With the tough labor market, employers are constantly seeking ways to speed up the hiring process, so they do not lose quality candidates. For much of 2020 and at least the first half of 2021, employment background screening was a large bottleneck with courthouse and other closures due to COVID and drug screening, in some instances, saw some modest delays due to Laboratories conducting COVD testing.
Now that the economy has mostly reopened, we are seeing many businesses looking to hire and fill vacant positions but are finding it difficult to find qualified people. One challenge businesses face is completing the hiring process quickly once they do find the right candidate. Having to wait 2-5 days for a drug screen result can lead to a prospective employee taking another position leaving the business to start the hiring process all over again.
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One way businesses can speed up the process is to use instant testing in the states that do not prohibit instant testing. It is important to note that instant testing is NEVER allowed for the Department of Transportation Testing (DOT). For employment screening, instant testing may be used but an employer should follow best practices when utilizing instant testing.
Currently, we recommend only using urine for instant testing. Instant urine drug screening is not available at all collection site locations, and the testing panels that are available may vary by location. It is recommended that employers be consistent in the test panels used for testing their employees. Testing different employees for different drugs could lead to some legal concerns.
When using instant testing, if the “initial” screen is negative, then that result would be used. If the instant test is non-negative or has an issue with the control built into the testing, then the specimen should always be sent to the laboratory for confirmation testing. Instant testing should not be relied on for a positive result. Once the laboratory has a verified result, it should go to the Medical Review Officer for review and results reporting. Since most test results are negative, this can greatly improve your turnaround times for the pre-employment drug test.
Instant testing can be scheduled electronically in most areas across the country, further speeding up the process. In states where instant testing is no available, lab-based testing should be utilized. Most lab based results should be available within 24-48 hours from receipt at the testing laboratory which is usually the next day after the collection at the collection site location.
In a tight job market, drug testing turn around times can make the difference in your getting a quality candidate hired and instant Urine drug testing may make the difference.