Phil Tusing about the Sourcing Summit: success story

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The next Sourcing Summit, the conference which brings together talent innovators from across five continents, will be held this June, on the 20-21, in London.

For you to get acquainted with the story of the conference we have interviewed Phil Tusing, the founder of #SOSU. He revealed the secrets of the conference’s success.

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How and when did you come up with the idea of SOSU?

Early in my career, I had the opportunity to speak at a few recruitment events and I noticed there was a gap in the market for a more hands-on event for sourcing practitioners specifically in Australia. Of course, events dedicated to or covering sourcing are not new.  I am fortunate to arrive on the scene at around the same time sourcing as a discipline started to gain more attention and importance worldwide.

What is its target audience?

Anyone serious about finding talent should find our events useful. We work hard on making our content fresh and relevant for sourcers, who themselves are trying to keep up with the ever-changing business environment. We have people from all sorts of backgrounds and experience attend our events, but the core audience is made up people whose remit is to unearth hard-to-find talent.

How do you manage to run major recruiting conferences in 4 continents living in Australia?

Advances in technology and the ease of communication means distance is no longer a barrier. In some ways, I am a living example of the gig economy in action. All I need is a laptop and an internet connection. I am also very fortunate to have good friends and partners in many of the locations we operate in.

What’s the mission behind SOSU? Tell us about it in three sentences.

I believe #SOSU is not in the conference business, but in the people development business. We love game-changers aka sourcers.

Tell us about the conference geography. Is conducting an event in every country of the world one of your goals? 🙂

We started in Australia, expanded to NZ, Singapore and to Europe (Germany and Netherlands). This year we opened up in three new locations – UK, North America and Africa. We do plan on entering new locations next year but only if we are convinced we can add value before we make the jump.

How do you select speakers and reports? What topics will never be on SOSU?

There are no hard and fast rules for selecting speakers. Many factors, including geography, delegate mix, size of conferences, timing, past speaking experience etc plays a part in how we decide who to invite. But if I was asked to give just one criterion – it would be content. To a large degree – content makes or breaks an event; it’s probably the same for the speaker. If someone brings a unique and fresh perspective to the table, it’s music to an organiser’s ear.

We like to see ourselves as being forward-thinking when it comes to topics. I am a big fan of borrowing from other disciplines and applying them to recruitment. I am pretty open to investigating any subject and always on the lookout for edgy stories.

What makes SOSU stand out among other HR conferences? What’s the secret of its success?

We are a small niche player in an industry full of incredible conferences. The good thing is recruiters/sourcers have more choices which is a welcome reflection of the growing importance of talent acquisition and sourcing. Ultimately, it’s for our customers/delegates to make the call regarding our place in the conference ecosystem, however, we will be happy if we play a small part in advancing our profession.

Our success is an open secret. We work hard to focus on fresh content that’s useful for delegates and we take feedback seriously.

Do you attend any conferences except the ones organised by yourself? And why?

I love going to events but haven’t attended as many lately. I do however attend #startcon, the largest start-up and growth Hacking conference in the southern hemisphere every year without fail. I love the buzz, new thinking and ‘dare’ the start-up community brings to the event. I think every recruiter should try and attend at least one event outside of our industry to get a fresh perspective and expand their horizons.

Can you formulate the main reason for attending SOSU London 2018 in one sentence?

You will be in the room with like-minded people and hear from some fascinating speakers who are at the forefront of sourcing. Besides, London is a pretty cool city to visit. I think most attendees return home with new learnings, connections and experiences.


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