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Providing Flexible Hours Critical to Retaining Talented Employees, Says BMO Harris Bank Study

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 06/03/14 --


  • More than half (53 percent) of Business Owners/Executives Surveyed see flexible hours as critical to employee retention
  • When hiring junior employees, work experience, skill set and personality trump education among the most sought-after attributes
  • 57 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 as the overwhelmingly the most important strategy for retaining talented employees. Providing opportunities for education, training and development ranked a distant second.

"Implementing the right strategies to ensure retention of top talent is very important, and it's not always easy," said Dave Casper, Executive Vice President and Head, Commercial Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "But business owners are making significant progress, adapting their operations to the changing expectations of their employees."

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

  • Education, training and development opportunities (33 percent)
  • Increased health and dental benefits (27 percent)
  • Increased paid vacation time (24 percent)

Today's College Graduates

The study found that 57 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, when it comes to ideal attributes, business owners/executives that are hiring junior employees look for a variety of attributes when considering their ideal candidate:

  • Skill Set (34 percent)
  • Work Experience (32 percent)
  • Personality (32 percent)
  • References/Recommendations (21 percent)
  • Degree Earned / School Attended (17 percent)

"While there are some concerns among business owners, it is important to note that over a quarter of those surveyed said that they had plans to hire at some stage this year; this is a very positive sign for our economic recovery," added Mr. Casper.

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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