The Virtual Assistant vs employee debate can feel overwhelming when trying to decide whether investing in a full-time employee or a Virtual Assistant is the right choice for you.

You’re likely used to having full-time staff and feel comforted by the familiarity of it. However, you’ll also be aware that onboarding new staff is a considerable investment. You may have considered a Virtual Assistant before, but you may be concerned that they won’t be able to provide you with the same amount of support that a full-time employee would.

In fact, you could probably go round in circles all day long and still not come to a decision!

To make things slightly easier, we’ve broken down the three main areas you should consider when it comes to figuring out the Virtual Assistant vs employee dilemma.



The cost of enlisting an extra pair of hands to manage your workload is likely the most important factor when deciding on the best option for your business. Often, Virtual Assistants charge more per hour than what you would pay a regular employee. On the other hand, employees come with a range of extra expenses that will be up to you to cover.

But if both are going to cost you, which Virtual Assistant vs employee option will give you more for your money?


As well as paying a full-time salary for your employee, you’ll also have to cover a range of other costs that very quickly add up. These include:

  • Holiday pay
  • Sick pay
  • Maternity/paternity pay
  • Payroll taxes
  • Social security payments

You’ll also have to fork out for the recruitment process, office equipment and any other training they need to undertake.

Virtual Assistant

Hourly rates for Virtual Assistants may seem high at first glance. However, if you eliminate the extra costs associated with full-time employees,  Virtual Assistants appear to be more cost-effective. Virtual Assistants will also already have their own equipment and will pay for any training they want to undertake themselves.

Increasing their cost-effectiveness further means that with a Virtual Assistant, you only need to pay for the time you need or the exact time they spend working on your projects. You won’t be paying for their lunch break or ten minutes of office chat.

virtual assistant vs employee making the right choice


Businesses are ever-changing. One month, you may be inundated with work, and the following month may be significantly quieter. When your workload fluctuates consistently, it’s essential to decide which of the Virtual Assistant vs employee options can best accommodate these changes.


An employee will be available to you all day, every day. If workload suddenly increases, they’ll be there to provide your business with the support it needs.

However, if you have months where workload is significantly lighter, you’ll still have to pay your employee for their time. This is regardless of whether they’ve got any work to do or not. So, while having them there consistently may feel like a bit of a comfort blanket, the decision rests on whether you can afford to pay someone for simply being on the premises.

Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistants are much the same as employees when it comes to being able to provide you with extra support when workload is heavy. The main aim of a Virtual Assistant is to step in to help reduce workload when things become a bit hectic. They’ll be available whenever you need them.

In contrast to employees, however, you won’t have to pay a Virtual Assistant for anything other than the work you need them to complete. If your workload is lighter one month, you can let your Virtual Assistant know that you’d like to reduce their hours. Virtual Assistants are used to being flexible. They’ll work around your business so that you don’t end up paying for something you’re not using.



When someone is new to your business, it’s inevitable that they’ll need to undertake some additional training to ensure they’re fully equipped to carry out their role successfully. However, training new staff members can be costly. It may even eat into time that you need to be spending on other important aspects of your business.

So, when it comes to the Virtual Assistant vs employee debate where extra training requirements are concerned, how can you determine where to focus your investment? 


Your new employee will need to be shown the ropes when it comes to your business. They may need extra training in certain aspects of the business to ensure their skills are perfected. While this training is entirely possible and will make them better employees in the long run, it’s you who will have to fork out for said training.

Coupled with the costs already associated with hiring a full-time staff member, your budget may not allow for the additional training your new employee needs.

Virtual Assistant

If you’ve done your research and found the right Virtual Assistant for you, the chances that they will require additional training are slim. Take The Edwards Company, for example. Our clients invest in our services so that we can support them with either their credit control, content creation, admin or data entry. We specialise in each of these areas. We undertake regular training ourselves and have extensive experience in providing each service for our clients.

In short, Virtual Assistants are usually good to go from the moment they begin working for you. No training necessary.

However, if there was an area where they felt like they needed extra training, they would take it upon themselves to invest in it.

virtual assistant vs employee making the right choice

When it comes to the Virtual Assistant vs employee debate, both full-time employees and Virtual Assistants hold value. They will both work to support your business in the best way possible. Whichever option you go with will drastically improve the way your business functions. However, considering things like cost, training and flexibility will ensure that the choice you make is the right one for your business and your circumstances.

If a Virtual Assistant is something you’re considering, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a chat. We support businesses locally in the West Midlands and across the UK. We provide external support with credit control, content creation, admin and data entry. We would be happy to share our advice with you.