More Job Applicants Failing Drug Tests

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- A Sioux Falls manufacturing company says they have plenty of job openings, but not enough applicants passing required drug tests. Even agencies that match candidates with businesses are doing drug screenings of their own. However, the drug epidemic isn’t going down.

“Focusing on quality and not as much on quantity,” says Owner of Express Employment Professionals Rich Leafgreen.

That’s the motto that ‘Express Employment Professionals’ focuses on when it comes to them helping their clients find applicants. The employment agency works with administrative, commercial, and professional companies and the agency says part of their search for the right candidate includes them giving drug tests to job seekers.

“We make it clear in the majority of the conversations when we are discussing setting up an interview, just so people know that,” says Leafgreen

However, the agency says even with candidates knowing in advance, 20 percent of applicants still fail the drug test.

“It’s really frustrating when you see what otherwise appears to be a very highly qualified candidate, that because of that aspect of their life, you can’t move forward in assisting them,” says Leafgreen.

It’s affecting actual employment in the Sioux empire as well. Manufacturer ‘Preform Solutions’ says it can’t fill all its open positions because some candidates aren’t passing the company’s drug or alcohol screenings.

“We can look at an applicant on paper and say they have the right skill or they are experienced, but when they get to the prescreening process, they don’t necessarily pass,” says Preform Solutions Human Resource Manager Joan Christopherson.

The company says the drug screenings are crucial because workers are trusted to operate heavy machinery and executives can’t afford to put people in danger on-the-job.

“We feel it’s our obligation to our candidates and potential employees to keep everybody safe,” says Christopherson.

The company says with the number of people failing the testing, it shows the problem that the nation is facing.

“It’s really eye opening that there is an issue in our community,” says Christopherson.

Both companies say most candidates who fail drug screenings test positive for marijuana– followed by meth, opioids, and cocaine.