the more difficult for higher education institutions to compete for staff talent—or even know who their competitors are. All of these factors mean that higher education’s competitive set (i.e., who institutions compete against) for staff talent is bigger, more diverse, more corporate, and more well-resourced than ever before.
Yet most campuses lack an accurate and shared understanding of their new competitive set. This often leads to campus leaders under- or over-investing in certain talent strategies, thereby wasting limited resources and ultimately reducing the ROI on staff recruitment and retention.
For example, using the wrong competitive set when conducting a staff salary study can result in institutions designing salary structures and ranges that applicants do not perceive as competitive, making it hard to recruit and retain talented staff. It may also mean that campus leaders deprioritize much-needed salary investments, causing the institution to fall further behind the market, or make misaligned and/or lower ROI salary adjustments.
Cabinet and HR leaders can use this tool to pinpoint priority functional areas and roles for competitive set (re)evaluation, gather high-value market data, and ultimately pinpoint their top talent competitors.