More businesses have gradually included drug testing during the pre-employment phase compared to the past years, but the issue remains controversial. More companies are making this as one of the tests that employees should complete because of an increase in drug consumption and abuse.
According to statistics, around 1,500 individuals die on a weekly basis due to drug addiction; almost 12% of the US population are involved in marijuana use, and nearly 50% of American adults ages 18-21 years old have tried drugs in one way or another. Whether it’s curious teens or chronic drug dependents, drug consumption has been seen to skyrocket.
Businesses have been seeking the services or trusted companies like Confirm BioSciences for assistance on this matter. While the opinions on pre-employment drug tests vary, here are the pros and cons of including drug testing as a business’ recruitment process:
1. Promotes workplace health and safety
Workplace health and safety is the biggest benefit of pre-employment drug testing. Employees who use drugs can pose a risk to their colleagues and the company. If an individual is under the influence of drug, it’s undeniable that there could be some workplace accidents.
This can be very important. especially if the job role involves safety-sensitive jobs like driving vehicles, chemical operators, operating engineers, or those in construction. Besides that, potential workplace conflict or violence could increase because of aggressive drug-using employees. With testing pre-employment, you could reduce these dangers.
2. Increased productivity
A safe working environment will motivate employees to be more productive and will allow them to perform in their maximum potential. In addition to productivity, there will be less behavioral issues, including tardiness and absenteeism. Drug testing is one of the ways you could achieve a hassle-free workplace.
3. Decreased employee turnover and recruitment costs
While this test could be seen as an additional cost by some employers, the recruitment costs could actually be lower in the long run compared to when there’s no testing.
In a research conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a drug-abusing employee could reach up to three times of switching jobs in a year. However, it is usually the top-performing staff who leave the company first, as they feel that they aren’t in a safe working environment or if their morale has plummeted.
4. Helps identify potential problems
As previously mentioned, drug-using employees could drive your tardiness and absenteeism rates higher, as well as pose potential behavioral issues, conflict, and violence in the workplace. With the help of early detection pre-employment, you will be saved the hassle and the stress of dealing with these employees before they are hired.
5. Minimizes liabilities
Because of its increase, you minimize liabilities caused by drug-related accidents and worker’s compensation claims. At the same time, you also lessen potential legal liabilities and avoid a tainted reputation in your industry and the workforce.
6. Decrease your time on interviews
When you have this test, you can determine who you’re interviewing or who are proceeding to the next step in recruitment. You avoid losing time in interviewing candidates who won’t be able to do the job, and you’ll have more time in assessing other applicants who have the potential to fit the role instead.
1. Additional expense to the company
The cost can be seen as a significant disadvantage by some employers because this can involve a considerable amount that won’t be recouped by the company. Depending on the drug test, the price can range from approximately $28-$40 per person. At the same time, a confirmation test when the initial test turns positive is also something that has to be considered.
A few employees who are terminated in the recruitment process may file a legal case to express that the process is “unfair” and that they deserve a second chance. Regardless if the employee loses the case, that doesn’t mean that the company isn’t losing money with these kinds of lawsuits.
2. Resentment from candidates and employees
Another controversial aspect regarding testing is the accusations in violating privacy. It’s crucial that companies have a well-communicated drug policy to its applicants and employees to avoid the feeling of resentment when they learn the procedure. It can also affect the moral of aspiring employees during the recruitment process.
Pre-employment testing can help you screen applicants, even if it entails some cost. Even in the presence of such debate and contention, it’s undeniable that pre-employment drug testing does more good than bad for any company in any industry.