Not a Well Kept Secret Anymore: Increased Relocations to the Midwest Improve our Talent Pool

Ten years ago I told my brother (who lives in Florida) that someday people would realize the Midwest is the very best place to live. Even though I said this with a chuckle as we threw our fishing lines into the ocean, I believed it. Today this comment is coming to fruition. Our firm has historically been known for relocating people back to the Midwest after they left to gain experience and live the big city life. Staff, senior level and executives with roots in the Midwest usually come back. The difference today is that individuals who have never lived through a winter or experienced a city without a subway system are actively searching for a new career in the heartlands.

I have recently talked with professionals from around our great country. Among them were a programmer from Arizona, an executive search recruiter from Portland, OR, a public accountant from Atlanta, GA, a finance executive from Washington, DC, and a hospital administrator from San Diego, CA.  The common thread between all of these educated professionals with a proven track record in their respective fields is the desire to create a better life for their families. When I ask, “What does a better quality of life mean to you?”  Here are the most common answers I get:

  • Stable economy
  • People do what they say – “everyone one I’ve ever come in contact with from the Midwest has high ethics and moral values” – CFO from East Coast
  • Cost of living – “a garage sounds nice”
  • Education for children
  • Work life balance
  • People ask you how you are and really want to know

Our secret is out of the bag.  The good news is that this is a perfect time for our organizations to acquire talent that wasn’t available to us in the past.  Would your company benefit from adding a teammate with industry experience from a larger market? Could a change agent with a proven track record earn instant credibility with your team and upgrade the competencies and / or willingness immediately? New blood…it’s good for our community, our companies, and our bottom lines.


photo credit: Nebraska Plains, Wolfgang Staudt

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