Advantages and Disadvantages of Pre-Employment Drug Testing

By | November 7, 2013

Pre-employment drug testing plays a critical role in reducing drug-abusers in an organization. It saves millions of dollars to the employer, as every year drug use costs millions of dollars to the company. So, it is recommended for every employer to implement “Pre-employment drug testing program” in their organization. This can be either done by outsourcing or by conducting on-site testing program. In this article, you will see the advantages and disadvantages of pre-employment drug testing.

Advantages of pre-employment drug testing:
Pre-employment drug testing is done on candidates who are offered the job. The employer should clearly mention about the drug testing program to the candidate. By having pre-employment drug testing done on the candidate, it will help you in the following ways.

  • Prevents hiring illicit drug abusers: This is one of the biggest benefit of doing pre-employment drug testing. Based on the drug testing results, employer can find out the drug habits of the candidate. This prevents the employer from hiring drug abusers.
  • Keeps good reputation of the organization: If drug abusers come to know about pre-employment drug testing program, they will surely not apply for a job in that organization. In this way the organization is able to keep up the good reputation by not hiring drug abusers.
  • Reduces sluggish drug abusers: It is a good approach to avoid sluggish drug abuser applicants. Sluggish drug abusers usually come late to office and leave early, spend time on non-work related activities, poor job performance, frequent absenteeism, poor decision making skills, undergoes frequent accidents, argues with co-workers, blames the superiors for own mistakes, etc. These things results into loss of productivity for the organization.
  • Indirectly reduces the cost benefits: Pre-employment drug testing indirectly reduces the cost associated with employer sponsored benefits (medical benefits). Because drug abused employees frequently fall sick.
  • Drug-free workstation: It helps in creating a drug-free working environment and reduces the probabilities of handling any future misconducts done by drug abused employees.

Disadvantages of pre-employment drug testing:

  • When conducting pre-employment drug testing on a candidate make sure you use kits that are FDA approved, as the results are accurate and reliable. If you use unreliable drug testing kit on a candidate and the candidate is not a drug abuser, but the results are negative. This may bring a bad name to your organization.
  • Candidates who take prescription medications and herbal supplements, drug testing on such candidates may show positive results. Even though the candidate is a drug abuser he will get selected as the results are positive.
  • Tests should be conducted according to the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Guidelines. If an employer failed to follow the guidelines, the employer can be fined.

Many organizations are conducting pre-employment drug testing programs. These programs not only help in creating a drug-free workplace, but also saves billions of dollars to the employers.