On another server (for Garry's Mod) that I used to play on (shut down), the staff applications were open to the public for viewing/commenting on. Players could input their opinion on whether or not they deserved the rank, etc. This usually consisted of a player giving what they thought about the player/if they should be accepted, and then giving a +1, -1, or staying neutral. This could help the staff make the decision, however whether or not they get accepted is still up to the staff to decide. It's a pretty good system, so I thought I'd suggest it for here.