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A Look at In-House vs. Third-Party Employee Drug Testing


employee drug testingWhen it comes to employee drug testing, there’s a trend these days for staffing agencies to perform their drug screening in-house instead of using a third-party clinic or lab. While in-house testing is typically a big cost-saver for the agency and the client company, it presents challenges.

Here’s a look at the benefits and drawbacks of in-house vs. third-party employee drug testing.

In-House Employee Drug Testing

The biggest advantage of conducting drug tests in-house is the candidate is tested onsite at the staffing agency. There’s no need for a candidate to drive to a clinic or lab.

The results of employee drug testing are also acquired quicker if they are done in-house. This does bring efficiency to the testing process – you have your testing results faster and can move on in the hiring process.

There are definite drawbacks to in-house employee drug testing.

  • First, the results are not reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO).
  • The staffing agency representative is the individual determining the test results.
  • The staffing agency does gain financially by making that job placement.
  • So you’re relying on the agency to be honest, even if that means delaying placement because of a positive drug test.

That being said, in-house test results can be more questionable than third-party testing conducted at a clinic.

Third-Party Employee Drug Testing

At A.R. Mazzotta, we do all of our drug testing through a third-party professional lab. We strongly believe the pros outweigh the cons when compared to in-house testing.

Here are the drawbacks:

  • It may take slightly longer to obtain your test results
  • Doing third-party testing is more expensive than in-house testing

Here are the big positives:

  • There’s zero conflict of interest.
  • There’s a separation between the staffing agency and the tester, with an impartial party being responsible for reading the results.
  • Another plus, the results are reviewed by an MRO, and if any results are disputed the lab will handle the issue. This takes the burden off the staffing agency.

What’s your take on employee drug testing? Are there other benefits or drawbacks to one method vs. the other? Share your thoughts with us.