The Benefits of Pre-Employment Screening Tests

In the US, many employers require employment screening tests as a condition of hiring. These screenings can involve testing of saliva, hair, blood, or urine to determine the presence of illegal substances. Test results are kept confidential, and employers must consult federal or state laws to find out whether it is legal to refuse to hire a person with a positive result. Here, readers can learn some of the benefits of pre-employment drug screenings.

Catching Problems Before They Start

By testing potential employees, companies can eliminate potentially problematic areas from the beginning. The cost of testing is typically minimal; in most cases, it costs less than $50 per employee. If prospective employees are aware of the policy and they’re tested from the beginning, companies can reduce the numbers of people who apply with a pre-existing alcohol or drug problem.

Expert Insights

According to the US Department of Labor, businesses lose billions of dollars per year in productivity decreases because of drug and alcohol abuse. These decreases are caused by employees’ premature deaths, as well as absences due to drug- and alcohol-related illnesses. High turnover and accidents are other issues companies face when drug abuse is a problem. Those with drug issues are more likely to request an early dismissal, more likely to miss work, and almost four times more likely to cause a workplace accident. With pre-employment drug screenings, employers can get insight into their candidates’ habits and find the right people for any job


In some instances, drug and alcohol testing before hiring may help a company avoid a potentially dangerous or fatal situation. For example, the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act requires alcohol and drug testing of all employees who handle safety sensitive transportation such as buses, trucks, planes, and trains.


Another major benefit of drug testing before employment is that it helps companies remain eligible for federal funding. The Drug-Free Workplace Act mandates that any business receiving money from the government must maintain a completely drug-free working environment.

As shown here, there are numerous benefits to pre-employment drug screenings. By testing employees before hiring, companies can save money, save time, and keep workers and customers safe.