You are not alone if you are searching to hire a virtual assistant but confused about everything related to VAs, i.e., virtual assistant hourly rate, how to pay them, managing them, and countless other questions. However, you are in the right place.
We did not merely discuss the payment rates aspect only; instead, this article contains everything basic you need to know before hiring and managing your virtual assistant. Hence, feel free to jump to any of the specific sections.
- What is a Virtual Assistant
- Why You Might Need a Virtual Assistant
- How to Determine How Much a Virtual Assistant Costs
- Virtual Assistant Hourly Rate
- How to Manage your Virtual Assistant
- How to Pay Your Virtual Assistants
Let’s start then, shall we?
A virtual assistant may be a remote employee who provides multidimensional services to businesses, startups, and enterprises. There is almost an endless list of what a virtual assistant can do. However, these are the main reasons that you might hire a virtual assistant.
- Miscellaneous administrative functions
- Social media account management
- Virtual event management
- Customer support
- Website management
- Time management and scheduling
- Report writing
- Basic digital marketing
- Basic accounting and finances
Basically, these virtual assistants can do virtually anything. The question is why you would even hire virtual assistants if you already have in-house employees.
Here we represent the top 3 reasons why you should hire a virtual assistant.
Better Utilization of Human Resources
Suppose you are a manager in the mid-hierarchy or beyond. As a manager, you have managerial roles and repetitive tasks, i.e., preparing the company report, managing your schedule, etc. Were you given a chance to opt between these two roles, quite naturally, you would root for managerial positions.
While the managerial roles do appeal more than mundane tasks, the latter is essential. There is no denying that. Here is where a virtual assistant comes in. He/she can take care of your regular office work. Therefore, you can focus on the tasks that need your immediate attention.
Free brownie points for you because you gain more limelight while playing an active role in more critical tasks.
Reduced Human Resources Cost
A full-fledged employee requires a bigger budget to maintain. Besides, the employee also needs to be trained. On top of that, he/she expects basic amenities from the company.
On the other hand, you can have the same work done by a virtual assistant at an hourly rate. However, there is always the possibility of less accountability and low-quality work. Nevertheless, virtual assistants come in handy to small businesses, since they can effort neither money nor training.
Virtual Assistants Save Time
For example, you have a one-time job, such as designing a pay-per-click campaign. Since you don't have an in-house SEM employee, what do you do? You can face all the trouble of HR technicalities to hire one. Instead, you can hire a ready-made professional virtual assistant.
- Type of Service They are Offering
The more sophisticated the task, the more you need to pay. For instance, if you hire for scheduling appointments, the virtual assistant hourly rate would be around $8-10. However, if the task requires a bit more hard skill, i.e., data entry, the virtual assistant might cost you about $15/hour.
- Years of Experience
Experience is a prerequisite for landing on a virtual assistant job. Hence, the entry-level virtual assistants often settle for low hourly rates. As the number of years goes up, so does the virtual assistant hourly rate.
For example, an entry-level assistant in scheduling tasks might settle for less than $15/hour. However, a master virtual assistant will never let his/her guards down.
- Time vs. work
If you have a close deadline, the amount of work done in an hour is supposed to be more than usual. Besides, consider the stress and hassles your virtual assistant is going through. It is only rational that you need to pay more in rush jobs vs. usual paced ones.
The reason why most companies hire from Asian countries is that it is substantially cheaper. The virtual assistant hourly rate even varies among different US regions. For example, an average virtual assistant hourly rate in New York ranges from $15.50 to $16. On the other hand, the same assistant might cost you around $20 in San Fransisco.
What’s even shocking is that hiring from South Asian countries will cost you only one-fourth of what’s said. In case you were wondering, would you be prioritizing cost over talent? Absolutely no! In some cases, the Asian virtual assistants are even better talented.
If we had to ballpark a figure for your virtual assistant hourly rate, we would settle for somewhere around $15 and$30 per hour. However, for high-skilled tasks, you have to go up the pay chart. Somewhere around $50 to $75.
Some virtual assistants can even charge you $100 per hour, depending on the 4 factors mentioned above. Nevertheless, it would help if you always verified whether their demand is justifiable. For instance, do you really need an absolute pro for your services? If not, just settle for someone with at least 3+ experience and the right credentials.
However, you have to acknowledge that the optimum virtual assistant hourly rate is not a hit-and-run answer. Sometimes, you have to beyond the industry benchmarks and use your judgment skills. That being said, it is time to give you a general idea as to what hourly rates you should pay based on the available service.
Administrative tasks encompass routine tasks. This category of work can be best compared to that of a secretary. For instance, maintaining daily schedules, handling contact list, replying to phone calls and emails, and other clerical tasks.
