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Hiring a virtual assistant - How? And what rates to pay?(7 Posts)
I have an ecommerce business and need more help! I have tried to hire a virtual assistant through PPH, Upwork... but so far, no luck.
I'm looking for someone who can help for 30 hours per month. Needs to be someone experienced who can help with uploading products and content, produce Excel reports, ecommerce merchandising, basic Photoshop, customer/supplier emails.
I've been looking for VAs at £15 per hour (as, really, the work is fairly routine). But, I wonder if I'm expecting too much brilliance on that rate.
If you have a virtual assistant that's AMAZING, where did you hire them from? And what rate do you pay?
£25 per hour from Pink Spaghetti, I think that's a fairly usual rate, £15 seems too low to get anyone much good - I've seen people advertising £30 per hour.
I do this sort of work and I know quite a few other VA's and I have found that the price per hour being lower doesn't necessarily mean that they are any worse. I have worked with other VA's on the upper end of the per hour rate and they seemed less competent than someone on £14 per hour.
I hope I'm not speaking out of turn, but on the one hand you say that you want an AMAZING VA, with a reasonably decent skill set, but you also say that you only want to pay £15 an hour because the work's routine.
I've often thought that there's a bit of a conflict around assistant type work - all my secretarial type jobs, they wanted someone who was bright enough to deal with the occasional more challenging thing that cropped up, but they wanted to pay you according to the mundane stuff. So people pay for the job, not the person, and maybe that's how it should be; but if that's the case, then they should perhaps hire the person whose skills are about right for the job, rather than trying to get the person whose ability exceeds the job as you have graded it according to what you're prepared to pay.
I understand, of course, that if you're running on tight margins, you maybe can't afford more, but it remains a bit of a conflict. I hope this doesn't come across as a criticism, OP. It's absolutely not meant to. It's just something that's often occurred to me, being a back-office type of character.
Sorry for not replying sooner to these posts!
@Clavender - what type of work do they do for you? And are they that good, you’d almost consider them to be ‘in-house’? Regarding the rate, I’m in the North, if that makes any difference.
@Candycough - that’s good to know! Can you tell me about the type of projects/clients you work with?
@MrsSteptoe - no, of course not, I’m happy to listen to different perspectives! I honestly don’t know if I’m being unreasonable. I previously worked with an overseas VA who did a lot of this work (but no emails with suppliers/customers) and had a great work ethic. But, obviously I’m not comparing like-with-like here. This time around, I would prefer to work with someone in the UK. Well, if I can find someone. I think you’re probably right, though, about there being a bit of a conflict, but naturally when hiring, you want someone who is good!
I am a VA and turn my hand to doing most types of work. However, my specialism is in the tech side and finding cost effective ways to save my clients money.
Whilst you might think VA rates are high my hourly rate is £30 but I do offer large discounts for regular hours/bookings. That rate covers holiday pay/sick pay/NI contributions/tax/equipment/training/insurance etc.
I recently finished a short term cover for a franchise. During my time there I did research/customer support solved problems for the franchisees and had a fantastic working relationship with the client and other members of staff. All without ever meeting them or setting foot in the office.
If your business is ready for a VA there are some highly qualified people out there that would love to work with you and treat your business how they treat their own.
Based on 7.5 hours per day, 28 days holiday, average sickness of 6.5 days, NI contributions but no pension contributions the take home on £15 per hour would be about £21k.
In the South East, you'd get an admin/PA with a couple of years experience for that money. For AMAZING you need to pay £25 to £30 per hour.
There is a lot of dross out there. You'll attract someone good if you pay more IMO.
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