Is formal drug testing something your business does on a regular basis? With employees costing companies millions of dollars each year due to drug use, it makes sense to consider it. However, there are both good and bad that come from these programs.

Many businesses are turning to pre-employment drug screening programs. The move to create a drug-free workplace is a big one and it is not just growing in the U.S. but around the world. There are both outsourced and onsite drug testing programs in use. However, these types of employee screenings do dive into the personal lives of employees and for that reason it can become a negative practice if abused.

Why You Should Have a Pre-Employment Drug Screen Program

There are numerous benefits to using this type of screening process:

  • The biggest benefit of using pre-employment drug testing is to prevent hiring those using illegal drugs. These drugs are responsible for thousands of accidents each year and cost companies millions in accidents.
  • Candidates will know what they are tested for prior to taking the test if they ask. This can allow the individual to refuse the job offer. Some that try to beat the system, but research indicates this is very low.
  • In many cases, this type of pre-screening program can reduce costs related to employer-sponsored benefits. Some companies offer breaks to those businesses taking these steps because it is more affordable to insure these individuals.

Why You May Consider Not Doing Pre-Employment Drug Screens

Though it may seem like there are no negatives to this type of screening, there are some unexpected cons:

  • It is only an accurate measure of the time the test is taken, not before and not after.
  • It is possible for false positives to occur.
  • In some cases, individuals may fail these tests due to prescription medications and herbal supplement use. Even some foods containing chemicals in urine can lead to a bad result.
  • The tests must meet federal drug testing guidelines. If they do not, this could backfire for the employer.

Ultimately, the business must determine if drug screening is a good idea in their situation. If it is, it may be beneficial to consider random drug testing, if appropriate and legally possible. Additionally, it is a good idea to ensure the program meets all federal guidelines. When used properly, it can be an ideal way to help reduce risks in the workplace.

What do you think about pre-employment drug screens? Please share your comments and feedback below!

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Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor is the Founder and CEO of HR Knows

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