Human Resources professionals play vital roles in any organization. With effective recruitment strategies in place, the HR department can have a positive impact on the success of any business operation. One critical tool that can assist in the selection of high-performance employees is a drug screening program. 

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), roughly 67% of all drug users in the United States are employed. With an effective workplace drug testing program, your HR department will be able to assist in the hiring of the best, most-talented and drug-free candidates for any position in your organization.

To aid your company with this challenge, here are the top 10 drug testing tips for HR.

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1 – Know When To Conduct A Drug Test And Who To Test

There are different reasons for workplace drug testing. Pre-employment drug testing is administered to a potential new employee following a conditional offer for employment has been made. A negative result from the testing leads to employment.

A random selection from the current employee pool would be who you would conduct random drug testing upon. This process would also be at random times during a normal work cycle and would not be announced in advance.

2 – Your Needs Will Dictate What Kind of Test To Use

Your specific needs will guide you as to which drug testing method is best for your requirements. The most common workplace methods used for pre-employment or random drug testing are urine, hair, oral fluid and instant. We can help you determine which best suits your needs.

3 – Use Your Drug Tests To Screen For Commonly-Detected Drugs

The federal drug-testing program is a good framework to follow and many companies will use the guidelines from it for their workplace drug testing program. However, depending on regional patterns of drug use, employee demographics and job type you may wish to tailor your testing program to best fit these factors.

4 – Recognize The Risks of Not Conducting Drug Tests

Drug positivity in the United States continues to climb. This trend is also present in the workforce. The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index has indicated that the percentage of drug use by employed Americans has reached a 12-year high. Cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamines lead the list of drugs of choice.

5 – Define Your Drug Testing Window

To achieve more comprehensive screening – and better results – your testing pattern has to have a definition. To do this, your company will have to determine if it is testing for recent drug use or long-term use. This will also define what drug test types, or a combination of them, will work best in these circumstances.

6 – Select Who Will Be Collecting The Drug Test Specimen

This decision will depend on the type of drug testing being conducted. Some companies prefer to collect some or all of the drug test specimens out of ease with the tests being conducted at the workplace. Many other companies opt for both the administering of the drug tests and specimen collection to take place at a nearby testing facility. 

7 – Monitor and Update Your Company Drug Testing Policy Regularly

Because there are always changes taking place, it is a good business practice to keep your company drug testing policy up-to-date. It should reflect guidelines and standards that have been set out in state and federal laws. Ongoing changes regarding marijuana and the evolution of the current opioid epidemic should be addressed in an update to your drug testing policy. 

8 – Provide Regular Training Programs For Your Supervisors

To keep key personnel in your organization current with any of the changes to your drug testing policy, you should review the updates with them. Also, provide supervisors training to assist them in identifying the early warning signs of substance abuse. 

All management members in your organization should be documenting problems connected to performance-related issues. Training should also include information regarding employee assistance programs, health-insurance coverage plans for treatment and how to refer an employee to receive help.

9 – Be Transparent And Open About Why Your Company Conducts Drug Testing

Potential new employees should be aware of in advance that your company has mandatory pre-employment drug testing. Also, that conversation should include a notice that the only applicants who will be hired are those who have negative drug test results. Once a candidate is hired, they also should be told that with the company policy random drug testing will take place during their term of employment.

10 – Keep Up-To-Date On Drug Testing Information

The best way to stay on top of trends and changes related to drug testing programs and related activities is to continue to be educated on these items. There are several helpful resources available for you, your company and your management team. Organizations worth joining or subscribing to their regular newsletters include the following:

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

National Drug & Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA)

Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association (SAPAA)

Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA)

In Conclusion

Substance abuse has no place in the workforce. It has been proven to harm employee productivity and can slowly destroy your business from the inside out. The best way to ensure that the candidates you are hiring for positions within your company are the most productive is to implement drug testing as a condition of employment. 

Your HR department can use drug testing as a tool to help narrow the selection of potential employees from a pool of qualified candidates. Pre-employment drug testing and random drug testing, while may be viewed as a negative in some circles, actually keep your workplace safe for everyone on site. With proper education, managers can refer employees who fail random drug tests to where they can receive the help they need.

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