By Marcus Leach

New research involving UK bosses, contractors and permanent employees reveals just how employers view contract staff in comparison with their permanent counterparts, with some of the views woefully outdated.

The report — from Hudson, the recruitment consultancy — shows that although twice as many employers believe contractors to be more productive and more engaged with their work than permanent employees, they still harbour doubts about the loyalty of contract staff.

This is in stark contrast to the views of contract workers themselves, who feel as loyal as their permanent peers. 77 per cent say they feel a high degree of loyalty to their employers, however short-lived the employment relationship.

The findings also challenge other stereotypes about contract staff. In the Hudson survey, contractors emerge as keen as permanent staff to take part in social events at work, and 10 per cent more likely to accept a role with better job content for less money. In addition, when asked if they would go permanent for the right role, 70.9 per cent of contract workers said they would.

“Bosses should take heart from these findings, because they are depending on contractors more and more at critical times. Contractors are more than just an asset for productivity and business performance,” said Mike Game, CEO of Hudson Europe.

“Not only are they strongly motivated to hit the ground running from day one, they are keen to be part of the social fabric, without the hassle of office politics. It’s clear that employers underestimate the loyalty and commitment of their non-permanent workers. These findings make particularly fascinating reading in the context of the new Agency Worker Regulations.”

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