The Discerners A New Series by Steve Levy and Maureen Sharib Chapter 1 Ballscon

The Discerners A NEW Series by Steve Levy and Maureen Sharib

Chapter 1

Ballscon / Day One / Morning Session

“Omygawd she wants us to move?” the pretty twenty-something long-haired brunette hissed as she leaned in, uncrossing her long, thong-footed legs in the process and ducking her head in her friend’s direction as she rose militantly from the table, picking up her laptop and purse before looking around towards the back of the room, searching for some darker corner to settle in.

“I can’t believe this,” her words smarted as she began her march several rows back before catching her manager’s eye at the back of the room. He was motioning for her to turn around. 

The older woman at the front of the room was smiling at her and pointing to a space at a table in one of the front rows.

“This can’t be happening,” the young woman thought, panicking. “I want to die.”

Walking slowly forward with a slight half smile on her face the woman noticed the girl’s nametag as she approached. 

“Brittany, is it?” she asked. “Do you sound the ‘a’ in your name?”

Not accustomed to the question and caught off-guard, the girl momentarily forgot her annoyance and answered, “No, not really. It’s more like, 'Brit-ney.' People who don’t know me say it 'Britt–a–ny' at first but my friends all call me Britney. My mom calls me Britney.“

“Then I’ll call you Britney,” the woman said and smiled.

The woman reminded Brittany of her mother. Britney sat down, opened her computer and turned around and looked wide-eyed at her friend, like a white-tailed doe caught in a hunter's aim.

Her friend had watched the scene unfold. 

The word “Amazeballs” ran through the friend's head. She and Brittany both worked for the same company and both were required to attend this two day conference on working the phones. To make things worse, their manager was in attendance.

Her hands were sweaty. She felt sick to her stomach and the lights in the room felt too bright. It was way too early in the morning for this.

Around her similar mayhem was unfolding as people shuffled and tripped to move at least a dozen spaces away from where they had first settled.

That was the rule for every-other-person-seated in the room - get up and move away from anyone you knew.

She had escaped the every-other-person-seated count.

Tomorrow she may not be so lucky, she thought to herself. She began to reconnoiter in her mind what she could do to ensure her original-seated placement. She began to realize the futility of the estimation and gave it up as the woman began to speak. 

Good morning and welcome to Ballscon.

We’re glad you’re here this morning and we hope you stay with us the two days you’ve committed to stay with us.

We believe you will.

This conference will be unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

You’re going to work hard the two days you’re with us.

You’re going to do things you don’t think you can do sitting there now.

This is going to be the equivalent of running through brick walls for some of you emotionally. 

Some of this is going to scare the pants off you. It’s going to make your palms sweat, your stomachs churn and your throats tighten.

Your hearts are going to beat faster. For those of you with heart conditions, I hope you brought your nitroglycerin. 

This isn’t your Internet Recruiter’s conference. 

This is your Phone Sourcer’s conference – your How-To-Talk-With-People-On-The-Phone-Recruiter Conference.

This is Ballscon – the conference where you learn to do the stuff in recruiting and sourcing that takes balls.

That’s where it got its name.

This is what it means.

Sourcing and recruiting is a blood sport. It’s a boxing match – sometimes it’s a gloves-off fisticuffs affair. You must be able to go the distance in it and going the distance means outlasting your competitors and your competitors include your candidates. 

Reaching out and grappling with candidates is part of this business and there are many ways to do it. There is no one-way and there is no best way. Here at Ballscon we are going to teach you the more assertive way.

As one of the most astute sourcers and recruiters in the business puts in: 
“...the truth is recruiting includes that muscular reaching out, and often as an interruption. When we are responding to already kindled interest it falls under the umbrella of recruiting, but it requires less effort than starting a fire from cold scratch. And yes setting traps (ads) is part of recruiting. But so is the cold reach out.
If you can't stand the heat of that truth, get out of the recruiting kitchen.”
Lisa Rokusek Sept 19, 2015 Facebook; Sourcers Unleashed

You gotta have guts to do this stuff.

Make no mistake about it – this business is not just about collecting a paycheck. If that’s what you think it is even if you’re employed by one of the companies that is sending you here to turn you into a soldier you’re not going to last – they’re going to see it and you’re going to be out on your ass probably before a year is through.

Turnover is very high in sourcing and recruiting for a reason. 

We promise you this though.

If you last these two days – and if you leave here with some of the even very basic communication abilities we’re going to teach you and you continue to implement and practice those skills – you’ll develop strengths that will serve and feed you over a lifetime.

That’s a heady claim.

Real human face-to-face and voice-to-voice communication is the most neglected area of development in our space today and it changes here.

Now, every one of you has a nametag on. We’re going to take ten minutes and break into groups of five – the five people closest to you. Gather around yourselves and introduce yourselves briefly to each other – take a sheet of paper and write down 3 THINGS you’d like to learn at this conference – 3 THINGS that are important to you that you’re most interested in. We’ll reconvene in ten minutes.


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Comment by Derdiver on September 24, 2015 at 6:11pm

My hand is raised! 

Comment by Maureen Sharib on September 24, 2015 at 7:54pm

You'd like to write on this series?  Great!  Send me your ideas for a chapter - let's collaborate!  


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