Is The Paper Employment Application Obsolete?

March 22, 2018

I encountered this lovely artifact on the steps of the building leading to my favorite Tuesday night restaurant. Since I started recruiting during a time when fax machines and landlines were more common than job boards and mobile apps, I was surprised, but familiar.  My first thought, since I’ve adopted the technological advances that have automated recruiting, was

Who the hell still uses paper employment applications?

Feeling the guilt of my snobbish initial thought, I couldn’t help but think about that sad, wet, employment application as I enjoyed my glass of wine.   A number of questions began swirling in my #TrapRecruiter mind.

  1. Was it dropped and has the person now been excluded from the applicant pool?

  2. Was it a print out of a form that was completed online?

  3. Did a snob recruiter (like me) or job seeker leave it there on purpose to send the message that “Ain’t nobody got time, for that”?

  4. Does the organization use paper applications because it caters to job seekers who don’t have access to computers or is the organization lagging far behind the technology curve?

  5. Do they have a Recruiting Assistant who has to manually enter the information into their ATS or do they have a tool that does it for them?

  6. Do they have an ATS?

What do you think?

Is the paper employment application obsolete?