How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Virtual Assistant in 2021?
The impact of COVID-19 has made working remotely a sought-after option in the world of business these days. The pandemic has not only forced businesses into thinking of creative ways to stay afloat and remain competitive, but it also increased the need for remote workers and has broadened their applications to many different industries as well. Most of the job postings that are being filled up nowadays are looking for remote workers as a first-choice option. Virtual assistants (VA) are in-demand currently, and if your business is looking to hire one, you might be looking for guidance on how much a virtual assistant is actually paid.
There are multiple factors to take into account before recruiting a virtual assistant. The first and main question most have is how much it costs to hire a virtual assistant. The answer for that is there are no standard rates to hire them, either as a part-time or full-time employee to say how much a virtual assistant should be paid. Their charges can vary anywhere from $1 to over $100 every hour. Virtual assistants’ costs are dependent on different factors that should be taken into considerations, such as their experience and location, as well as what type of work they do. The length and scale of the project that your business is working on can factor into their costs as well.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
Virtual assistants generally help businesses in conducting their everyday tasks in either the financial, marketing, or administrative departments. The tasks that they take on are usually repetitive and don’t require much thought. This sets them apart from freelancers, who are normally hired for jobs that involve carefully planning out and executing certain tasks.
Virtual Assistant Services
The following services are offered when hiring a virtual assistant:
- Customer support
- Processing orders
- Translation services
- Managing the calendars
- Scheduling online posts on various blogs and social media sites
- Data entry in spreadsheets
- Follow-up on overdue
- Transcription services
- Managing the inbox
- Bookkeeping services
- Updating and creating CRM records
How Much is a Virtual Assistant Going to Cost You?
The three principal factors that will help you estimate how much you will have to pay to acquire the services of a virtual assistant are listed in detail below:
Factor #1 – The Work They Do
The hourly wage you will have to pay your virtual assistant is highly dependent on the services you will receive from them, whether their job is to handle your social media accounts or take charge of the copywriting services. Simple tasks such as scheduling appointments or taking phone calls would require you to pay the virtual assistant an hourly rate of $8-$12.
Job descriptions of VAs help you understand what tasks they’re capable of handling and will give you an idea of how much they will charge. Before you browse through the VA marketplace, here are four types of virtual assistant services and their average hourly wages to familiarize yourself with.
A. Administrative Services
A virtual administrative assistant undertakes admin and clerical tasks such as:
- Handling phone calls
- Managing emails and contacts
You pay the virtual assistant an hourly rate $10-$20 per hour if you were looking to hire them for administrative services based in the United States.
B. Executive Services
Virtual executive assistants are superior to administrative assistants as they can perform most of their tasks, as well as handle high-level administrative tasks such as:
- Preparing business proposals
- Managing project schedules
- Planning events
Virtual executive assistants are more costly and if based in the US, you pay a virtual assistant an hourly rate between $30 and $40.
C. Accounting and Bookkeeping Services
Virtual financial assistants are hired to take care of accounting and bookkeeping tasks such as:
- Reporting sales tax
- Managing bill payments
- Preparing balance sheets and ledgers
- Handling invoicing
Acquiring the services of a virtual financial assistant from the US can cost you anywhere from $12-$25+ per hour.
D. Miscellaneous Services
Most small and midsized businesses require VAs to carry out miscellaneous services such as marketing and data entry. A few more of these services are listed below:
- Product data entry
- Email marketing
- Management of social media accounts
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Property research
If you were to hire these virtual assistants from the US, you should pay virtual assistant an hourly rate of $10-$20+ per hour.
Factor #2 – Their Experience Level
The experience of a VA can also affect how much you would have to pay them. Experienced VAs will be costly since they have years of experience in their field and can carry out tasks efficiently. Inexperienced virtual assistants are cheaper to hire but won’t be very familiar with the tasks due to a lack of expertise. You might have to spend money on training them for the job as well.
The key is to decide which tasks would require more expertise. If you were looking for someone to simply upload posts on social media, hiring a VA with barely any experience shouldn’t be a problem. But if you were looking to outsource a task such as marketing on social media, spending more money to hire an experienced virtual assistant is probably the better option since they would adjust quickly and understand your needs a lot better.
