Looking for a Job? Prepare to Be Drug Tested

i4cp Study: Most Companies Drug Test, Especially During Pre-Employment

SEATTLE, WA (July 28, 2009) – If you're looking to land a job in today's economy, you've got a much better chance if you're drug free, suggests a new study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). The study found that three-quarters of companies polled have a drug screening policy, and almost all of those with a program say that pre-employment screening is the most common type.

A full 95% of companies that screen employees for drugs do so prior to hire; increasing to 100% in organizations with 10,000 or more workers. Seventy percent test when there is "reasonable suspicion" of drug use, 62% test following an employee accident, and 41% say they do random testing.

Among companies that do pre-employment drug screening, the largest share (47%) require that the test be conducted within four days of the applicant's acceptance of a position, while 30% say it can be done at any time before the new employee's start date.

"Most companies aren't messing around anymore with the drug issue," said Jay Jamrog, Senior VP of Research at i4cp. "They can afford to be picky in the current climate, and one of their demands is applicants who are squeaky clean. Not only is it a legal concern in some cases, there's also employee health and productivity issues that can't be ignored by organizations either."

The most common method is urine testing, used by 95% of companies that screen for drugs. Ten percent (18% in large companies) use breath tests.

And not all companies will give applicants a second chance. Of the companies that employ screening programs, only about half (49%) allow a re-test following a positive result.

Regarding work groups that are likely to be screened for drugs, the vast majority of respondents (84%) say the entire workforce is fair game. Those workers who drive as part of their job were specified by 13% of respondents as testing targets, and 10% of companies pointed to those in administrative, clerical and professional roles.

In general, most companies are satisfied with their in-house or vendor-administrated drug screening programs, according to the study findings. Overall, 61% of all companies queried say their program is better than average or excellent; increasing to 69% among large companies.

The Drug Screening Pulse Survey was conducted by i4cp in July of 2009. There were a total of 296 respondents. The full results of the survey are available exclusively for all i4cp corporate members.

About i4cp, inc.

i4cp is the world's largest vendor-free network of corporations focused on improving workforce productivity. Our vendor-free community facilitates innovation by giving our members – among the largest and most respected organizations in the world – access to:
  1. Peers who can help spark new ideas and prevent "reinventing the wheel,"
  2. Research on current practices and next practices,
  3. Tools for putting ideas and research into action,
  4. Technology that enables easy access to tailored information and executable workforce strategies.
With more than 40 years of experience and the industry's largest team of human capital analysts, i4cp is the definitive destination for organizations seeking innovative ways to improve workforce productivity. For more information, visit http://www.i4cp.com/
Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.