Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Student Recruitment: A Framework Developed through A Multi-Phased, Multi-Method Process Planning Approach

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Student Recruitment: A Framework Developed through A Multi-Phased, Multi-Method Process Planning Approach

Article excerpt

In a world that is increasingly competing for human resources, finding the most suitable student for a specific profession tends to be challenging. When various allied health groups recruit from the same pool, a specific recruitment strategy is needed to ensure that the students whom they recruit will most probably succeed and will be retained for the profession.

The global shortage of health professionals is escalating at an alarming rate; hence recruitment strategies need to be examined. Currently, there is a global shortage of 7.2 million health care workers and the projected estimate for 2035 is 12.9 million (Brooks, 2013). This implies a dire need to train and sustain more health care workers because the current rate of training will not address the demand, which, in future, will negatively influence access to essential health care services. The inadequacy in the supply-demand chain is especially acute in developing countries such as those in subSaharan Africa (Brooks, 2013).

According to Dr Etienne, World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for the Americas, members of the profession have a responsibility to ensure that "everyone - especially people in vulnerable communities and remote areas - has access to welltrained, culturally sensitive, and competent health staff' (GHWA-WHO, 2013). Dr Kieny, WHO assistant director-general for health systems and innovation, adds to this by emphasising that training institutions need to be proactive and address this shortage by reconsidering the way we educate the future workforce (Brooks, 2013). However, education never occurs in isolation, and a major factor impacting on education and training is the calibre and quality of student recruited for the specific profession.

Recruitment of the correct students might therefore impact positively on the global shortage of health care professionals.

There is considerable evidence in the literature that, despite the critical importance of recruiting the best possible students for education and training, many institutions do not have a specific recruitment plan geared to student recruitment (Lubbe, 2012). With the abovementioned situation in mind, a multiphased study was conducted to develop a framework to aid in the recruitment of the best possible students for a specific profession. According to the assessors of the thesis, the recruitment framework can be used as a basis for a recruitment plan for various professions and highereducation institutions (HEIs), whether private, public or parastatal.

Leadership and management may play a vital role in ensuring that recruitment plans, policies and actions will support the recruitment of the best possible candidates for the profession. A recruitment plan, based on a validated framework for recruitment, may contribute to improving throughput and to retaining professionals so that, ultimately, this may make a difference in the quality of health care and, at the same time, address the declining number of health care workers.


In order to create a viable recruitment framework, a four-phased, multimethod study, spanning five years, was constructed. The study was grounded in an adapted version of the process planning model as originally described by ZuberSkerritt (2002) and adapted and elaborated on by other authors (Lubbe, 2012; Simeon, 2014). The development of the framework was undertaken in four different phases. During Phases 1 and 2, a descriptive, exploratory, qualitative design with a contextual focus was utilised. In Phase 3, where quantitative enhancement of the data obtained in Phases 1 and 2 was needed, a quantitative approached was utilised. The data was gathered using a questionnaire to ensure validity of content. (See Figure 1 for an overview of the different phases that guided the process.)

Population, Sampling and Response Rate The sample population consisted of local nurse educators and student recruiters (Phases 1 and 2) and local and international nurse educators and student recruiters (Phase 3) respectively. …

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