Factor #3 – Their Location
Hiring virtual assistants from companies situated in the Philippines or India is a lot cheaper since they charge a lot less for their services than their counterparts located in North America or Europe. For instance, the average rate to hire a US-based virtual assistant ranges from $10-$30+, while in India most virtual assistants charge a quarter of that rate.
However, it is important to note that you’re not sacrificing expertise and talent if you hire VAs for those lower wages. You can find experienced and trained virtual assistants from these nations, and you’d be paying a fraction than you normally would if you hired people from Europe or NA.
How To Pay?
When you hire a virtual assistant through a VA company, the company will have its regulated format of payment that they will follow, like most virtual assistant agencies. Usually, you will pay the agency, and then the agency will pay the VA. Hiring an independent virtual assistant, however, is different since the payment policies differ each time.
The common method of payment that most VAs prefer is to be billed on an hourly basis and then receive their payment online. This can change since some virtual assistants might favor being paid with checks or with a credit card. Listed below are three courses of action to help you decide how to pay your virtual assistant:
A. Choose the Right Payment Structure
Usually, each virtual assistant has their desired payment structure, and this determines how the VA charges a potential client. To hire them, you will need to agree on a structure where both of you are content. Some of the standard pricing structures used by virtual assistants are as follows:
By the hour
Virtual assistants are paid for every hour they work using this method. This is suited for VAs handling repetitive tasks such as handling phone calls or managing the calendar. An example of this method is a virtual assistant being paid $8 per hour they worked.
Virtual assistants are paid a fixed salary for a set number of hours worked each week or month. Being paid $200 for the 10 hours they worked per week is an example of a flat rate.
By the task/project
The rate that you pay a virtual assistant is based on the task that has been assigned for them. For instance, you can pay a virtual assistant an hourly rate of 5 cents for every word typed in a document.
B. Use Popular Payment Platforms
Virtual assistants are normally not situated in the city/country that you’re based in, allowing you to hire someone that best fits your needs without having to worry about relocating them. You must be using a payment platform that’s available globally. Let’s have a closer look at the most popular payment platforms that you can use.
PayPal is the world’s leading payment platform and is used by nearly every corporation and small business to help with transferring payments to their virtual assistants.
- Supports over 20 currencies worldwide.
- You don’t need to set up an account to start using it.
- You can set up recurring payments to your VAs weekly/monthly.
- The fees they cut for international transactions are usually high, ranging from 0.3% to 7.4%.
- It can take up to five business days to transfer your payment from the PayPal account to the bank account.
Payoneer is another common payment platform that is simple to use and helps to transfer the payment to your virtual assistant.
- Supports over 100 currencies globally.
- The fee for currency conversion is only 2%-2.75% per transaction.
- Freelancing websites such as Fiverr and Freelancer have Payoneer integrated into it.
- There is an annual fee of $29.95 for a card and account maintenance, which varies depending on the country.
- It is quite difficult to set up an account on it.
Wise is an alternative option for transferring money across the world and can be useful as it cuts a low fee per transaction without any hidden charges in it.
- Supports over 40 currencies internationally.
- You can register an account for free.
- The market exchange rate is offered on all transactions.
- Does not have as much reach as other payment platforms as it’s only available in 50 countries.
- There is no option to set up recurring payments to your virtual assistants each week/month.
C. Use A Performance Monitoring Software
You need to track the hours that your virtual assistants have worked so that you can pay them precisely. If you don’t use software to track their work hours, it is impossible to:
- Know whether they’re counting idle hours as work hours.
- Monitor their web and app usage during work hours.
- Verify how long it took to finish a task/project.
- Clarify if they are working on some other tasks or not during the hours you’re being billed for.
- Prevent them from being distracted during work.
You don’t need to be worried about determining how much a virtual assistant will cost as it isn’t a complex process. Firstly, identify the virtual assistance services you require. Next, check the tasks and establish the level of experience of the virtual assistant necessary to carry out each one. Follow these steps and you’ll have no issues estimating the virtual assistant hourly rate you need to pay for the VAs services.