How to Generate a List of Employee Numbers for Random Drug Testing Purposes

By Kenneth W. Michael Wills
Using a reliable software program to generate a list of workers.

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Random drug testing has proven the most comprehensive, objective approach to ensuring your workplace is drug-free. The aim of random drug testing is to provide a deterrent incentive to the use of drugs, by requiring submission to drug testing when an employee's name or number is included in a random sample. This means no one employee can predict or know when they might receive selection for a random drug screening. Generating a list of employee’s numbers for drug screening however, is not as simple as pulling names or numbers from a hat. The accepted standard among government and private entities alike is to use a software program to generate a scientific random sample.

Purchase drug and alcohol testing software that includes an option for random list generation. There are varieties of software applications on the market that will generate a scientifically validated random sample for drug testing. The key is selecting a software program that can provide all employees with an equal chance of selection, each time you use the program to select candidates for drug screening (see the Resources section).

Determine how you will identify your employees for drug testing. You can do this by using employee numbers or any other number that is unique to a specific employee, assigned by your organization. Due to privacy purposes, you may not want to use Social Security numbers; however, you can choose to do so. You may use the name of employees if you prefer, but most organizations assign a number system.

The easiest way to do this is to assign employee numbers upon hire. An employee number usually consists of a unique set of letters and numbers, assigned to an employee, such as the employees’ initials, last four of the Social Security number and date of birth. For example, you might assign “kww-7983-0630-1976” for Kenneth William Wills.

Input all your employees into the system according the numbers assigned. This means everyone in the organization, from the highest executive to the night cleaner, needs to be in the system. When you first input all the employees’ numbers, you should verify the data entry to ensure accuracy. As you hire new employees, you should assign them a number and add them to the system. As employees leave the company, you should delete their numbers from the system.

Generate a random list for the next drug and alcohol screening by following the instructions provided with your software program. Once you generate the list, limit exposure to a very select few people in the organization, involved with the drug screening process. You should notify the selected employees discretely and provide them instructions for taking the drug test.

About the Author

Kenneth W. Michael Wills is a writer on culture, society and business. With more than 15 years of experience in sales, public relations and written communications, Wills' passion is delighting audiences with invigorating perspectives and refreshing ideas. He has ghostwritten articles on a diverse range of topics for corporate websites and composed proposals for organizations seeking growth opportunities.

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