An Insight: Virtual Assistants compared to Regular Employees
When you are in the market looking to buy a car, you have two purchase options at hand, you can buy, or you can lease. The same choice exists when you are looking for assistance regarding your business and its operational tasks. You can either bring on a new employee or hire a virtual assistant (VA).
A virtual assistant or in short VA is an independent contractor that provides you with all the services that your business needs but without the assistant taking up any of your office space i.e., working virtually for you from his space with access to all the necessary documents needed to get the work done and for the fluent flow of operations.
An employee is an individual that works part-time or full-time depending on the nature of the contract of employment. The contract can be written or oral and the individual has known rights and duties that they must perform. An employee can also be called a worker.
The cost of hiring a virtual assistant as compared to hiring an employee is significantly distinctive. When hiring a VA, the employer and the VA can either agree to an hourly wage or a fixed monthly rate. The employer could also only pay the VA for the hours that they work or the monthly rate that is negotiated. Bonuses can also be offered by the employer such as, a yearly bonus, paid holidays, internet cost etc. One of the top reasons why companies go for virtual assistants is that by hiring them, you would be saving costs as stated before and with those savings, you can re-direct them to other parts of the business. The overall overhead costs of the business would be reduced. According to a report, it shows that hiring virtual assistants, saves the business as much 40% in expenses. You do not need to allocate funds for the essentials needed by the VA, all of that would be covered by themselves. While hiring an employee, there are a lot of additional costs attached exclusive of the basic salary. These additional costs may include healthcare, taxes, payroll costs, office equipment, worker’s compensation and many other.
Most of the VA’s present, have a very diverse skill set. Apart from the basic tasks that they must complete, they can also perform other tasks such as SEO, basic photo and video editing, technical support etc. The employer can hire the VA and have flexible timings. The employer has a huge talent pool to choose from as they can be hired from anywhere in the world with the necessary skillset. In case of replacing the VA, the replacement costs are quite limited and so are the hiring costs. VA’s essentially help with organizing and growing your business. Entrepreneurs fall prey to other organizations due to their lack of expertise in organizational skills. They have so many other things to focus on that the need to organize is very often neglected. Organizing things leads to greater growth and productivity. These skills are one of the VA’s strengths. If the company or entrepreneur find themselves too stressed out and find it difficult to take out the time to organize their business, it would be the perfect time to hire a VA.
While hiring employees the company would have to make large investments, along with the costs of maintaining the office and employees as well as the day-to-day costs of running the business. The company would also have to invest in training the employees for growth purposes which would result in time away from the daily tasks and operations for which they were hired in the first place. Even if the employee does not have that much of workload, they would still be given the full salary. If the employee would be required to work overtime or on the weekends, the employer would have to pay for that as well. In terms of replacing the employee, the employer would have to go through the replacing and hiring process which would cost him a great deal. This would also result in loss of productivity during that turnover period.
This debate of hiring a virtual assistant or an employee can be solved by assessing the needs of the employer. Concerns regarding the budget allocated for this process also plays a vital role in making this decision. The employer needs to find the right balance between the needs and goals of the company with how much they can afford to spend.
By Hamis Hassan