I'd just like to preface everything I'm going to say with the knowledge that everything I say is purely subjective, opinion-oriented and primarily anecdotal experience-based. In saying that, what I'll be writing here is purely to spark conversation and debate about this topic for a more educated thought-process on the matters of application and recruitment.
To start off, I think it's important to understand that online application isn't necessarily the only output of quality recruitment into the guild - nor should it be the only avenue available, I believe. Rather, I'd like to see trained and approved officers recruiting in-game for Heartwing, under the clause that people who join the guild understand the fundamentals presented to them (presumably by an officer prefacing the recruitment process with a linking to the rules, backstory, etc).
In by having an in-game recruitment process, it means people don't have to come to the forums, make an account, activate it, spend the time writing an application, wait for someone to read it and process it, and then finally have the amendment stages be gone through before final acceptance. Rather, with an in-game process, you have two people dedicating a potential hour's worth of their time to have a quality member join the guild by filling out the application process in a real-time, live, scenario. Whether that means you only recruit 2 - 3 people per session based on the recruitment process, or none at all, is the risk you take.
However, the bonuses with the in-game process is that you're offering a faster, more direct avenue towards people getting into the guild, and immediately involved. I think only having mortals be able to join this way is a little arbitrary for a dragon-oriented guild (despite the desperately needed presence of said mortals). Rather, it'd be wiser to have a precedence over mortal applications, and a push towards having mortals join the guild.
I definitely think in-game recruitment needs to be something that should be looked at in-depth, and should definitely have trials before actual implementation. But in no way do I think that it should be exclusively mortals, I feel that if someone can dedicate up to an hour of their day to sit down with another person online and go through an interview process, then they too have the same ethic of filling out a tedious application and having it approved.
The only downside to the in-game recruitment process which I can see, is that it lacks the amendment option which applications have, meaning if someone is denied off the bat, we lose a potentially quality roleplayer who only had minor issues with their recruitment process.
Likewise with the concern of quality, I feel that as long as the recruiter in this process has a clear mind of what 'quality' means to Heartwing, and what Heartwing is looking for, then they could adequately do their job in recruiting said quality people into the guild.
All in all, the purpose of this wouldn't be to solely increase quantity, but open up the avenues for which people can join the guild and thus broaden our horizons in searching and having quality RPers join the guild. As a side note, this recruitment process doesn't necessarily need to be IC, nor would I recommend it to be IC, because such an environment would limit the ability for an interviewer to accurately determine the depth of a person's scope in RP and in their own role, as sole RP can often-times be deceiving.