Considering Family and Significant Others in the Faculty Recruitment Process: A Study of Social Work Recruiting Practices

  • Michael E. Sherr
  • Johnny M. Jones
Keywords: Family, recruitment, education, social work, spouse, partner


One of the most important facets of quality social work education is the recruitment and retention of faculty. This mixed methods study uses findings from an on-line survey of 106 recent (within three years) faculty hires and their (n=24) spouse/partner/significant others (S/P/SO) to determine the degree to which family- integrative recruitment strategies were being used in recruiting social work faculty and the impact with which the presence or absence of these strategies have on retention. A majority of respondents reported that S/P/SO were excluded from the recruitment process.Though the few respondents who felt included were pleased with their current position and planned to pursue tenure to stay with the school, a significant number of faculty whose S/P/SO were not involved were already contemplating their next position.The authors suggest family integrative strategies that help S/P/SO connect with the community may give social work programs the competitive edge they need to attract and retain the best and brightest social work faculty.