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A lot of work goes into finding and hiring new employees. From creating a job listing to the final day of training, there are a lot of boxes to check and logistics to manage. For some businesses, pre-employment drug testing is a part of the hiring and onboarding process. Is it really necessary though?

Why Pre-Employment Drug Testing Matters

Everyone wants to work in an environment that is as safe as possible. Pre-employment drug testing can help facilitate that. Many workplace accidents and injuries involve substance abuse or misuse. Clearly stating from the beginning in the job description that a clean drug test is a condition of being hired may discourage people who would otherwise increase the risk of accident or injury, not to mention missed work time and lost productivity.

Employee Drug Testing Legalities

Drug testing legalities are handled at the state level. As such, you should check your state’s regulations to ensure you comply with the law regarding such tests. That said, there are some best practices for pre-employment drug testing that you should follow regardless. Disclose that a clean test is a condition for being hired. Require the same type of drug test for all applicants. Have them administered in a state-certified laboratory as well.

Administering Drug Tests

Drug tests most commonly test samples of hair, urine, saliva, or blood. They can test for things like methamphetamines, cocaine, THC, phencyclidine, and opiates. Urine tests are mandated for regulated drug tests and tend to be the most common type of test as a result. You can expect a urine test to detect illicit substances used within the last 5-10 days. Saliva tests are a common alternative if not enough urine is produced. They are non-invasive and easy enough to do, though they only detect substances used within the last 7-21 hours. That can make them less useful. By comparison, blood tests are quite invasive and expensive, with an even shorter detection period (though they are highly accurate), and hair tests are expensive as well. Hair tests have the longest detection period though, detecting drug and alcohol use within the last 90 days. While each type has its pros and cons, urine tests seem to be the best option overall.

Pre-employment drug testing can be a valuable part of the employee screening and hiring process. It’s not always easy to handle in-house though. Fortunately, that’s not something you have to worry about when you partner with a PEO like Quality Payroll. When you partner with us, we’ll handle all of that for you so you can get back to the business of running your business.

Handling pre-employment drug testing is just one of the services we offer at Quality Payroll. Click here to see the other services we offer today!

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