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Offering Flexible Hours Critical to Retaining Talented Employees in Arizona, Says BMO Harris Bank Study

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwired - Jun 3, 2014) -

  • Just over one third of Arizona business owners/executives say offering flexible hours is critical to employee retention strategy, well under the national average of 53 percent
  • When hiring employees directly out of school, skill set and work experience are the most sought-after attributes
  • Nearly 60 percent of Arizona business owners/executives feel that college graduates are either more prepared or equally prepared to enter the workforce compared to 20 years ago

BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found that business owners and executives in Arizona believe that two of the most critical strategies for retaining talented employees, other than a salary increase, are to offer flexible hours (37 percent) and provide opportunities for education, training and development (31 percent).

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

  • Increased health and dental benefits (25 percent)
  • Tele-Commuting (20 percent)
  • Increased paid vacation time (17 percent)

"Arizona business owners share the same challenges as business owners across the country when finding and retaining top talent," said Tim Bruckner, Managing Director, Commercial Banking - Arizona, BMO Harris Bank. "A business' most prized asset is its employees. Having an effective employee retention strategy can play a critical role in that company's success." 

Today's College Graduates

The study found that 58 percent of business owners/executives in Arizona -- on par with the national average -- feel that college graduates are either more prepared or equally prepared to enter the workforce, compared to 20 years ago. That response practically mirrors the national average of 57 percent. Furthermore, business owners/executives that are hiring junior employees look for a variety of attributes when considering their ideal candidate:

  • Skill set (28 percent)
  • Work experience or internship (20 percent)
  • Personality traits (17 percent)
  • References and recommendations and degree earned tied (14 percent)

"It's a good sign for young people who are just beginning their career that that the majority of businesses feel graduates are prepared to enter the workforce," added Mr. Bruckner.

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 bran ches, and CDN $582 billion in assets (as of April 30, 2014).

For further information:

Media Contact:
Carey Allen
(480) 558-6383