The ideal virtual assistant hourly rate can be around $10 to $20 or more for such tasks described. It is to be mentioned that such qualities are constructed based on the pay scale in the US.
Accounting and Finances
Usually, the finance department hires such virtual assistants to do repetitive or time-consuming entry tasks. Other functions can include various services under the accounting domain. For instance, preparing balance sheets or income statements, maintaining ledgers, handling invoices, ensuring bill payments, etc.
Other high-end services can include auditing or preparing financial statements. The hourly rate for essential services can range from $15 to $25 or more. However, for high-end financial and accounting services, around $40-$50 can be demanded.
Business Executive Services
Some virtual assistants can perform higher managerial roles. These tasks involve active participation from the company executives as well. Tasks such as project management, charting up business plans/proposals, event management, or creating business pitch fall under this category.
These activities require higher cognitive skills and expertise. Hence, the average virtual assistant hourly rate can be a bit higher than usual. Virtual assistants can charge from $35 to $40 in the US region for business executive service.
Small enterprises usually require such services. This category can include miscellaneous services such as-
- Content writing
- Data entry
- Social media account management
- Research writing
- SEO and SEM
- Email marketing
The rates for such services vary a lot. For instance, Task Everyday charges $6.98 per hour for virtual assistants in content writing. On the other hand, Pepper VA charges up to $9.75 to $13.75 for a social media manager virtual assistant.
While you get a free pass on cost and training, virtual assistants come with their unique issues. Since everything is online, it is tough to manage employees. However, we have some tricks up our sleeves that can help you with managing your VAs.
- Maintaining Communication
To maintain 24/7 communication with VAs, the collaboration tools come in handy. I know what you have in mind. Do these collaboration tools not come with a price?
Well, sure they do. However, for a limited number of employees, such as you and your virtual assistant, such services have free plans. Some of the collaboration tools that we recommend are Slack and Chanty.
Moreover, you can also use free project management tools. Such tools will allow you to-
- Allocate tasks to your virtual assistant.
- Add comments and measure the progress of your tasks.
- Set clear deadlines for the tasks allocated.
- Ensure seamless communication with virtual assistants.
- Share files and documents.
- Monitoring and Evaluation
Trust is the most crucial factor in any online transaction. However, it is not something you simply cannot buy. Nevertheless, you can always monitor the employee to ensure that trust is not breached.
Therefore, it is wise to use time tracking software such as Apploye for monitoring your remote team. Moreover, in the case of hiring virtual assistants, time is literally money. So, monitor time carefully, and save money wisely.
What Apploye offers for managing your VAs and remote teams
- Online timesheet so that you understand how time is spent in your company.
- Employee scheduling so that you can monitor if your employees log in and when.
- Employee monitoring features to track the progress on tasks and projects.
- Check the employee productivity level and compare it.
- Finally, set hourly rates for your VAs. Hence, you can easily track the hourly pay rate.
- You can Always Negotiate Beforehand.
Before you hire a virtual assistant, it is wise to research industry benchmarks and negotiate. However, remember that they also have the right to refuse. Hence, don't push someone if they are unwilling because the VA industry is large enough to find the perfect fit within your budget.
- The Right Payment Structure
Although we solely discussed the virtual assistant hourly rate, there are other payment structures as well. Payment by the hour is the most common structure. Nonetheless, some virtual assistants prefer a monthly rate. In such cases, the rate/hour is decreased because of the added job security and scale economies.
Another famous payment structure is the project-based payment. Such rates are common in the content writing industry. For example, you pay 10 cents for every word written.
Finally, an inefficient payment structure is the one paid in flat rates. In such cases, efficiency is often lost in the name of cost savings. However, we are none to judge. The payment structure solely depends on your needs or company requirements.
- Use Popular Payment Channels
One of the obvious perks of hiring a virtual assistant that we overlooked is the larger availability of candidates. You are not confined to your local job market. However, since they are ‘global’ employees, you must choose a ‘global’ payment platform.
Some of the popular payment platforms that you can use almost anywhere in the world are as follows.
However, you are hiring Asian, especially Indian virtual assistants, the most obvious choice is Paypal.
Time for a quick re-run:
- Identify the type of service you require.
- Assess the acceptable level of expertise that should suffice.
- Verify the candidate by his/her past record and testimonial.
After you consider the candidate a good fit for your job, ask for a quotation. Now, research the industry benchmark and compare the findings. Based on the findings, negotiate if required.
If you do settle for a rate, choose the optimum payment structure and channel for the transaction. In the meantime, be sure to monitor and evaluate your virtual assistants. There you go! Everything you need to know about the virtual assistant hourly rate and how to hire and manage them.