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Flexible Hours and Education/Training Opportunities Critical to Retaining Talented Employees in Georgia, Says BMO Harris Bank Study

ATLANTA, GA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/03/14 --

  • When hiring junior employees, skill set and work experience are most sought-after attributes
  • The focus that Georgia-based business owners/executives place on skill set is a full 22 percent higher than the national average
  • 72 percent of business owners/executives in Georgia 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 business owners and executives in Georgia believe that two of the most critical strategies for retaining talented employees, other than a salary increase, are to offer flexible hours and opportunities for education, training and development. Both options were highlighted by 45 percent of Georgia-based respondents.

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

  • Increased health and dental benefits (34 percent)
  • Tele-Commuting (26 percent)
  • Increased paid vacation time (24 percent)

"Business owners in Georgia share the same challenges as business owners across the country when finding and, critically, retaining top talent," said Todd Giles, Managing Director, Corporate Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "Having an effective employee retention strategy can make all the difference in protecting a business' most prized asset, its employees."

Today's College Graduates

The study found that 72 percent of business owners/executives in Georgia -- 15 percent above the national average -- feel that college graduates are either more prepared or equally prepared to enter the workforce today, compared to 20 years ago. Furthermore, business owners/executives that are hiring junior employees look for a variety of attributes when considering their ideal candidate:

  • Skill set (56 percent)
  • Work experience (45 percent)
  • Personality traits (26 percent)
  • References and recommendations (24 percent)

Notably, the focus that Georgia-based business owners/executives place on skill set is a full 22 percent higher than the national average of 34 percent.

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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