Today’s workforce culture continues to evolve and is especially influenced by changing marijuana laws, an ultra-competitive job market, and rising drug positivity rates. As a result, many employers are contemplating the pros and cons of relaxing job requirements. Adecco, a leading U.S. recruiting and staffing firm, surveyed over 500 decision-makers with surprising results. Forty-nine percent of companies stated they were restructuring their hiring strategies, with 21 percent rethinking pre-employment drug tests.
While it may seem like an easy fix to eliminate your drug screening programs, foregoing testing can negatively impact workplace safety. In this time of uncertainty, companies must balance the need to expand the talent pool with mitigating risk.
Drug Test, please – But Hold the Weed
Marijuana legislation and usage is creating quite the haze for employers. While marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, 46 states now have at least a limited form of legal marijuana use. With the exception of Nevada and New York City, companies still have the right to test for marijuana in the pre-employment process. However, staying compliant with the changing laws is challenging. These difficulties have prompted companies to consider scaling back drug testing.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a “drug test or not” decision for employers who want to steer clear of the complicated marijuana legislation. Weed-free drug test panels are available for just this purpose. These tests still measure dangerous substances but omit THC. These customized drug testing panels can provide hiring managers a level of confidence while avoiding the headache of keeping up with ever-changing legislation.
Hiring in a Hurry
In today’s competitive job market, companies risk losing top candidates if their hiring process is not efficient. In the Adecco study, nearly forty percent of employers surveyed admitted to loosening their job requirements. “It’s an indicator of where we are and how hard it is to find talent,” said Bill Ravenscroft, senior vice president at Adecco (CNN).
In an attempt to speed up the onboarding process, some companies have considered relaxing their drug testing policies for prospective employees. However, the time savings is negligible, as many drug screening options can return negative results within 24 hours, matching speed requirements while offering peace of mind.
A 5-panel drug test, such as ESS’s ExpressHire, analyzes samples for the presence of the most commonly abused drugs – marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and PCP, returning negative results almost immediately. A 10-panel test looks for the next five most abused substances and can also offer a quick turnaround time.
For Safety’s Sake
Prioritizing safety is key in operating a successful business. While relaxing drug screening requirements may be the trend, there are some careers where any impairment on the job is dangerous. Some industries, such as transportation or healthcare, have regulations requiring a high level of drug screening to be compliant. However, with workplace drug positivity rising, stricter drug testing is an option for businesses with safety-sensitive positions, even if not required by federal or state regulation.
In situations where a standard 5-panel drug test may not seem like enough, adding specific drug types may not include the dangerous substances that strongly affect safety. Expanded panels, like ESS’s Safety Sensitive panel, test for trending drugs like marijuana and cocaine, but also look for other substances, such as opioids, heroin, and meth, which allows for a complete screen of a potential hire.
It’s time to build drug screening programs that meets the needs and unique risk profile of your business. Employment Screening Services (ESS) now offers FOCUS Panels, specialized drug testing options that address today’s workforce substance use challenges. Contact one of our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org today to discover which panel is right for you.