Businesses whether large or startup have tasks to be accomplished. They have enormous responsibilities on their sleeve that they are now considering virtual assistants and personal assistants in delegating tasks. A strong assistant is going to get the job done. A great assistant will become indispensable and will in countless ways be the backbone of the company.

Both professionals can bring fortune to the table and can help in growing your aspirations for your business, so choosing whether which professional should an employer hire is a great question.

Understanding the difference of both may help every employer on which assistant would tailor-fit the need of your business.

What is a Personal Assistant?

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A personal assistant is a specialist who offers assistance in an office environment with different tasks. Usually, they are delegated to a person with all of the obligations associated with them. They may also work with a team and for a variety of individuals to meet their professional requirements. 

PAs are usually charged with managing administrative duties, such as handling telephone calls, responding to emails, and scheduling appointments. PAs assist company leaders with all time-consuming activities that do not require leadership skills. They can save time for managers, inducing productivity at work.

PAs are known as full-time workers. As such, they are entitled to all the employee benefits available. For important issues such as pensions and holiday days, they often obey the company’s internal policies.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

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Unlike personal assistants, virtual assistants do not necessarily need to be in an office setting. They are assisting an employer through a remote environment. They are not readily available in an office but can easily communicate digitally. 

You may also be assisted by virtual assistants to complete different reports, plan presentations, and assist with prospecting. Many virtual assistants have specialties, such as graphic design, bookkeeping, and digital marketing, in addition to reception and secretarial duties. A virtual assistant can become a critical part of the organisation quickly. 

Unlike a PA who works for a single boss, a virtual personal assistant also has several clients in place. Virtual assistants balance their time between these clients while performing all the duties for each of them that they are supposed to handle. With that being said, an employer can also recruit a virtual assistant on a full-time basis. 

If virtual assistants are employed as a third-party contractor, employers don’t need to pay for insurance or sick days. The recruitment process doesn’t need to be as lengthy as the typical hiring process for virtual assistants are not standard employees.

What is the cost of hiring PAs and VAs?

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Most personal assistants are employees rather than contractors. That means, aside from employee benefits, employers have added costs. This entails paying for social security, medicare, unemployment, and wages for employees. 

In-person executive and administrative assistants often need a place to work and equipment to work with. It means that hiring a personal assistant needs an employer to set up an office or at least a working space. It can include furniture, lighting, telephone, machine, etc. The cost of a personal assistant may depend on your budget, but there are significant costs that you take into account.

On the other hand, virtual assistants are independent contractors that reduce the overall cost. They can work on their own space lessening the need for a working space in the office. Virtual assistants usually have equipment on their own, so it will only be the software that you will be providing to them. You will pay based on the hour that your VAs will work.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Personal Assistant

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When hiring a PA, it requires more than a human resource and investment in job search. You’ll need to post the work to find the right personal assistant, which also comes with payments to get it seen in the right circles. Sifting through resumes, performing interviews, and reviewing references takes time. Plus, when doing background checks, there’s a costly investment. 

Personal assistants may also need some preparation to familiarize them with the workplace, operations, and best practices once they are employed. Often, before they find the best match, businesses would have to go through two or three individuals.

Considerations may include:

  • Working with someone in-person like personal assistants can increase trust between employers and employees.
  • PAs can do more personal tasks such as running personal errands.
  • Will be readily available when needed because they are working on-site.
  • Will be readily available for the team to collaborate, to coordinate and to visualize.
  • There would be added fees and investment when hiring PAs
  • More costly as an added employee.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

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In recruiting a virtual assistant, one of the common concerns is less about the position and more about the fear of the unknown. It feels ‘true’ when you meet someone in person, and can leave the feeling that work is being done. It can also mean that you check in on them as required by getting them just around the corner.

Meeting with someone in a virtual environment may also feel less personable which may lead to concern that the worker will not be trustworthy. Employers usually use software in tracking works done by virtual assistants. In this manner, employers will know if VAs are finishing tasks within a given time frame.

Considerations may include:

  • It can take a little time to build trust.
  • Low cost assistants will have their own working space and working equipment.
  • VAs often set their own working hours unless asked in advance.
  • VAs are flexible and can work at different times of the day.
  • VAs are more productive because instead of accruing paid hours, they only bill for time employed, except when on break or during slow times where there might be less work.
  • They can be available to them without compromising the focus on the tasks.
  • Virtual assistants can develop technological expertise, graphic design, digital marketing over time.

Which is right for your business?

You now have a good idea of the distinctions between the two and what to take into account if you have been thinking about hiring a personal assistant or a virtual assistant.

PAs have many advantages, but when it comes to money and time, they seem to cost more. Although building trust in a virtual assistant can take time if you are not used to working digitally, they appear to be more efficient and affordable.

The decision to choose between any kind of assistant depends entirely on your discretion. But a VA can be the perfect option for your company in terms of expense, quality, and productivity if you are comfortable with handling your communications on a remote basis. It can seem overwhelming to take all this into consideration. Nonetheless, you now have the information in order to make an informed decision that is best for you, the business, and your new assistant.


This article has been made by My VA Station Team. If you have thoughts, comments and suggestions, feel free to leave a message below or reach us here.  

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