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What Top Talent Looks for in a Company

According to a survey conducted by the women's advocacy group Catalyst, high potential employees go gaga for flexible work programs.

As the so-called Mommy Wars cool down, the war for talent is just heating up. And a flexible work arrangement may be more important to top talent than you realize.

The women-in-business advocacy organization Catalyst recently surveyed 726 "high potential" employees--MBA graduates of both genders working at non-profit and private companies full-time--about their experiences with flexible work programs. Here are three noteable findings from the survey.

1. Flexible programs may be more popular than you realize. Despite high-profile denouncers like Yahoo, flexible work arrangements have become the "new normal," according to surveyors. Among the sample of surveyed employees, 81 percent reported that they were currently working at a company that offered some kind of flexible work plan.

2. Flexible programs attract high performers. According to the Catalyst survey, employees working at companies with flexible work arrangements have higher career aspirations than their less-flexible counterparts. Of the employees working at firms with flex programs, 90 percent aspire to senior executive level positions--compared with 77 percent of employees at companies that offer no flex programs.

3. Lack of flexibility costs you.  On the flip side, employees--particularly female employees--with less workplace flexibility were more likely to "dial down" their career aspirations. 57 percent of women working at companies without flexible work programs admitted to downsizing their career plans as compared to 33 percent of their counterparts with flex access.

IMAGE: rossburton/Flickr
Last updated: Jul 8, 2013


Francesca Fenzi reports on entrepreneurship, technology and small business news from San Francisco. Her work has previously appeared in TIME, USA Today, Pop City and The Northside Chronicle.

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