Do Temp Agencies Drug Test?

Do Temp Agencies Drug Test?


Temp agencies may choose to perform a drug test if the contracting company or client is required by law to test employees depending on the safety and sensitivity of the position being filled.  Additionally, temp agencies may screen for drugs as part of a client's workplace drug testing program.

Finding jobs and hiring employees can be an expensive and tedious prospect as far as employers and potential employees are concerned. Temp agencies speed up hiring procedures for a positive experience for both parties involved in the job sector. Professional temp agencies source candidates, hold interviews, prepare administrative and payroll paperwork, check their background and conduct drug testing if a client requires it.

Temp agencies act as a valuable mediator between the employee and employer and aid in the screening process. Keep reading to learn more about the various drug testing procedures used by temp agencies and the criteria for performing a drug screening.

Table of Contents

  • What is a Temp Agency?
  • How do Temp Agencies Work?
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Temp Agency
  • What Type of Drug Testing do Temp Agencies Use?
  • Do Temp Agencies Drug Test on Their First Interview?
  • Do Temp Agencies Drug Test on Site?
  • What Happens if I Fail My Temp Agency Drug Test?
  • What is a Temp Agency?

    Temp agencies are staffing agencies that help companies source temporary employees. Conversely, they help prospective employees find a temporary job. Companies require the service of temp agencies to find quality candidates promptly. Temp agencies update their candidate database regularly and have a pre-existing candidate database.

    If not for temp agencies, companies would have to market their job posting, conduct and shortlist candidates themselves. It can take about 40 days to find candidates without the help of a temp agency. Temp agencies, therefore, save the company time and reduce the cost involved in recruiting and hiring. 

    How do Temp Agencies Work?

    Companies require the services of a temp agency when they have a vacant post to fill. Based on the job requirements, the agencies look at their databases to determine a good fit. If your skills and experience levels match the company requirements, you shall be assigned the role of a temporary employee.

    The temp agency will schedule your interview with the company. Once assigned to the post, you shall be given a work schedule, pay scale, and a timeframe for the job. Although you work for the company as an employee, you represent the temp agency. This means that your paychecks go to the agency. 

    Once the time frame of your post expires, you work with the agency to find a different job. The agency assigns another job for you with some downtime between jobs. The downtime between jobs is dependent on the agency, your skills, and your location, among other factors. 

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Temp Agency

    There are several benefits to a temp agency, both for the employer and employee. Yet, there are some disadvantages as well. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of a temp agency include:

    Advantages of Temp Agency

    Companies benefit from temp agency through its structure, which includes:

    1. The agency handles the process of hiring, firing, substance evaluation, background check, and skill training. 
    2. Large temp agencies can deliver candidates at the last minute.
    3. The agency takes up a lot of responsibility that would otherwise fall on the company's HR department.
    4. Most agencies offer recruitment services at much lower costs than traditional recruiters. 
    5. The onboarding process is cheap.

    As employees, you benefit from a temp agency through the following means:

    1. You get free training in skills in different industries.
    2. You can choose from part-time, full-time, or seasonal employment options.
    3. You get short-term jobs matching your skillset.
    4. The scheduling options of a temp agency are flexible.
    5. All your placements are entirely free.

    Disadvantages of Temp Agency

    There are considerable disadvantages in the workings of a temp agency, both for the employer and the employees. Disadvantages of temp agency from the perspective of the employer include:

    1. The employers have to bear the additional markup fee, which involves costs added to the hourly wage of an employee.
    2. Some temp agencies hide additional fees or mislead clients into paying extra over the markup. 

    As a temp agency employee, or a temp, you face a few drawbacks as well

    1. The primary drawback is that you do not have much autonomy when picking your role in a company. 
    2. Most temps get placements in entry-level positions that do not have much pay. As hundreds or maybe thousands of people are waiting to fill in the entry-level posts, temps often feel undervalued. 
    3. Lack of full-time employment means that you do not get benefits such as health insurance, retirement funds, or stock options as a temp. 

    What Type of Drug Testing do Temp Agencies Use?

    Each temp agency's type of drug testing varies, as there is no general rule for drug testing. Yet, most agencies use urine sampling as it is the most cost-effective procedure. The detection window of drugs in a urine sample is between five to ten days.

    Drugs can be detected in hair samples for up to ninety days, but most temp agencies do not require hair testing as it tends to be on the expensive side.

    Do Temp Agencies Drug Test on Their First Interview?

    No. Temp agencies do not usually test for drugs in the first interview. They require you to get a job offer from the company first. Following the job offer, you need to undergo a pre-employment screening in addition to an experience verification and background check for criminal records. 

    Do Temp Agencies Drug Test On-Site?

    Temp agencies require you to clear a drug test if a client insists. Most temp agencies' drug tests can be ordered online. Instead of testing on-site, applicants can choose a convenient location from thousands of labs listed by the agency.

    What Happens if I Fail My Temp Agency Drug Test?

    Most job offers are conditional on the results of a drug test. If the drug test results come out positive, the chances are that you will not be considered for the position. In addition, the positive drug test would also be a red flag in your temp agency profile that would affect your recruitment to other firms in the future.

    The Takeaway

    Temp agencies play a considerable role in the American economy. Although there are a few drawbacks to the temp agency recruitment and placement system, it is still preferred over traditional recruiters. One reason why temp agencies receive wide acceptance is their efficiency in running the selection process of candidates. 

    Temp agencies may choose to perform a drug test if a client requires it or depending on the safety and sensitivity of the position being filled, such as defense, transportation, and work involving the use of heavy equipment. With the aid of a temp agency, employers do not have to worry about running expensive and time-consuming background checks and drug tests.


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