While many articles you read will tell you that hiring and working with a virtual assistant is the easiest thing in the world to do, the truth is, it’s really not—at least, not if your outsourcing decision is based on a real need to improve business productivity or relieve a burgeoning workload.
There’s a lot to think about when outsourcing business tasks, like finding the right person, on-boarding, training, determining which tasks to outsource, and deciding whether to hire a part-time or full-time virtual assistant.
The Part-time Option: Pros and Cons
Instinct may tell you to begin by sourcing a part-time arrangement with a virtual assistant. Many freelance VAs, along with some virtual assistant companies will be happy to honour such an arrangement.
For example, here at Virtual Done Well, we stipulate only that the minimum number of hours for which we’ll provide a VA is 40 per month (equating to about 10 hours per week).
On the face of it, there appear to be some fairly compelling advantages to hiring a part-time virtual assistant. For example:
- The cost of virtual assistant services will be less than a full-time arrangement/contract
- You can ask your virtual assistant to increase the number of hours per week/month once you know you’re happy with his/her services
- You don’t need to feel the necessity to outsource a lot of tasks, which in turn will save you from feeling overwhelmed with preparation and training
- By outsourcing the simplest/least critical tasks, you will be able to minimise the amount of time you spend on daily communication with your virtual assistant
- If you’re not sure that you have a sufficient workload for a full-time VA, opting for part-time will save you from having to “find tasks” to fill your virtual assistants hours (part-time can be as little as two hours per day, so you should never have trouble finding enough work to fill that amount of time)
Cons of Hiring a VA for Part-time Hours
While engaging a part-time virtual assistant may seem ideal, given the advantages described above, the equation is really not so simple. Remember that the amount of hours you save for yourself and/or your local team will be commensurate with the time you buy in virtual assistant hours.
Given that the cost of hiring a virtual assistant is considerably less than hiring a conventional employee (even if you hire a VA based in your home-country), making a part-time hire might not be the most economical decision over the longer term.
The Reality of “Switching Up”
Of course, as mentioned in the “pros” section above, you might wish to begin with a part-time arrangement with a view to switching later to full-time.
However, if the virtual assistant you hire is good at what he does, the chance of his being unoccupied for the time he’s not in your service is slim, and he may not be available to work with your business full-time. It would be a real shame to have to search for another, full time virtual assistant after the time you will have invested in your initial hire.
A Good VA’s Time is Quickly Filled
You may also be surprised by how quickly you will fill the hours of a part-time virtual assistant, especially one who proves to be of real value to your business (which is normally the case if you take care over the recruiting and hiring process).
In our experience, clients very quickly find that given more hours of VA-availability, they would delegate more tasks than they had ever anticipated initially. That’s why we’d advise choosing a full-time virtual assistant from the outset.
Part-time or Full-time: Which will you Choose?
Ultimately, it’s important to consider what will work best for your business when outsourcing, and under certain circumstances, it can make sense to hire a part-time virtual assistant.
Here at Virtual Done Well, we provide full-time and part-time virtual assistants, and we won’t try to up-sell to you if you’re certain you’d like to engage in a part-time contract.
We do recommend though, that you check out our pricing page to see just how affordable you can access full-time virtual assistance, assigned exclusively to your business and supported by our professional management team.