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Hiring Virtual Assistants: Directly or Thru an Agency

Virtual assistants (VAs) have become an essential source of support for businesses and entrepreneurs. They are remote professionals who offer services ranging from administrative to creative. Their support has allowed business owners to enhance productivity, save time, and reduce costs.

When a business owner decides to employ a virtual assistant, they have two options. Should they hire them directly or go to an agency to hire them? This post will discuss and compare the pros and cons of both options.

Advantages of Direct Hiring

Business owners can create an ad looking for the skills and support they need. Interested VAs would then contact them and the business owner can then schedule a meeting. The business owner will then screen and assess which candidate is fit for the post.

Direct hiring allows employers to personalize this selection process. They get to choose the virtual assistant who best fits their specified need according to their preference and company culture. With this personalized approach to the recruitment process, the employer and virtual assistant will establish a strong work relationship. Employers will have a level of customization wherein they can set which specialized skills and expertise they are looking for.

Thru direct hiring, the business owner will have direct communication with the VAs. This would establish clear lines of communication between them. Both parties can have seamless collaboration, and the delegation of tasks would be clear. Completing tasks effectively and on time would be the result.

Hiring virtual assistants directly can also be cost-effective. Business owners can negotiate directly with the virtual assistant, which can be favorable for both parties. It can also avoid agency fees and markups, which can add to the costs. Direct hiring can be beneficial for businesses with budget constraints.


Despite its advantages, direct hiring also has its drawbacks. One disadvantage is that it will consume much time from the business owners.

They will need time to send out advertisements for potential candidates. And then they would have to allot time also for screening and interviewing. All these may take the focus away from doing their core tasks.

Another challenge would be assessing the qualifications and skills of potential candidates. Employers may not be familiar with some of the technical side of a role. This may lead to mismatches between the actual skills and the job requirement.

Employers would also have limited access to the vast talent pool around the world. They would have to depend on referrals from their immediate network should their posted ads not be successful.

Lastly, there is that looming problem of when the VA could not report for work due to some circumstances. The business owner would have to find someone to serve as backup. Sometimes, the business owner would be the backup, which is counterintuitive to hiring VAs.

Advantages of Hiring Thru an Agency

Virtual assistant agencies can save time and effort for the employer. They maintain an extensive database of talents that they have already pre-screened. With this, they can quickly provide the employer with suitable candidates that match their requirements. The employers only have to decide who to hire.

The employers can rest assured that the provided list of candidates will be qualified. Virtual assistant agencies have the experience and understanding of finding the right candidate fit for the requirements.

These agencies also have the flexibility to provide temporary VAs. Employers can then scale their workforce requirements based on the nature of the project. This can minimize long-term commitments that are usually associated with direct hiring VAs.

Virtual assistant agencies can also present a safety net for employers. They can offer the employers a replacement guarantee if ever the assigned VA does not meet expectations. If the VA is not available, the agency will find someone else to temporarily take their place for the day.


Hiring thru a virtual assistant agency would incur higher costs in the form of additional fees and markups. Business owners with budget constraints may not have the extra resource to opt for this approach.

Employers would have less control over the screening process which will be the job of the agencies. Possible mismatches in the VA skills and employer requirements may arise.

Communication delays may also happen. Employers sometimes have to go through the agency before giving instructions or feedback to their VA.


There are several factors that may affect an employer's decision when it comes to hiring virtual assistants. Budget and time constraints are major factors that will tip the decision to either approach. There is also the type of expertise required and how long an employer needs a virtual assistant.

The two approaches to hiring virtual assistants have their own advantages and disadvantages. Direct hiring can be cost-effective and offers the employer a degree of control over the screening process. However, this will be time-consuming and may have challenges when it comes to skill assessment.

Hiring thru an agency also has its pros and cons. Agencies have experience finding candidates and they have the flexibility to when it comes to scaling. However, the employer would have minimal control over the screening process and agencies will incur additional expenses.

Knowing these factors and the advantages and disadvantages of each method helps the owner choose the most suitable one.

Book a call with us today to see what will best fit you and your business needs.



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