Candidates who abuse drugs or alcohol ‘playing Russian roulette’ with careers

Employers are taking a tougher stance, says recruitment expert Michael Avis

Job seekers who abuse drugs or alcohol are playing Russian roulette with their career prospects because employers are taking a harder stance, warns recruitment expert Michael Avis.

Employers are increasingly adopting a zero tolerance approach and are carrying out workplace testing in greater numbers than ever before, he says.

Michael, a director at Stark Brooks, says employers are becoming more vigilant in a climate where they need to demonstrate the highest professional standards and root out people who could damage the reputation of their company or organisation.

“They are going much further than making standard checks with the likes of the Criminal Record Bureau,” he says.

“Pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing in the workplace is more prevalent than ever.

“There seems to be more of a culture of recreational or occasional drug use these days and, while it’s perceived by many to be acceptable, it is totally illegal and businesses are simply not prepared to condone it in any form.

“Employers are certainly tightening up on their policies, and people need to realise that they won’t get the job they are applying for if they are found to be abusing drugs or alcohol.

“In this environment, people are in effect playing Russian roulette if they think they can get away with it.”

He adds: “Compliance and integrity are the current buzzwords in business. Attitudes have shifted and everyone is tightening up, whereas in the past they may have not taken such a tough stance.

“This extends to other examples of ‘non-compliant’ behaviour such as past convictions for drink driving.

“It can indicate that a candidate doesn’t take their social responsibilities seriously, or that they cannot stick within the legal rules and therefore may not be able to accept authority within a business or organisation.

“The business market has definitely shifted. In the past, a conviction for drink driving did not carry as great a stigma as it does today.

“In an increasingly competitive environment, candidates need to ensure they have the edge but misdemeanours can shatter their hopes of landing the position they covet.”

Stark Brooks has its headquarters in Manchester and an office in Leeds. It recruits in the UK and abroad for management and executive roles across all disciplines, including finance, sales, human resources and administration.

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