summer / 2016

The magazine of branded content
One Client,
Three Innovative
Content Solutions
Juliet Stott
Juliet Stott
Jun 1, 2016

Multi-award-winning content marketer Mike Winkleman, president of Leverage Media, is no stranger to creating innovative content. In fact, he’s won several awards including gold at last year’s Pearl awards for his firm’s innovative work with the digital recruitment company, HireVue. Here, he talks to Content Magazine about how content can benefit its creators by establishing them as thought leaders, driving web traffic, garnering customer loyalty, and providing brands with a real sense of differentiation. But innovation is the key. “It’s tempting to follow the leader, thinking what’s worked for someone else will work for you, but it’s far better when it comes to content marketing to be the leader, charting new territory, trying new approaches, and even risking failure,” he says.

Here Winkleman shares insights about his award-winning work for HireVue and gives his top 10 tips on how you can create innovative content, too.

The Product:

The digital recruiting company, HireVue, has a software program that allows applicants to upload interview videos they’ve created to apply for jobs posted by HireVue’s clients. HireVue sends applicants the software, complete with interview questions and the applicants then film themselves answering those questions. HireVue sends the uploaded digital interviews to its client, which they can watch at their leisure, tag them, play them over and over, share them with colleagues, or ignore those that aren’t right for the job. Recruiters working with HireVue no longer have to rely on searching LinkedIn profiles, sifting through resumes or flying potential candidates into the office for interviews. Instead, they can do it all remotely, saving time, money, and aggravation. In 2014 HireVue introduced an algorithm that enables recruiters to score potential candidates against high-performing employees based on pre-set criteria measured through the interviews.

The Challenge:

HireVue is an iconoclastic company; its marketing team likes to break the rules and challenge convention. They not only want to be known as thought leaders in their field, but they want to stand out, be edgier and more out there than their competitors. They approached Leverage Media to help them grab people’s attention and push the boundaries in an industry that traditionally relies on very conservative marketing tactics.

The Solutions

Game Board:
Game Board

“HireVue: The Game - You vs The Status Quo”, which won two gold awards at the Pearl Awards, was designed to show the contrast between the usual pitfalls in the recruitment process—time wasted, false starts and horrific experiences with candidates—with the smooth and seamless HireVue recruitment method. The game board acted as a visual demonstration of how HireVue’s software has been designed to minimize the problems and address the difficult issues in the recruitment process. The game board stood out and drew attention to HireVue’s message. It was a fun and engaging way to convey the brand’s personality and served as a great ice breaker and conversational starter, which HireVue’s sales teams are still using.

3-D poster & glasses:

The 3-D poster and glasses were designed to illustrate one of the key advantages of using HireVue’s recruitment tools: the videos give hiring managers a 3-D view of a candidate. Rather than looking at flat paper resumes or LinkedIn profiles on the screen, hiring managers are able to watch a video interview of a potential candidate on their mobile device or computer and really get a feel for who that person is. The video allows the candidate to become three-dimensional, and hiring managers can learn much more from the candidate by how they present themselves, how they speak, and how they tell their stories. The poster and glasses, which were originally distributed as a room drop to attendees at an HR technology conference, were designed to show how the HireVue recruitment process brings the flat, two-dimensional resume to life.


In 2014 HireVue, working with Leverage Media, turned to the retro ViewMaster device to demonstrate how HireVue had advanced its technology. In 2014 HireVue had introduced an algorithm which enabled hiring managers to score candidates, based on what they said and how they said it, against attributes they’d already established as critical performance measures. The algorithm helped HireVue’s clients determine whether a candidate—even if he or she didn’t appear on the surface to have the right qualifications, education and experience—would be a good fit. The ViewMaster was used as a vehicle to tell that story. Leverage Media wrote a script, created a storyboard and put the story about a hiring manager using HireVue’s new technology to filter suitable candidates, onto a ViewMaster reel. They distributed the device, enclosed in a special wrapper, as a room drop at a HR technology conference. To see the reel in its full glory, conference attendees had to bring it down to HireVue’s booth on the exhibit floor, where they would be handed a HireVue-branded ViewMaster device. This clever “call to action” created a buzz at the conference and helped to differentiate the HireVue brand from the usual run of the mill marketing materials found at recruitment conferences.

The Results:

Although HireVue doesn’t put a number to the ROI, it has seen significant benefits thanks to its innovative approach to content marketing. HireVue’s sales teams continue to use the all three pieces as effective conversation starters and ice breakers in new business meetings. The materials have also positioned HireVue as an innovative, cool company to work with.