Check out this discussion of the value of non-academic work for the post-doctoral scholar. I argue that the private sector is missing out on a large and talented labour force.
A rapidly growing knowledge economy requires a creative, ambitious, and skilled workforce. Surplus PhDs offer a crucial labour force from which to draw. Currently, there is a disconnection between how post-docs articulate their skills and career objectives, and how the private sector frames job qualifications. Organizations that find ways of incorporating this labour force will not only be gaining access to the best and brightest, but will also be gaining an important corporate strategic advantage. Whatever research problem you are dealing with, it can almost be guaranteed that somebody, somewhere, has written a thesis on it. That person should be working for you.
Advice for PhDs can also be found here: reframing doctoral skills for the private sector.