How To Come In Under Budget, At Least In Your Department…

I work for a toxicology testing laboratory, and my job is to help companies improve the health, wellness and safety within their organizations by obtaining testing services that match their specific needs and drug-free workplace program guidelines.  I am also a bottom-line leader, recognizing that a little prevention and proactive effort leads to greater productivity, profitability and employee satisfaction.  Yes, I am a “salesperson”, a bad word to some.  I am not a fan of the “salesperson” stereotype.  Someone has to be the liaison between a person that needs help with a problem and the solution.  I’ve also had the experience of working with someone addicted to prescription medications, all the way through her accident on company business.  I can tell you stories about unhappy and lost customers, other employees who left because her behavior was not dealt with, constant absenteeism – the list goes on.

I don’t believe in selling just to make a sale, which leads me to this rant.  I have now met with multiple business owners and/or human resources personnel to discuss their drug, alcohol and other occupational health testing needs who have put a big question-mark over my head.  I ask what they want to accomplish through their defined program, the level of risk in their work environment or by specific position and so forth – learning how I can offer options that match what they want to accomplish.  I just don’t understand their responses, which boil down to “we just want to drug test our candidates enough to get them on the job.”  In other words, we want the least amount of testing you can do so we can get people to work quickly.  This is reinforced by notifying candidates that they will be drug tested in a few days, sometimes a week, giving them time to potentially “clear” their system by stopping drug use short-term.

This is a conundrum for me – I totally understand budget if that were the case.  I understand DOT regulations and their limitations to a DOT 5 panel drug test.  I even understand that the person I am working with may not be aware of the number of options available to them.  I don’t believe in doing a test to just say you did and putting your head in the sand because it’s easier to deal with than screening more candidates or having to deal with telling prospective employees they did not pass, ie. feelings of rejection.

In my opinion, if you are going to drug test just because you have a piece of paper with a policy on it or because everyone else in your industry does it, while supporting processes that encourage “passed” drug tests even though a person is not usually “clean”, then don’t waste your money.  Save your budget for things like high performance rewards, low turnover acknowledgements and zero-accident recognitions.  Oh…. I guess you’ve already saved the company money because those won’t happen within this type of company culture.

Terri McCulloch, Director of Sales & Marketing


1 Response to “How To Come In Under Budget, At Least In Your Department…”

  1. 1 Charlotte Moncrief November 18, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    If a company’s policy is to drug test all candidates, then either do right or not at all. You’re right, Terri! Save the drug testing expense and put it in a paycheck. Are there so many social drug users that a business can’t find any “clean” candidates? I’m tired of hearing “what they do on their own time is their own business”….until it affects them directly. Businesses are jepordizing their employees safety by taking that approach.

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