It probably comes as no surprise to veteran human resource professionals that job seekers and employees will go to extraordinarily creative lengths to thwart drug tests. In fact, there are entire websites dedicated to ways that drug users can test clean with just a few days’ notice.
This information likely leaves HR managers with two questions: Do these tricks actually work? And if so, how can employers successfully screen job candidates and employees?
“Job seekers tamper with drug tests in several ways.”
Can individuals thwart drug tests?
The simple answer is yes – there are several ways that job seekers can tamper with drug tests to ensure inconclusive or inaccurate results. Since the majority of tests are conducted via urine sample, people have figured out a few ways to skew the results.
One of the most common ways that individuals try to interfere with drug tests is to flush the chemicals out of their systems by drinking excessive amounts of water before giving a urine sample. Another viable way to render the results of a urine test inaccurate is to spike the sample with an additive that changes the pH balance of the liquid. Finally, some individuals go to extreme measures and attempt to substitute someone else’s clean urine in place of their own.
If employees know they will be subjected to a hair-based test, they may shave all their hair off so they cannot supply an adequate sample. Alternatively, there are special shampoos on the market that damage hair so that drug tests come back inaccurate.
How can employers catch dishonest candidates?
The good news is that there are certain policies that companies can include in their drug testing policies to deter fraudsters and get accurate drug test results. Regardless of which method of deception employees or job seekers use, there is likely a way to prevent or spot the inaccuracy.
Spiked or diluted urine samples are perhaps the easiest to identify. When employers work with an experience screening firm like Global HR Research, the technicians analyzing the samples will very likely be able to spot that the sample has been adulterated with an acidity-altering substance. When this happens, employers will be informed and can choose to rule out a candidate applying for a job or ask an existing employee for a retest. The same holds true for diluted samples. Lab results will show that the urine is not concentrated enough for an accurate reading, and companies can take action accordingly.
Employers should be proactive about preventing the substitution of urine samples. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended that companies ensure that the identity of each candidate is verified before a sample is given and that certain procedures be followed during collection. Individuals should be asked to wash their hands prior to giving a urine sample, and they should not be allowed to bring any bags or jackets into the bathroom. A thorough screening firm will ensure that all these precautions are followed to help employers get accurate results.
Hiring is the most important thing you do. Trust it to Global HR Research. Find out more by calling 1-800-790-1205 or visiting the GHRR website today.