Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

A Look at the Application Process: Past, Present, and Future

The candidate application process is an ever-changing process when it comes to selecting the best talent for your business.  Have you taken a look at your application process and how it has changed from the past, present, and future? 

Applications of the Past

Ten to twenty years ago, it was fairly standard for HR or staffing firms to simply post an ad in the local newspaper and wait for the applications to start flowing in through the mail.  While waiting for the applications, a recruiter would diligently thumb through his rolodex, in search of the perfect candidate based on past notes.  Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)  were not as popular yet and most recruiters had to rely on memory, while flipping through stacks of resumes, applications, and notes.

While this process did the job back then, WOW – what a time-consuming and slow process!

Applications of the Present

Thankfully, for hard working recruiters, Applicant Tracking Systems made their way into the industry.  As time progressed, ATS’s became more advanced, allowing recruiters to electronically post ads and receive applications directly through the ATS.  Recruiters are also able to digitally search resumes and previously made notes for certain skills or keywords, rather than having to flip through hundreds and hundreds of paper resume files and rolodex notes.

In addition, job boards such as Monster and CareerBuilder have become more popular.  Not only do these job boards allow recruiters to post job ads and receive applications via email or directly into their ATS, but they also have extensive search functions, allowing recruiters to search resumes of job seekers in their database.

Let’s not forget social media and the great leaps and bounds it has made in the recruiting industry in the last several years.  For the most part, everyone is on social media and this source has allowed recruiters the opportunity to tap into the passive candidate pool like never before.

In addition to all of these changes, one of the most advanced has been video interviews.  Still, fairly fresh in the industry, video interviewing has been increasingly growing in popularity.  Not only can video be used for live interviews, but it is also being used in place of resumes (video resumes) as well as a way to initially screen candidates throughout the application process by conducting one-way interviews.  During a one-way interview, a candidate simply records their responses to questions you have sent them.  This allows you to visually view their responses and replay as much as needed.

Applications of the Future

With the increasing popularity and advances in technology, applications of the future will be more virtual with less paper and forms.

Video resumes will be seen more frequently, and more businesses will embrace one-way and live  video interviewing.  Video has and will greatly increase a company’s chances of hiring the best talent by being able to see and connect with a candidate early in the interview process.  In addition to this, video will help to speed up our application process by saving initial screening time and eliminating candidates early on who do not meet the required skill sets.

Looking to the future, I believe that interview applications and interviewing will become even more broader throughout the application process.  Just imagine conducting a video interview through a social media platform, or candidates posting their video resumes on their social media profiles, as well as on job boards!

The application process has drastically changed over the years, with certain processes failing or fading out with the changing of times.  However, I believe that video is here to stay and that we will be seeing much more of it in the future of our application process.

What do you think the future of applications look like?  Please share your thoughts below.

Image: Kritiya/

Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.