Where hiring a virtual assistant used to be out of the norm, it has now become much more mainstream. Every day, thousands of companies and individuals are hiring Virtual Assistants to complete a variety of projects for their business. And even more, these companies are finding that hiring a Virtual Assistant is beneficial to their business in many new ways, often far beyond of what was originally expected.
There are many questions that come to mind when you are first considering hiring a VA. One of the questions that you might ask is, “what kind of rate can I expect?” And unfortunately there isn’t an easy answer.
Can you hire a Virtual Assistant for $5 an hour? Absolutely! But will that person prove to be a beneficial member of your team? Maybe. Maybe not. The point to hiring a Virtual Assistant needs to be getting the biggest bang for your buck. You want to use your dollars wisely to hire the best assistant possible for the least amount of money.
On the reverse side, the same can also be said for hiring the most expensive Virtual Assistant. Just because someone believes they can charge $100 per hour doesn’t mean they will be the best person for the job.
You need to evaluate all applications and find the right person for the job before evaluating the rate you are willing to pay. The right person will be worth every dollar spent!
In order to get the very best rate for a Virtual Assistant, you need to consider the following main factors:
- The rate varies greatly by region. For example, a data entry person with the same skillset from the Philippines is going to be 2-3 times less expensive than one from Canada.
- The type of skills/activities the VA is expected to be involved with also impacts the rate significantly. At the lowest level you have VAs with basic data entry skills, and at the top of the ladder you have VAs that can handle complex financial statements and in-depth research.
- The level of education is another significant factor. Some VAs do not have much to offer other than a school diploma, while others might have an MBA from a prestigious university or even a Ph.D.
- The rate also varies depending on the amount of experience the VA has. After you identified the rate for someone with 0-1 years of experience, you can expect the price to go up at a rate of ~$2/hr for every year of experience, for a few years. The rate flattens at about 10 years of experience.
- Another factor to consider is that prices fluctuate. Currency exchange, for example, can make a big difference in the price you will pay. The Russian Ruble vs the US Dollar is a great example. The current exchange rate is nearly 67 rubles to 1 USD, and not long before that it was about 30 to 1. This current rate results in a favorable situation for you as the buyer, where things were dramatically different just a couple years ago when the dollar was falling and most VAs had to increase their rate just to be able to maintain a steady level of earnings.
The key to finding a sweet spot is to establish a benchmark of what you need to pay given the combination of your requirements and the factors above. My approach to do that has been using Elance and oDesk. I simply search for what I need and instantly get a benchmark for what to expect for specific skillset, location, etc.
When I am looking to hire a VA, I make sure to know what I want and to give specific requirements. If your requirements are somewhat unclear, the best way to find what will work for your company is to experiment. Try different price points and work with different types of Virtual Assistants in order to find the best new member(s) for your team.
Do you have suggestions or ideas to share? Do you have a method that readers can benefit from? Do you have a strong opinion on what you consider to be an acceptable rate for a Virtual Assistant? Please leave your comments or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.