Full Time Or Part Time? - Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Hire Part-Time or Full-Time Virtual Assistants?

Economics

If cost is the driver of your intention to hire part-time staff, you may want to consider a full-time Filipino virtual assistant.

First, the most important thing to understand is the economics of this question. If you hire a part-time worker in California, you will probably be paying them anywhere from $15.00 to $25.00 an hour.

If your part-timer is working 30 hours a week at $15.00 an hour, that will cost you about $2,000 a month. If they are more highly paid, it could be in excess of $3,000 a month.

On top of that, you have all the usual hidden costs of maintaining staff, such as payroll, insurance, and tax.

In all cases, a full-time Filipino worker is going to cost you less than that. The average rate for a full-time virtual assistant is less than $1,000 a month. With no extra costs. Learn more about the economics of virtual assistants from the Philippines.

Therefore, if cost is the driver of your intention to hire part-time staff you may want to consider hiring a full-time Filipino.

Of course, you can argue that your cost would be even lower if you hire a part-time virtual assistant. And that is true; however, in our experience, it usually ends up being a false saving. To understand this, we need to understand the psychology of part-time virtual assistant workers.

Psychology

A full-time Filipino worker is going to cost you less than a part-time U.S. worker.

While there are occasional exceptions, the majority of Filipino workers want a full time, stable, long-term job. This is more true with the more talented and experienced VAs. Having and maintaining a stable, reliable income is usually valued more than the ability to earn a bit extra in the short term.

If a Filipino is working part-time, there is also a much higher probability that they will either take on a second part-time job or simply leave when they find a good stable full-time job. Whichever is the case, in our experience, staff retention is usually significantly higher with full-time staff.

When a VA works part time for you and is also working part time for someone else, or even freelancing in their spare time, you are relegated to being just one of their sources of income. In our experience this often leads to erratic performance both in terms of the quality of their work but also in how long it takes to get something done.

In fact we would go so far as to say that most problems, most cases where people have had a less than stellar experience, is when the VA has other conflicting commitments.

A lot of the hidden cost in having staff is in employee turnover. Loss of productivity, the need to retrain, new staff not working out, poorer competence due to lack of focus, are all challenges that become exaggerated with part-time workers.

It is for all these reasons we recommend hiring full-time virtual assistants.

There is, however, one caveat to that recommendation. Our clients are often taken aback by just how productive their VAs turn out to be. It is not unusual for a new hire to get through their first month’s work allocation in their first week.

If you leave your virtual assistant sitting around waiting for new work assignments, they are likely to find a second job and try to double up. This almost always results in one of the jobs becoming a lower priority.

We, therefore, recommend hiring full time, providing you have enough work to keep them busy. Often with a bit of thought and preparation, there are a ton of additional things you can have your VA do that might not necessarily be part of the core job you hired them to do.

Examples we see other clients incorporate into their VAs workweek include travel booking, customer support, meeting management, tracking receipts and expenses, updating spreadsheets, monitoring systems and dashboards and clearing out email inboxes. Think of it, how much more productive could you be if you had a well-trained personal P.A.?

Having said all that, it is certainly possible to hire a part time VA. It’s just that in our experience, the success and satisfaction rates are dramatically lower than when hiring full time.

If you simply do not have enough work to keep a full time VA busy, rather than trying to hire part time, we recommend you outsource the work in discrete projects to freelancers using a resource such as Upwork.

Recommendations

  • Hire full-time virtual assistants whenever you can
    • Be sure to keep them busy
  • If you cannot do that, use freelancers instead