What’s the greatest challenge for any HR professional searching for the best candidates?

Ask any Human Resources professional what are the greatest challenges when seeking to hire the right candidate, and he or she is certain to cite Employee drug testing, most will agree, is among the more delicate issues.

For a myriad of legal and social reasons alcohol and illegal drug testing of potential candidates has become the norm for many companies. That’s because pre-employment drug tests can be one of the best preventive measures companies can take to ensure a safe and secure workplace. Drug testing also reduces employers’ potential liability, and may well save lives and prevent injuries.

Of course, in some business sectors, drug testing is legally mandatory—particularly where an employee’s capacity to do his or her job might impact public safety. In the transportation sector, for example, drug testing is very often mandatory so as to ensure the safety of passengers on airplanes, public transportation or related fields.

To that end, the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) offers up an array of guidelines and Best Practice suggestions regarding drug-testing employees:

Still, even in the private sector, a wide cross-section of companies also rely upon drug and alcohol testing to ensure the quality of potential candidates. As a result, concerns have also been raised by individuals and organizations about the need to protect individual privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), for example, has been actively involved in court cases in various states, advocating on behalf of employees’ rights as they pertain to drug testing.

For human resources professionals seeking to drug test potential employees, further complicating matters have been recent changes to marijuana laws in states throughout the country. The legalization of marijuana in several states means that both HR professionals–and employment candidates–may be unclear as to the “legality” of marijuana, and its consumption.

As they are on the front lines of employment hiring, it’s interesting to note the drug testing policy used and suggested by the organization representing human resources professionals, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

While the SHRM offers a useful template for developing a successful corporate drug testing policy, it’s also important to ensure that each company’s drug testing policy be designed to meet the unique needs of each organization.

That’s where PeopleFacts can help. As a leader in employment screening and background checks, PeopleFacts employment screening partners with a wide array of companies nationwide who have instituted pre-employment drug testing policies. With the economy recovering and the pace of employment increasing, PeopleFacts continues to partner with HR professionals nationwide to provide assistance and guidance–as companies strive to strike the right balance between reliable pre-employment drug testing, and protecting the privacy of potential employees.