The cost of hiring a VA often puts people off. When you compare it to employee hourly rates or temp rates, it seems like it’s a lot of money. However hiring a VA is very different from hiring an employee, because you only pay for the work they do.
It’s very much like comparing the cost of a taxi to having your own car. If you only use a car a few times a week, a taxi is cheaper than all the associated overheads of running your own car. Your car will need tax, insurance, maintenance, petrol etc. Whereas you only pay the mileage fee with a taxi.
Likewise, hiring a VA for small amounts of time per week on a PAYG basis is a lot cheaper than a permanent member of staff. Overheads like office space, equipment, HR, payroll, pensions, etc will bump the cost of an employee.
There’s also the downtime of hiring an employee to consider. Lots of clients will say “I need a VA for 20 hours a week” – because they are used to using employees. That usually translates into about 7 hours’ work for a VA. A recent survey estimates that the average UK office worker spends just 2 hours 23 minutes* working. The rest of the time is spent checking social media, chatting with colleagues, catching up on news websites, making coffee/snacks… Not much work going on!
What is the cost of hiring a VA?
VAs do that in their own time, you only pay when they are actively working. So you have the facility of a VA 40 hours a week, and the cost of only when they are working (approximately 30% of the time).
So, despite the higher cost per hour, it’s usually more cost effective to use a VA.
You’d also use a taxi when it isn’t suitable to drive yourself – a night out for example, or when parking would be tricky. Using a VA when you already have staff isn’t unusual. We’re often used for sensitive HR issues like disciplinary interviews or redundancy discussions. Or when the existing staff aren’t able to work – sick leave, holidays or when there is a temporary glut of work or a special project outwith the skillset of their existing employees.
Why businesses with staff use VAs:
Sensitive HR issues like disciplinary hearings or redundancies.
For overflow work or additional projects outside their staffs’ skillsets.
To cover staff absences like holiday, sickness etc.
* = Source: VoucherCloud