Dutch National Police uses online gaming for recruitment

An online gaming experience and recruitment vehicle, #Crimediggers aims to find skilled developers interested in digital forensics careers.

The campaign website has had over 100,000 unique visitors and 53,381 registered players, resulting in over 1042 applications to fill 110 vacancies with the Dutch Police.

Gamification of the recruitment process

Steam.nl, an award-winning employer branding agency based in Amsterdam, is the creative brain behind #Crimediggers, the online gaming experience created for the Dutch National Police force. Including a rich narrative of interactive experiences, the game is part of a recruitment campaign aimed at finding skilled IT professionals wanting to pursue a career in criminal investigative work.

“In a tight labour market, we were challenged with finding a target audience not aware of the opportunities a career in digital forensics could offer” said Hans Kroonen, CEO at Steam. “We had a clear vision of how we wanted to engage with this audience, and knew we needed a complex and multi-faceted gaming application to be at the core of a more traditional marketing drive”.

Supported by Docker-based container architecture

Steam used Cloud 66, a London-based tech startup to build and deploy Docker-based container architecture, consisting of several integrated polyglot applications. “The ease of using Cloud 66 to build and deploy #Crimediggers was instrumental to creating a multi-layered, interactive app experience” said Kroonen. Different stages of the game had potential recruits interact with image-based evidence, decode forensics data, solve cryptic hacker alerts and combine their findings with other players to advance through each level.

Digital skills needed in national police forces

“The evolving threats and forensics requirements of a connected world, mean we have a real need for digital skills to help us combat crime,” said Barend Frans, Head of the Digital Forensics Team in Amsterdam for the Dutch National Police. “This initiative was all about finding the next generation of digital and financial investigation experts. Creating such a sophisticated technical deployment in support of the campaign would have taken us weeks, if not months to operationalise in-house. The team did an exceptional job, and I’m very pleased with the results”.

“#Crimediggers is a terrific example of how agencies like Steam are using Cloud 66 to overcome challenging technical hurdles for their clients” said Khash Sajadi, CEO and cofounder of Cloud 66. “As engineers ourselves, we’re very focused on creating the tools needed by developers to help deploy applications seamlessly”.


Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn.