Research shows that more than half of employers (57%) require job applicants to take a drug test before moving further in the hiring process.
Are you considering implementing this same policy at your workplace?
If so, you’re already one step ahead of the rest. Drug testing is an ideal way to learn more about the professionalism and performance of a potential hire.
Yet, not all drug tests are created equal. This means not every option will be a great fit for your organization.
Today, we’re taking a look at a few ways you can discern which test to implement.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
Understanding Your Criteria
Before you begin researching the myriad options at your fingertips, begin by asking your team this question: Which aspect of a given drug test is the most important to us?
Some companies will prioritize the window of detection. This is the length of time after an individual uses that a test can detect that substance.
Others might focus more on the cost of each test or the overall turnaround time. Take the time to determine your goals and objectives before looking into the specifics of each test.
Comparing Different Drug Tests
Once you know what you’re looking for, you can pare down your options more easily. Let’s review a few of the most common types of drug tests, along with their characteristic features.
Urine Drug Test
Considered by many to be the gold standard of drug testing, urine drug tests have grown in popularity since their inception. The only testing method approved for federally-mandated testing purposes, this is one of the most accurate and straightforward tests on the market.
A few of the benefits of urine drug testing include:
- A vast network of collection sites
- Standardized processes
- Testing panel customization
The only drawback to a urine test is that the window of detection can be narrow. In most cases, you’ll only be able to detect the presence of drugs ingested in the past one to four days.
In addition, as the specimen isn’t monitored during collection, there is the potential for it to be adulterated.
Hair Drug Test
Are you looking for a longer window of detection than a urine drug test can provide? In this case, a hair drug test is your best bet. It can detect use up to 90 days before the test administration!
How is this possible? When someone uses drugs, those chemicals enter into his or her bloodstream. From there, they travel into their hair cells, becoming infused with the strands as they grow.
Designed to reveal habitual drug use, this test is growing in popularity at workplaces all around the world.
As a hair test requires the presence of a technician to collect the sample, there’s also less risk of adulteration.
Yet, a hair exam is not without its drawbacks. Not only is it typically more expensive than a urine or oral fluid test, but it can also be a challenge to collect a sample due to someone’s length or lack of hair.
Moreover, drug use won’t show up in hair follicles until at least five to seven days later. This means you could get a false positive if someone just recently started using during the week before.
Hair vs Urine
Torn between these first two options?
The primary difference to keep in mind is the window of detection. A urine test has a shorter window, so it’s helpful when you need to determine if drugs were used over the past few days.
For instance, you might decide to drug test employees after a workplace accident to see if anyone was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This kind of short-term data won’t show up in a hair test, but it would in a urine test.
Saliva/Oral Fluid Test
Looking for methods you can complete at your office? A saliva drug test fits the bill. In this testing method, the collector will take a specimen of saliva from the inside of the applicant’s or employee’s mouth.
A cinch to perform, these tests are more accurate than ever before.
Because they’re so quick and convenient, they’re also ideal in situations that require batch drug testing of a group of people, such as a large hiring event.
Some of the benefits of an oral fluid test include:
- Direct observation by the collector
- The ability to detect recent drug use
Keep in mind, however, that this type of drug testing has the shortest detection window. You’ll only be able to detect the presence of drugs used within one or two days. As the employer, you’ll also be responsible for maintaining the inventory related to the testing process.
Order Your Corporate Drug Tests Today
As a savvy and informed employer, you want the inside scoop on every prospective hire and current team member that walks through your office door.
This is where drug tests come in.
Establishing a company-wide drug testing policy is one of the smartest ways to hold employees accountable and ensure a safe and effective workplace.
When it comes to choosing the best test for your company, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Take the time to review all of your options, figure out the elements that are the most important to you, and find one that fits your operational and financial goals.
Know what you need? Still figuring it out? Either way, we’re ready to help you take the next step.
We carry a wide inventory of drug tests available for purchase online. Feel free to browse our selection and contact us with any questions.