Every year, the American workforce is impacted by the number of increased accidents, medical costs, turnover and loss of credibility due to drug and alcohol abuse.  A business can be seriously hampered in their marketplace by employees who routinely abuse drugs and alcohol which in turn causes issues in the workplace.  As a part of any routine hiring process, drug testing is an important piece of a background check that should not be overlooked.

When a company is recruiting for new talent, they want to identify and hire the best qualified for the tasks of the position.  Even more important, due to the need to make the right hire to avoid the pitfalls of a failed decision, is that the characteristics an employee might bring to the workplace are identified and removed from consideration.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor put out the following statistics:

  • 75% of all illegal drug users are employed
  • 3% of illegal drug users say they have used illegal drugs before or during work
  • 79% of heavy alcohol abusers are employed
  • 7% say they have consumed alcohol during the workday

During the hiring process, a background check should include a pre-employment drug screening.  This helps to provide a comprehensive employment screening for the hiring manager.  This, however, should just be the beginning of a company’s standards for alcohol and drug use.  Every company should have some sort of comprehensive program that continually offers provisions for such things as post-accident drug screening, as well as random drug testing.

Unfortunately, many employers fail to have a comprehensive drug and alcohol program in place which can lead to problems down the road if incidences occur that involve alcohol or drug use.  One of the common mistakes is failure to have a written drug policy in place.  Such a policy would provide a guide for what type of testing will be required, and what would happen should a drug test come back positive.  Another mistake is the company’s failure to maintain the confidentiality of the test taker

It is always advisable for any business to make sure they are using an employment screening company for all of their background check needs.  PeopleG2 can also work with companies who want to establish drug testing as a regular part of their employment policies.  When considering your company’s policies and procedures, make sure they clearly spell out the expectation for employment and the rules surrounding drugs and testing procedures.  Regardless of how large or small your business may be, a screening package that includes drug testing should be considered, and allowing an experienced screening company handle the details is the best defense of any business and can safeguard both your reputation and your business.

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