Hiring from a virtual assistance agency or hiring an independent (freelance) virtual assistant is a choice you’ll have to make as a business owner. There are pros and cons to each choice, so let’s go over the difference between hiring from a virtual assistance agency or hiring a freelance virtual assistant.
What are you looking for in a virtual assistant?
Before choosing between an agency or a freelancer, you have to figure out what you want from your virtual assistant.
Are you looking for someone that you can train to do tasks specifically how you do them?
Do you want someone who can jump right into your business and take over with no direction?
Some business owners prefer to train their own staff, while other business owners don’t want any part of the training process. This usually depends on how much time you’re willing to invest in your virtual assistant.
You should also consider your budget. A virtual assistant who works for an agency will usually cost higher because the agency takes a cut, while a freelancing virtual assistant found on Upwork will be cheaper because they don’t have to pay for a website or costs of running a business.
Keep these factors in mind as you read this post to help you choose between hiring through an agency or looking for an independent freelancer.
Hiring through a virtual assistance agency
Virtual assistance agencies are fantastic for business owners who want virtual assistants that can do nearly anything and are willing to pay a premium price for trained and experienced virtual assistants.
For example, you may tell the agency that you’re looking for a virtual assistant to help you manage your inbox and schedule posts to your blog. Then you need a virtual assistant to help you custom code something on your website. Maybe you’re starting a YouTube channel in the next quarter and you need someone to do all of your video editing.
The nice thing about hiring through an agency is that they will have a virtual assistant on standby ready to do these tasks for you. This saves you the time from going on endless searches for virtual assistants. The agency does the scouting and hiring for you. You simply need to put in the request through the agency and the virtual assistant comes to you.
For business owners who need simplicity, ease, and accessibility, agencies are a great way to hire virtual assistants.
As another added bonus, there’s always a replacement virtual assistant if something goes wrong. If the virtual assistant quits, needs maternity leave, gets sick, or chooses to stop working for you, there can be another virtual assistant ready to take their place the next day. You don’t need to stop work or put your whole business on pause over the loss of a virtual assistant.
The downside to hiring from a virtual assistance agency is that you don’t always get to choose the virtual assistant that you work with. The agency will consider who is the best candidate for the job and you work with someone of their choosing. If you are someone who enjoys training, meeting virtual assistants first, and having full control over the hiring aspect of a virtual assistant, hiring through an agency might not be for you.
Hiring a freelance virtual assistant
Freelance virtual assistants can be found through online platforms such as Guru or Upwork, though some virtual assistants will also have their own websites. Keep in mind that independent virtual assistants who have their own websites are generally more expensive because they need to cover their taxes and the cost of running their business.
Freelance virtual assistants work on their own, meaning that they don’t have a scout or an agency taking a cut of their profits. You would interview them yourself and if needed, train them on your own.
If you’re running on a budget and need a lower cost virtual assistant, you will often need to train them on how to do the tasks. This can be as easy as recording a video of you doing the task on your own and sending them the video. You can also save that video for future virtual assistants, in case this one doesn’t work out.
On the other hand, highly skilled virtual assistants come with a higher price ticket, but usually won’t cost more than an agency. Since they have their own business and they’re getting paid so well, these high ticket freelance virtual assistants are more likely to be happy working for you and won’t fall behind on their tasks. They depend on referrals and their reputation to stay competitive as a virtual assistant so they put their best foot forward on the job.
The downside to hiring a freelance virtual assistant is that if they disappear or something happens to them, you’ve lost a contractor. You will need to start over with the process of finding a virtual assistant, interviewing them, and training them.
Do you plan on hiring through an agency or going with a freelance virtual assistant? Let us know in the comments below.