Friday, December 12, 2008

The Great Brain Boomerang

The greater geographic mobility of talent is beginning to benefit the developing world. Pink slips in alpha global cities such as London and New York are turning into airplane tickets for high-skilled immigrants:

The reversal is particularly dramatic in India, where human resource managers for finance firms are reporting hundreds of résumés from New York and London arriving on their desks each week.

Mr. Dinodia has found himself at the centre of this phenomenon. After he arrived in India, he set up an online community for Indian-born graduates of the Wharton School - the acclaimed University of Pennsylvania business college where he'd earned his degree - to help them find positions in India's thriving financial sector if they wanted to move back.

He thought he would end up helping out maybe a couple of dozen people. Then the markets collapsed. In the past six weeks, his network has helped 350 Wharton grads move back to India, using its circle of 50 India-based mentors and "industry captains" to place them in high-level positions in an economy that looks more promising, if a lot smaller, to many of them.

The article references the research of Vivek Wadhwa. Once again, shortsighted US immigration policy is scapegoated. But that's not the blog story.

Over the last month or so, I've seen similar boomerang activity at IntoPittsburgh. More and more Burgh expatriates are joining the group and making inquiries about employment opportunities in the homeland. Too bad there isn't any sort of "Return to Pittsburgh" services available with at least some useful information about best practices.

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