Indianapolis Brain Drain

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December 12, 2008
 Yesterday I had the opportunity to hear Rebecca Ryan, founder of Next Generation Consulting, speak at a lunch for the Economic Club of Indiana.  Rebecca has been working with several organizations around Indianapolis to address the topic of our brain drain.

First, if you have the opportunity to hear Rebecca speak, then I highly recommend it.  She is very dynamic and interesting.  While sometimes these types of luncheons can be a little dry, Rebecca was quite refreshing and funny.  Her perspective really struck a personal chord when she made the recommendation that cities impacted by a brain drain should target graduates from area colleges ages 28 and up who have moved away.  This demographic couldn’t have described me more perfectly as my husband I, both Indiana University grads, moved to Indianapolis two and a half years ago.  After living in Chicago for six years (an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything) , we decided to make a lifestyle and career shift and relocate to Indianapolis. 

Over the past months, my calendar has become filled interviewing unemployed candidates.  While my immediately goal is obviously to match any candidates with open and active positions, I always try to help guide unemployed folks in the right direction.  Whether it’s considering a temp to perm opportunity or signing up for TheLadders, I try to help my candidates in this situation as much as possible.  I have found myself increasingly recommending to candidates to potentially consider relocation.  As Indianapolis is stepping of its efforts to retain new grads and recruit recent grads back to the area, I wonder how the recession is going to impact this initiative. 

Luckily, accounting and finance positions are not being hit as hard as other job disciplines.  I am a strong believer that Indianapolis is a great place to live and work.  However, no matter how much organizations invest into finding a solution to this problem and retaining and recruiting talent to Indianapolis, at the end of the day, it’s all about you.