What are you doing with your leftovers?


When it comes to making meals – I’m pretty decent and have honed my spécialités: soups and leftovers.


Oh yes – there is an art to being able to look into the fridge and pantry and pull together a meal that takes seemingly unrelated dishes and mashes them together into something that tastes good (albeit it may look like hell). From this, I get some pretty awesome lunches for work. Of course, not everyone in my house shares this view. So I get a bit irritable when food gets thrown out.

So I started thinking that maybe this type of vision to see potential in last night’s dinner is transferable to recruiting/retention.

Oh yeah, that’s right. I just compared people to re-heated food. All time high for my HR analogies.

(give me a minute to drag my soapbox out)

As a society we are ridiculously focused on consuming. And not just consuming any ole thing, but the new, the latest, the greatest. And when we’ve had a taste, we put it aside and try something else. It’s not often that you want to eat the exact same thing the next day…so we go out and buy more food and make a new recipe and we let the leftovers sit until they practically walk themselves to the garbage.

However, had you taken a moment to consider the potential in that meal – how else can you use that food…add different spices, cook it in another way, make it into a soup….you could have saved yourself some money, time, and come up with something better.

And so with candidates and employees, we may be doing the same. We need to have someone new and fresh, with the latest and greatest…when in reality, you might have someone in-house that, with a bit of coaching, training, and resources, could not only fill the role, but actually make it more than what you had anticipated.

Yes – some times it’s a big fail and you have to throw out your creation and order pizza, but in reality that can happen with any new recipe, regardless of how great the ingredients are.

As a recruiter, I’m often told by hiring managers that we need “new blood”. I get what they are saying, but I also look over their shoulder as they say this and see all the potential that might be overlooked.

And I really hate the idea of wasting good potential.


2 thoughts on “What are you doing with your leftovers?

  1. This is a fantastic post. If you’re looking to find a source or wasted money, then the “fridge” is the best place to start. You’re talking about management looking for fresh food to add to the fridge; sometimes organizations are looking to throw away older food that is not even expired yet to make room for new and fresh food.

    That’s the recruitment side of it. We then have the preparation of that new food. We have to cook it which could take a long time (this is referring to the orientation, training and the learning curve). We could have just reinvented the left overs (retrained) and it would have been delicious once again.

    Hiring someone new is costly with the hiring process, training, orientations, and the learning curve. If you just work with your current employees, I’m sure you can increase their production and efficiencies.

    Thanks for posting this!

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