Who are you really hiring? And, could this person potentially sacrifice the safety of a crew because of irresponsible lifestyle choices? These are questions that employers consider when putting a drug testing program in place. There are two camps: companies that wonder, “What organization can afford not to test?” and businesses that believe life happens; people make bad choices. If someone is on a clean track, give him a chance to work and be a productive contributor. What employees do on their own time is their own business.
Some insurance providers want to know if your company requires pre-employment, post-accident or random drug testing. Elana Daley, co-owner of Daley Landscape in Ojai, Calif., says clients might not directly ask the question, but they want assurance that workers on their properties are living responsibly.
This month, Lawn & Landscape spoke with three firms about their drug testing policies and how the choice to test, or not, affects hiring, retention and the overall business environment.
A clean reputation
The high-profile and celebrity clients Daley Landscape serve in the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara market trust the company to safely enter their properties and perform quality work. And homeowners don't invite just anyone onto their grounds.
“When you work on someone's property you are essentially coming into the home, and because clients entrust us to go into their homes at any time – whether for maintenance, renovation or fixing a leaky sprinkler – we want them to know that the work will get done, that our people are clean,” Daley says.
Daley Landscape began drug testing about four years ago, when Daley noticed that insurers were asking the question: Do you have a safety program? Do you perform pre-employment screening, and if so do you require a drug test? Do you conduct background checks?
So, the company decided to ramp up its application process and institute these pre-employment screening tests, including checking employees' driving records and criminal records, and testing for drugs.
Daley began by reviewing the application for employment and adding a couple of key questions: Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony? If yes, provide a date of conviction, state and county, and describe the circumstances.