Random, or “spot,” drug testing is a strong deterrent to drug users because it is conducted on an unannounced basis. Using a random selection process (e.g., computer-generated), an employer selects one or more individuals from all the employees included in the employer’s workplace drug-testing program. By using a random selection process, employers ensure that there is no bias and that all employees have an equal chance of being selected, even those who have been drug tested recently. Random drug testing can be more effective at detecting and deterring drug use than pre-employment testing because employees do not know when they may be selected for testing.
Building a robust drug testing program
Random drug testing works best when combined with a pre-employment testing program that’s designed to keep drug users from being hired in the first place. Both reasons for testing should be included in the company’s employee drug testing policy, and to whatever degree is appropriate, should be openly shared with applicants and employees – as just having a program in place is an effective means of discouraging drug use.
Drug testing can help to improve employee morale and productivity while decreasing absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover and theft. Because every business and workforce are unique, every employer should make a careful determination about the drug testing program elements that are most beneficial for their workplace.