Is AI our new intern in the recruiting industry?

by Gertraud Eregger in — April 2024
At Talentor International's Leaders4Tomorrow Program, we had the pleasure of meeting Henna Pryor. Henna is an accomplished speaker, coach, and author, known for her insightful talks and expertise in workplace performance. With a background in recruiting, she understands the challenges of the industry inside out.
Blog 2024 Talentor International Leaders Program AI our new intern in the recruiting industry

Henna Pryor's standout keynote focuses on crafting effective sales messages. Her simple yet powerful techniques have revolutionized how we connect with potential talents in our industry, making a lasting impact from the very first message.

We've invited Henna to share some of her valuable insights with our global community of readers.

Henna, how can we write sales messages that really catch people's attention online, especially with AI tools like ChatGPT?

Ultimately, we still need to train ourselves in the fundamentals of sales copywriting. Effective sales messages that connect and convert have specific techniques and patterns that help hook people by capturing their curiosity, activating their emotions, and using other framing from psychology to help them feel more trustful and likely to respond. AI can give you great ideas for angles and creative ideas, but it’s not going to replicate your personal voice and the underlying knowledge you need to edit an AI’s draft into something really strong.

You mentioned how crucial it is to connect with your audience from the very first message on. How can we make sales messages interesting for different types of people? Also, what advice do you have for recruiters to stand out among all the messages people get?

We first must agree there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” sales message. We’ve all been on the receiving end of something that was clearly a massive blast that went to tons of people - we can see it and feel it almost immediately. Instead, we need to segment our prospects into groups so we can write messages that feel personal to those specific buying personas. When you send something that includes a specific group’s language, dreams, and challenges, you’re going get and keep their attention for much longer and stand out amongst the generic blasts your competitors are sending.

Can you explain how AI, like ChatGPT, helps with writing sales messages? Are there any cool tricks or features you suggest?

AI is a phenomenal sidekick for effective sales writing. One of the keys for high-impact messaging is truly understanding your prospect, and AI can be a great brainstorming tool to help you uncover some of their dreams and challenges.

For example, I might ask it could be: “What are some of the biggest challenges facing the XYZ Industry this year?”

What’s great about generative AI is that you can build the questions on top of each other, so a follow-up question to narrow down even further might be, “How does a Senior Analyst in XYZ Industry experience those challenges as it relates to their unique position?” That helps it narrow down even further. In AI platforms like ChatGPT, we call this Prompt Chaining. Continuing to add questions to better refine and collect better info.

What do you think will be the big challenges and opportunities for salespeople using AI to write?

Resisting the temptation to copy and paste! ChatGPT and similar AI platforms, by their very nature, are pattern-seeking engines. They’re not actually writing an email using a human brain - they’re scanning the internet for patterns of how “something like this” has been done, and creating a well-informed guess of something new based on that information.

Because it’s using previous data, what you’ll get is the same general pattern that any other one of your competitors will also get – suddenly an “inventive” email from ChatGPT is the same thing everyone is seeing.

Don’t rest on your laurels when it comes to developing and honing your own writing skills. Learning the fundamentals behind good writing will help you edit whatever starting point AI gives you and allow you to make it better.

You said the most unique messages are created by humans. Can you tell us which parts of recruiting and sales will always need a human touch and can't be done by AI?

We all have a unique voice - whether that’s spoken or written.

- Henna Pryor

While AI can give us great information to start with, an AI message should rarely - if ever - be a final product, because it lacks heart. We need to make sure we sweep a brush over everything we do with a coating of raw humanity. People are starved for connection right now, or even something that resembles it, and if we can take a few extra moments to make someone feel like there’s a human on the other side of the interaction, it goes a long way.

For administrative follow-up work (summarizing meeting notes, sending a follow-up reminder about something scheduled), an AI message is fine. But is anything that’s intended to be person to person? Human touch is non-negotiable.

Henna, you've had a successful career in recruiting on the East Coast while also balancing family and travel. What's your secret to managing all these roles?

Is there a secret?! Can someone tell it to me?

In all seriousness, the tip I can give is this: When you have big professional and personal goals and juggling it all seems daunting or like it feels hard to manage, rethink your definition of success in everything you do. For me, that means really focusing on quality and not quantity.

On a particularly busy week, I may have several speaking engagements out of state and don’t get to see my kids. If I focus on how little I saw my kids that week, it feels like a punch in the gut. But if I focus on the fact that when I come home, I spend quality time with them where I aim to be fully present and locked in, then it helps me feel good about it.

The reverse is true too - sometimes I feel like I have less time/energy for my business, but if I have a few hours only, then I aim to make them focused, high-quality hours instead of half-distracted, “refreshing my email every 10 minutes” hours.

Any advice for aspiring leaders in the recruiting industry?

Right now, we’re living in an Attention Economy. Attention is a currency and we really can’t afford to waste time sending messages that are getting instantly deleted. I know it feels safe to do what everyone else is doing, but if you want to succeed and help your future teams succeed, get in the practice of zagging while everyone else is zigging. It’s good to be better than your competition - but it’s even better to be different.

Blog 2024 Talentor International Leaders Program Henna Pryor

Thank you for your time, Henna! And thank you for being part of our Leaders4Tomorrow Program. You can find more information about Henna here and you can read all the details about our leadership program that we crafted for rising leaders making sure our businesses succeed in recession times in the recruiting industry here.