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In Florida, Work Experience or Internship Counts Most When Hiring Employees Directly From School, Says BMO Harris Bank Study

SARASOTA, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 06/03/14 --


  • When hiring junior employees, work experience or internships are the most sought-after attributes
  • Offering flexible hours is a critical employee retention strategy, say Florida-based business owners/executives
  • 20 percent of Florida business owners/executives feel that college graduates are more prepared to enter the workforce today, compared to 20 years ago

BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found that when looking to hire employees directly out of school, 52 percent of Florida business owners and executives place the most importance on a candidate's work experience and internships, a full 20 percent higher than the national average. To retain talented employees, most believe that two of the most critical strategies, other than a salary increase, are to offer flexible hours (40 percent) and opportunities for education, training and development (28 percent).

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

  • Tele-Commuting (24 percent)
  • Increased paid vacation time (24 percent)
  • Increased health and dental benefits (20 percent)

"Business owners in Florida share the same challenges as business owners across the country finding and retaining top talent," said Andy Cardimen, Managing Director, Commercial Banking - Florida, BMO Harris Bank. "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."

Today's College Graduates

The study found that when hiring employees directly out of school, Florida business owners/executives believe that 48 percent of today's college graduates are either more prepared or equally prepared to enter the workforce, compared to 20 years ago. Fifty-two percent feel they are less prepared. Furthermore, when hiring junior employees, Florida business owners/executives look for a variety of characteristics when considering their ideal candidate:

  • Work experience or internship (52 percent)
  • Personality traits (40 percent)
  • Skill set (28 percent)
  • Degree earned or school attended (20 percent)

Notably, the focus that Florida-based business owners/executives place on skill set is six percent lower than the overall 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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