Article from www.DrMercer.com

Pre-Employment Tests, Interview Skills & Hiring
PRE-EMPLOYMENT TEST & 3 OTHER METHODS HELP YOU PREDICT IF JOB APPLICANT IS SUBSTANCE ABUSER
By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
Feb 5, 2009, 17:08

One kind of pre-employment personality test gives hiring managers a quick, easy-to-use way to avoid hiring substance abusers – e.g., alcoholics and drug abusers – and other bad characters.  Plus, you also have few more methods you can use in your quest to avoid hiring substance abusers.

 

FACTS:  SUBSTANCE ABUSING EMPLOYEES WASTE YOUR
COMPANY’S MONEY

 

Fact #1 = No manager I ever spoke with wants to hire a drug abuser or alcoholic.

 

Fact #2 = Substance abusing employees waste huge amounts of a company’s money. 

 

According to U.S. Department of Labor estimates, drug abusing employees waste $75 - $100 billion/year in (a) lost time, (b) accidents, (c) healthcare, and (d) workers’ compensation.  In fact, substance abusers force horribly expensive problems onto their employers:

-  65% of on-the-job accidents are by substance abusers

-  3 times more absences than non-substance abusers

-  16 times more healthcare benefits than non-abusers

-  16 times more likely than non-substance abusers to file worker’s compensation claim

 

Fact #3 = If you send drug abusing employee for treatment, it costs you big bucks. 

 

Your company pays money for alcoholism or drug abuse problem you did not cause.  Translation:  You pay to treat a substance abusing employee you never should have hired in the first place!

 

Fact #4 = Dealing with substance abuser wastes expensive management time.

 

Conclusion = Managers need to use pre-employment tests and other steps to avoid hiring alcoholics, drug addicts, and substance abusers.

 

Here are four methods to help you avoid putting drug addicts or alcoholics on your payroll.

 

 

1st METHOD = PRE-EMPLOYMENT TEST PREDICTING SUBSTANCE ABUSER PERSONALITY

 

One type of personality test helps you quickly predict – or forecast – if a job applicant may be a substance abuser.  You do, after all, want dependable employees – including employees who are not possibly alcoholics or drug abusers. 

 

I call such a pre-employment test a “Bad Apple Test.”  Why?  This test helps you avoid hiring an applicant who is a “bad apple” – someone with flaws that harm productivity and waste your company’s money.

 

A good pre-employment test that helps you avoid substance abusers predicts up to five crucial factors that impact applicants’ job performance: 

a.  Substance Abuse concerns

b.  Theft / Stealing concerns

c.  Honesty

d.  Impulsiveness [e.g., safety, accidents, etc.]

e.  Work Ethic

 

Hiring managers, of course, crave to hire applicants whose pre-employment test scores indicate low concern for possible Substance Abuse.  You also want applicants who are (1) unlikely to steal, (2) honest, (3) not Impulsive, plus (4) have good work ethic. 

 

In sum, a pre-employment test predicting substance abuse personalities helps hiring managers achieve their goals to

+  screen-in “good apples”

-  screen-out “bad apples”

 

 

2ND METHOD – AVOID HIRING SMOKERS

 

You reduce your odds of hiring alcohol or drug abusers, if you can avoid hiring smokers.  After all, most substance abusers are smokers. 

 

Question:  How often have you met an alcoholic or drug addict who did not smoke? 

Answer:  Probably never.

 

So, if you avoid hiring smokers, then it will be harder to hire a substance abuser. 

 

Note:  Not all smokers are substance abusers, but most substance abusers are smokers.

 

More than 67% of drug abusers are tobacco smokers, according to research published in the scientific journal “Experimental & Clinical Psychopharmacology.”

 

Amount of drug consumption correlates to the amount of smoking, according to research conducted at Integrated Substance Abuse Program of UCLA: 

-  More smoking = more drug-taking

-  Less smoking = less drug-taking

Point:  The more a substance abuser smokes, the more drugs the person is likely to take.

 

Check to see if your state has laws about not hiring people who smoke.  Some states allow it, and others do not. 

 

With this substance abuse and smoking information, you need to decide what to do if you

A.  smell smoke on a job applicant

B.  see cigarette pack on applicant

C.  notice applicant’s car ashtray has cigarette butts

D.  discover other signs applicant is a smoker

 

 

3RD METHOD – WARN APPLICANTS YOU MAY GIVE DRUG TESTS

 

Many companies tell applicants they must take a drug test – if the company might hire them. 

Receiving this warning scares away some applicants who are substance abusers. 

 

 

4TH METHOD = ACTUALLY GIVE DRUG TESTS BEFORE HIRING

 

Unfortunately, problems with drug tests are very big problems:  Drug tests are

-  expensive

-  cheated or faked – very easily

-  inaccurate in their results – many times

 

Caution:  An “underground” industry exists that helps job applicants avoid having alcohol or drug use uncovered in a drug test!  So, many applicants know they can “fake-out” a drug test. 

 

 

STOP HIRING SUBSTANCE ABUSERS – DRUG ABUSERS & ALCOHOLICS

 

Certain pre-employment personality tests plus other methods help you avoid hiring substance abusers who rob your company of productivity and profits – plus waste your valuable management time. 

 

Stop hiring substance abusers using four methods:

1.  Have applicants take pre-employment personality test that predicts substance abuse

2.  Don’t hire smokers

3.  ‘Threaten’ to give applicants drug test

4.  Give costly drug tests just before putting applicant on your payroll

 

It is best for you to use all four methods.  Doing all four saves you time and money.

 

Make sure you hire the best – and don’t hire a substance abusing alcoholic or drug addict!

 

 © COPYRIGHT 2009 Mercer Systems Inc., www.MercerSystems.com

 

 

Dr. Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is a nationally recognized expert on (1) pre-employment tests and (2) hiring the best.  His research created 3 pre-employment tests – including “Dependability Forecaster™ Test” used by many companies.  He is a Ph.D. industrial psychologist and president of Mercer Systems Inc.  Dr. Mercer wrote 5 books, including “Hire the Best – & Avoid the Rest™.”  You can get subscribe at no-cost to “Dr. Mercer’s Management Newsletter” at www.MercerSystems.com.