If you’re starting a business, or if you’re expanding your current business, one of the most important decisions to make when hiring new employees is figuring out whether to hire virtual assistants or actual employees.
Business owners often wonder if it’s more cost-effective to hire an employee or use virtual assistants, which are independent contractors that perform specialized services remotely, with no physical office presence. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but it really depends on your business to determine which one makes the most sense financially, operationally, and logistically.
That’s why it can be hard to know where to start. To help you make the right decision, consider these important questions when deciding whether to hire an employee or use a virtual assistant.
But first of all, let’s go through the brief definitions of both:
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant or VA refers to an independent contractor providing technical support or administrative services to the clients remotely. Or you can say that they are an external support to your business.
VAs are often used by small businesses, entrepreneurs, and busy professionals who need help with tasks but don’t have the time or resources to do everything themselves.
What are the benefits of having a VA:
There are many benefits of working with a VA including:
- -You can save money on benefits and office space
- -VAs are usually more flexible and can work around your schedule
- -You can find VAs with specific skillsets that match your needs
What is an In-House Employee?
An in-house employee is someone who works for your company full-time, usually in an office setting. In-house employees are typically responsible for tasks that are essential to the day-to-day operations of your business.
When you hire an in-house employee, you will have access to them at all times and they will work alongside other employees on shared responsibilities. However, you must be aware that there can be challenges with managing time and resources between your in-house employees. The cost of hiring an in-house employee may vary depending on their experience level but it can range from $40-$60 per hour.
As you have understood the definition of both, let’s move to the points to find out the right option for your business.
WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS ARE YOU RUNNING
If you’re running a one-person business, then it doesn’t make sense to hire an employee. But if you’re starting to grow and need help with things like customer service, bookkeeping, or social media, then you might want to consider hiring a virtual assistant.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS?
As your company grows, you’ll need more time invested in it. And if you don’t have the time for a full-time position, then hiring a virtual assistant can be the best option for you.
When choosing between a virtual assistant and in-house employees, you need to decide how much time and effort you have. They allow you to work on other aspects of your business without spending too much time on day-to-day tasks. However, if you don’t mind spending some of your own energy on things like hiring and training new staff members then an employee may be the better option for your business needs.
Key takeaway? If you are not able to spend much time managing your staff, a virtual assistant might be the best choice for your business.
WHAT DOES YOUR CURRENT WORKLOAD LOOK LIKE?
If your workload has increased over the last year or so and there’s no end in sight, then it’s probably time to start looking at other options besides just relying on yourself. Hiring someone else can give you more freedom as well as increase productivity since they’ll be able to take care of some of the more menial tasks that are taking up your time currently.
WHAT TASKS DO YOU WANT SOMEONE ELSE TO COMPLETE
Certain tasks are better suited for an employee, such as customer service, whereas others are better suited for a virtual assistant, like social media management. To help you decide which is right for your business, ask yourself the following questions:
- What tasks do you want someone else to complete?
- What qualifications or experience do you need for those tasks?
- How much can you afford to pay?
- How often do you need the tasks completed?
- Are the tasks time-sensitive?
- Do you need someone on-site or can the work be done remotely?
- What type of personality do you want your helper to have?
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
If you are a small business owner operating on a small budget, hiring a virtual assistant can be cost-effective for you. If you can afford to pay for overhead expenses, then hiring an employee can work for you.
WHAT TYPE OF WORK WILL THE PERSON BE DOING?
Hiring a virtual assistant means they will take care of administrative tasks like answering phone calls and scheduling appointments. Hiring an employee means they will do higher-level tasks like designing your website and marketing strategy.
WHAT TYPE OF INDUSTRY ARE YOU IN?
A virtual assistant might not be able to help you in the construction industry where it requires lots of heavy lifting but could work well in other industries such as legal and real estate.
An employee might not have experience with construction but could have more expertise in graphic design and website development than a virtual assistant does.
The Bottom Line:
Now that you’ve gotten your business idea off the ground, the next step is to build out your company by adding on employees and contractors to help with your workload.
If you’re considering hiring a virtual assistant or an employee, you may be wondering how these two options compare to each other and which one is right for your business.
The truth is that both virtual assistants and employees can be immensely helpful in running your business successfully—but they each have their strengths and weaknesses that you should take into consideration before making your decision.