In a digital world, the demand for virtual assistants has grown exponentially. As businesses strive to become more streamlined, virtual assistants have become a go-to in almost every industry. In fact, it’s estimated that the market for virtual assistants will grow by 66% over the next few years. In this article, we take a look at what exactly virtual assistants are and whether they are right for your business or not. We compare virtual assistants vs employees, which one is cheaper and why you should use a VA instead of hiring an employee instead. Read on to discover everything you need to know about these two options when it comes to hiring staff members in your business.
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant, also known as a VA, is a person who provides administrative, organizational, and operational support services remotely. In other words, a virtual assistant runs your business operations on a day-to-day basis. The services they provide are often specialized and include business administration, marketing, management, and human resources. Virtual assistants can be hired remotely, making it easy to bring on support staff without increasing overhead costs at the office. The best way to think about a virtual assistant is as a management consultant that works remotely. They work for you, but not in the office. VAs can be hired for a variety of tasks depending on their skill set. They often take care of tedious administrative tasks like booking travel, scheduling appointments, and creating spreadsheets. They can also be used to handle higher-level tasks such as writing content or creating marketing strategies.
What is an employee?
An employee works for a company on a full-time basis, usually in an office or other central location. Employees are generally given a set salary or hourly wage for their work. Because of this, it is important for business owners to know their liabilities before hiring an employee. Most companies will have to pay various taxes and offer benefits such as health insurance and vacation time. The hiring process can also be lengthy and require a background check, drug testing, and more. Employees can be great additions to any company, but they do come with their fair share of challenges that virtual assistants don’t. For starters, employees often come with more red tape than virtual assistants, many of whom are hired on an as-needed basis without a lot of bureaucracy.
Why you should use a VA instead of hiring an employee
There are plenty of benefits to using a Virtual Assistant instead of hiring an employee. Here are some of the main ones: Cost - The cost of hiring an employee can be astronomical. The average American company spends $35,000 to hire one employee. This number can vary greatly depending on the industry, but the point is that it is expensive. Flexibility - One of the best parts about hiring a virtual assistant is that you can bring them on for as long or short a time as you need. You don’t have to worry about offering benefits or dealing with turnover. Risk - One of the biggest reasons to use a Virtual Assistant instead of hiring an employee is risk. There is a significant amount of risk associated with hiring an employee, specifically a risk of legal liability.
Pros of using a Virtual Assistant
As we’ve covered above, there are many great reasons to hire a virtual assistant instead of an employee. Here are some of the main advantages of using a virtual assistant: Cost - The most obvious benefit of a VA is cost. VAs are generally paid on an hourly basis and at a significantly lower rate than a full-time employee. Flexibility - Another major benefit of hiring a virtual assistant is the ability to scale up or down at any time. You can bring on a VA for a month-long project or to fill in for a vacation. Experience - While the overall skills of a VA are similar to that of an employee, the level of experience is different. A VA will have more experience in the administrative and organizational skills that you need.
Cons of using a Virtual Assistant
Although there are many benefits to hiring a Virtual Assistant, there are also a few drawbacks to keep in mind. Here are the main disadvantages of using a virtual assistant: Limited Expertise - One of the biggest disadvantages of hiring a virtual assistant is that you are limited to the skills that they have. While they might be great at administrative tasks and marketing, they might not be as skilled in sales or human resources. No Interaction - You won’t get to see your VA every day or meet with them regularly. This is common for most virtual assistants that work remotely. You might have to get used to communicating with people over email or video calls instead. Communication - The biggest challenge of hiring a virtual assistant is communication. Once you hire the VA, you need to have a clear understanding of what your expectations are. You also need to be responsive when they reach out to you.
Virtual assistants are a great way to get a leg-up on the competition without having to hire a full-time employee. They can help you save money, increase productivity, and limit your risk. At the same time, hiring a VA does come with challenges. You must be clear on what your expectations are and make sure you’re responsive when they reach out.