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Staffing Industry & Drug Testing

The staffing industry is a critical agent in the new economy. Staffing makes US economy more agile, more flexible and more resilient. During the recent recession, it was the US staffing industry that led the way in job creation. On-demand nature of staffing makes the US businesses hire when they are sure about the economic outlook. Empowering nature of staffing is one of the strength of US economy and will always be.

Know The Industry

Staffing industry can be broken down into two parts: employment services and temporary help services (often called agencies). Employment services match employees with employers who are looking for workers based on what skills the employer is looking for and what skills the employees have to offer. These positions are typically permanent in nature. The employment agency saves companies time and money by doing the recruitment process for them.

Temporary staffing agencies are similar, except the positions are usually only temporary.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 2,800,000 people were employed through employment services and 2,340,000 through temporary help services in September 2011. By September 2012, those numbers rose to about 3,200,000 and 2,500,000 respectively.

In terms of money, the staffing industry generated approximately $109.8 billion in sales in 2011, which breaks down into $11.5 billion in search and permanent employment services and another $98.3 billion from temporary and contract staffing.

Companies like Analysts International, which provides IT employees for companies, and AMN Healthcare, which provides healthcare workers to the healthcare industry, are examples of employment services.

Why Drug Test?

Drug testing is an integral part of maintaining a safe and productive workplace environment. That is true for all industries, including on demand professional staffing.

Drug abuse in the workplace is associated with workplace violence, lost inventory due to theft to support drug addictions, increased workplace accidents due to impairment, lost time at work, serious health problems, social dysfunction and, in worst case scenarios, premature death.

And the numbers back this up.

According to studies done by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the stereotypes of illicit drug users as homeless drifters or unemployed hobos aren't exactly true. Over 70% of all illicit drug users are employed. And small and medium sized firms -- where drug testing policies and programs usually aren't in place -- employ about 80% of the US workforce.

It is estimated that absenteeism, increased health care costs and decreased productivity due to alcohol or other substance abuse costs your company $1,000 per employee per year. Think about how many employees you have and whether or not you can absorb that kind of expense due to substance abuse. (You can't, nor should you.)

Resources and Stats

Below links will take you to useful resources about the staffing industry:

2012 Staffing Industry Economic Analysis American Staffing Association's industry economic analysis report contains vault of statistics about US staffing industry.
Global Staffing Terms Lexicon of Global Contingent Workforce produced by “Staffing Industry Analysts” covers all the terms you need to know related to staffing.
Staffing Industry Analysts Staffing Industry Analyst Website covers topics of research, certification, books, news, webinars about everything staffing related.
Staffing Talk Staffing talk is a must follow news Website on Staffing industry.

Top Staffing Industry Associations

US Staffing industry is blessed with a number of great associations. Please click below to view the respective association's website.

National Associations

Regional Associations

Top Staffing Industry Conferences

Like most other industries, the staffing industry has conferences each year across the country to spread the word of best practices, for people to network, to learn from the past and to look to the future. Here are the important ones you should know about:

TestCountry Association Advantage Program

Help your members save on all their substance abuse testing tools and services by joining the TestCountry Association Advantage Program. Your members will receive discounts on background screening, workplace drug testing kits and services, and have access to TestCountry's expert advice. has already partnered with TestCountry, helping its members save money and get the guidance they need in setting up their own substance abuse testing policies.

Tips on Turning Substance Abuse Testing into A Sales Point for Your Company

Most staffing firms view drug testing as some kind of necessary evil when they should be viewing it as one of their greatest potential selling points.

Familiarize yourself with the various substance abuse testing solutions...

There are different types of drug tests available like urine, saliva and hair tests and knowing them will enable you to recommend the right one to your clients.

Know your clients' needs and previous experience with substance abuse...

Whether reeling from a huge drug scandal or just concerned about a general slow-down in productivity, knowing your clients' needs is just as important as knowing about drug testing solutions.

It's also a good idea to know which types of drugs affect which industries the most.

Be prepared to test for synthetic and prescription drugs...

Abuse of both synthetic and prescription drugs is on the rise and being able to test for these drugs will show that your firm is ahead of the curve when it comes to substance abuse testing.

Be prepared to test for steroids...

These drugs aren't cited as a huge problem outside of sports, but people in industries that require strength and stamina like the private defense industry, security, law enforcement support industries and private prisons may use steroids.

Be prepared to test for nicotine and alcohol...

Some positions that require people to be on call, require employees to abstain from alcohol even when not on working hours. And it's an increasing trend in workplaces to have nicotine free work environments. Alcohol and nicotine testing are still in a very grey area right now but sometimes they are necessary, so you might as well be prepared.

Be prepared to provide substance abuse testing service in a variety of locations...

Your clients might need employees in various areas of the country and it will be better for you if you can offer drug testing in these different locations. You can contract with local laboratories around the country to increase your coverage.

Use instant and self collection substance abuse kits...

Most substances can be tested for by using collection kits that you can use in your office to get instant results. This will save time and save money on laboratory and collection fees.

Take drug testing seriously and make sure your clients know that you do...

Some staffing firms don't want to bother with substance abuse testing to keep costs down or to ensure that they always have someone to send to clients or because they don't want the hassle of dealing with positive test results.These staffing firms can give the entire staffing industry a bad name and that's where your staffing firm profits from bucking that reputation.

Popular Products and Categories

TestCountry has hundreds of staffing company clients. At, we understand the needs of our staffing industry partners. We are committed to empower our partners a wide selection of excellent products and services, and our dedication to go the extra mile for each one of our staffing clients.

Below are some of the more popular products and services used by our staffing industry partners:

Industry Insider

TestCountry is more than just a place to purchase all your substance abuse testing needs. We have our finger on the pulse of the industry and keep our clients and others alike abreast of trends in substance abuse testing and anything else that affects the staffing industry's environment. Here are some staffing industry related posts:


We can all use good advice. Find tips and information here from experts who really know substance abuse testing and how it affects the American labor market.

National Staffing Associations from Around the World

Here is the list of staffing associations from around the world.

Country Association Name Association Website
Australia & New
BulgariaBG StaffingN/A
PolandPolskie Forum

Find more business staffing related content below:


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