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What are the Reasons for Not Hiring an Applicant?

Many employers choose to send a standard rejection letter without explaining why you did not receive the job. Companies have varied motives for not disclosing information about employment decisions.


One of the reasons that recruiters use job descriptions to construct the posting for a vacant position is to ensure they accurately state the job's basic requirements and qualifications. In return, they expect to receive applications and resumes from qualified applicants; however, that doesn't always happen. During the interview process, the recruiter or hiring manager who discovers that an applicant doesn't have the requisite skills or qualifications makes the decision to eliminate that applicant from the pool of qualified candidates.


Employment applications typically ask if the applicant can prove eligibility to work for a U.S. employer. Invariably, there is an applicant who answers "yes" to the question about whether he can provide documentation that he is eligible to work for a U.S. employer, but he is ineligible.


Background and reference checks sometimes reveal inconsistencies in applicants' skills, qualifications, or credentials. Recruiters may give applicants an opportunity to explain inconsistencies revealed by background and reference checks; however, barring a reasonable justification, the company won't hire the applicant based on misrepresentation or falsification of qualifications.

Organizational Culture

One of the most difficult reasons to explain why an applicant wasn't hired is describing how the applicant's personality and work style just don't mesh with the organizational culture. Obviously, this is a subjective reason for denying employment. It's difficult to justify to the unsuccessful candidate how the decision was made to hire one applicant over another. Cultural fit means that there's a parallel between the employer's and the candidate's values. Provided the cultural-fit-based decision isn't discriminatory, it's the employer's prerogative to select the applicant who is best suited for the company's culture and work environment.


Other reasons to deny employment to an applicant involve company processes or procedures that render the applicant ineligible. Applicants who don't show up for scheduled interviews or displaying obnoxious behavior usually won't get a job offer.

A candidate is the most important visitor; he is not an interruption in our work. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” – Mahatma Gandhi
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