Introduction and Executive Summary
Trent Smyth AM CEO, The Chief of Staff Association
Welcome to The Chief of Staff Association’s State of the Industry Report 2023, which builds on our first Compensation Report in 2022.
The Compensation Report was introduced as an annual event that can establish a benchmark for the profession’s salary expectations and reference points for the length and type of job experience that most often serve as a background to the role.
This year we introduced further questions to begin to paint a more nuanced picture of how people operate in the role and how this may vary according to the sector and size of the organisation. We know that ‘chief of staff’ is a new position in many sectors and there is limited agreement on its remit and potential outside the military and political spheres where it was first established. So our new questions were designed to provide more granular insight into the diverse tasks and accountabilities of the role, which indicate the different skills and qualities that make for success. We hope that this will prove useful, not only for recruiters, but also for current and aspiring chiefs of staff.
The headline figure, the average (mean) salary for a chief of staff, is $158,500, while the average total compensation package is $192,100. These figures vary from our 2022 report, but it is worth noting the larger and more diverse pool of respondents this year. A survey such as this needs more years of data before we can confidently identify an overall story.
A disparity between compensation based on gender is still apparent. While our analysis suggests that this is a result of existing pay inequalities in the organisations and sectors in which our respondents are working, it is nevertheless an issue that the profession as a whole needs to address.
This is particularly important as survey respondents indicated that they increasingly saw the chief of staff role as a career, rather than just a stepping stone to another job. There is still no formalised career path, however, which is something that we intend to explore in further research.
As a first step, the survey responses allowed us to develop six ‘modalities’ reflecting the different ways in which chiefs of staff deploy their diverse skillsets to best serve their principal and organisation. These modalities are a framework for which chiefs of staff, and potential employers, can think about the competencies they should be looking for in a high-performing contemporary chief of staff.
We welcome your thoughts on the findings of this survey and your input into the questions that we might ask in future years. When you have had a chance to digest the contents, please do join the discussion on LinkedIn using the hashtag #CSAStateoftheIndustry.
With many thanks to all who took part,
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Trent Smyth AM CEO, The Chief of Staff Association