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Business Owners Regard Flexible Hours and Education as Critical to Retaining Talented Employees, Says BMO Harris Bank Study

INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- (Marketwired) -- 06/03/14 --


  • Nearly half (40 percent) of Business Owners/Executives Surveyed see flexible hours and educational opportunities as critical to employee retention
  • When hiring junior employees, personality, skill set and good references trump work experience as the most sought-after attributes
  • 56 percent of business owners/executives feel that college graduates are either more prepared or equally prepared to enter the workforce today, compared to 20 years ago

BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found that, other than a salary increase, business owners and executives see flexible hours and opportunities for education as the most important strategies for retaining talented employees. Providing increased health and dental benefits ranked third.

"Retention of talent is critical to the success of any business and finding a way to motivate employees to stay with your organization should be a top priority," said Andy Cardimen, Managing Director, Commercial Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "But the survey highlights a slight disconnect between what business owners think are important and what they are actually providing employees. For example, 40 percent of respondents see flexible hours as critical to talent retention, but only 32 percent of those same respondents are offering flexible hours in their workplaces."

Other strategies seen to be most effective for retaining talented employees include:

  • Education, training and development opportunities (40 percent), but only 32 percent offer them
  • Increased health and dental benefits (31 percent)
  • Tuition assistance (29 percent), but only 17 percent offer this
  • Increased paid vacation time (26 percent)

Today's College Graduates

The study found that 56 percent of business owners/executives feel that college graduates are either more prepared or equally prepared to enter the workforce today, compared to 20 years ago. Furthermore, ideal business owners/executives that are hiring junior employees look for a variety of attributes when considering their ideal candidate:

  • Personality (34 percent)
  • Skill Set (31 percent)
  • References/Recommendations (23 percent)
  • Work experience (20 percent)

"The fact that the majority of businesses feel graduates are prepared to enter the workforce is a good sign for our economy and bodes well for young people just beginning their careers," added Mr. Cardimen.

The survey was conducted by Pollara with an online sample of 601 American business owners in November, 2013. A probability sample of this size would be accurate to +/- 4%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris Bank® is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $582 billion in assets (as of April 30, 2014).

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