Employers implement games for increasing the knowledge and skills of their team more and more. Participating in a game simply feels different from taking an exam. Being able to win and earn prizes adds an extra dynamic, resulting in better performance. If one can increase knowledge and skills by means of a serious game, why not use one to test applicants’ skills and knowledge in the recruitment process?
We spoke to Irene Heijmeriks (AtHand) and Jelmer de Vries from FBTO.

The challenge

Jelmer: ‘The FBTO contact centre is always looking for new employees who are flexible and customer oriented. Most customer questions are answered by phone, email, and chat, so mastering the Dutch language is essential for employees. FBTO needed a method to test these necessary skills in advance in order to make the recruitment process more efficient and give new employees a strong head start.

The game

The applicants received an URL and an activation code to get access to the game. If they score well on the language quiz questions, the candidate proceeds to assignments which test the ability to phrase clear sentences within a limited time.

The game takes less than 45 minutes to finish completely, and most candidates say they find it ‘a lot of fun’. It has become an important part of the recruitment process of FBTO. ‘At the same time, the game gives new employees an accurate impression of the work ethic and methods used within the company,’ Irene Heijmeriks explains.

Jelmer de Vries: ‘Because we don’t actually have a benchmark to compare with earlier results, we just look at the whole picture. If someone’s writing skills in the game prove to be satisfactory, and the following interview goes well too, the applicant will be hired.’

Result: better candidates

Thanks to the recruitment game, FBTO was able to recruit better candidates for its contact centre. In turn, customers get the attention they need and more, resulting in higher customer satisfaction. Plus, the number of applicants dropping out in the recruitment process decreased. A win-win thanks to the recruitment game.

It’s not just about your CV, but mostly about your skills

‘For a lot of jobs, just showing your curriculum vitae isn’t sufficient to prove your skills and traits. A customer contact employee needs to be communicative, customer-friendly, and quick on their feet. For these requirements, whichever degree one has does not always matter. It’s plainly about the right person in the right role,’ says Irene Heijmeriks.

‘The labor shortage emphasizes this fact. That’s the reason FBTO was looking for a new way to reach and recruit new people, while looking into their skills beforehand. Their recruitment game made this possible. We are currently looking for a way to translate this to other functions within the company.’

gamification recruitment

Saving time and money

‘Thanks to serious games for recruitment, we’re able to screen many more candidates at once,’ Jelmer de Vries reports. ‘Even before talking to them face to face, we can test whether they have the relevant knowledge and skills. Meaning: less time needed for onboarding, more suitable candidates, and an earlier start.’

‘For the applicant, it is a fun game to play and a great introduction to the company and the job. Meanwhile, the recruiters learn all they need to know about a person’s strengths and weaknesses.’


The game is very suitable for testing basic skills and making a first selection. An follow-up game could be added to build and maintain a positive relationship between the employee and the company. Workers are scarce nowadays, so chances are high that an employee walks out the door chasing a better offer before they even started their new job. A fun game for proper introduction or onboarding can prevent this. We’re continuously working on improvements for this new recruitment tool,’ Heijmeriks explains.

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