The right people for the job; testing numeracy, literacy and social skills prior to offering an interview when recruiting new student midwives

Authors: Rawnson, S., Angell, C., Wilkins, C. and Taylor, A.

Conference: EMA Educational Conference

Dates: 29-30 November 2013


Recruiting suitable students for midwifery education has far reaching implications. Future staffing of midwifery services relies on identifying potential students who will successfully complete their education programme and be retained in the midwifery service as safe and effective practitioners. In addition, universities are reliant on robust recruitment processes to ensure good academic outcomes and to protect them from the financial losses and reputation damage incurred if students leave. Because very large numbers of candidates apply for midwifery education programmes it is essential to have a means of identifying those who are suitable in a way which is not only accurate but is also resource and time efficient.

This presentation will report on the development of, and outcomes from, a new recruitment process implemented by a UK university. This was designed to resolve the problems associated with a subjective interview based recruitment process, which was time consuming and occasionally resulted in the recruitment of unsuitable students. The new process involves testing of short listed students, with only those who meet the required pass criteria being invited to stay for interview. The consultation, development process and issues involved in moving to an objective recruitment strategy will be described in detail. Analysis of evaluations from interview days demonstrates that despite the rigor and increased level of testing applicants were positive about the interview day. Because the process was new to the university data were collected to track the progress of the new cohort of students compared to previous year groups, identifying differences in retention as well as academic ability and clinical competence. The presentation will include a full discussion of these findings, and will also discuss possible future modifications and developments to the recruitment process.

Source: Manual