How to Hire VAs

Hiring a Virtual Administrative Assistant: Cost, Tasks, and Where To Hire

Thinking about hiring a virtual administrative assistant? We explain what they do, what to look for, and where to find one.

Hiring a Virtual Administrative Assistant: Cost, Tasks, and Where To Hire


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As more and more businesses move to online and remote models, the call for virtual assistants is growing. Hiring a virtual administrative assistant can help you save time, money, and effort when it comes to managing your business.

Recent data has shown that hiring a virtual assistant is three times cheaper than hiring a full-time on-site worker. When you consider that the virtual assistant industry has a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.9% from 2021 to 2028, leading up to a market size of $47.57 billion by 2028, it paints a clear picture of just how many businesses are starting to understand the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.

In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about hiring a virtual administrative assistant: their cost, the tasks they can do for you, and where you can find them. We’ll also provide tips based on our experience so you feel confident about your hiring decision. 

By the end of this article, you’ll better understand how virtual assistants can help your business, what you should pay them, and what skills to look for when evaluating candidates. So if you’re considering adding a virtual assistant to your team, read on.

What Does a Virtual Administrative Assistant Do?

As a business owner, having an extra set of hands on your team can be invaluable. Virtual administrative assistants support businesses that need help managing their day-to-day operations. 

A virtual assistant (VA) is typically an independent contractor working remotely outside the client’s home or office. They provide a wide range of administrative services and tasks for a wide variety of businesses, including: 

  • Small businesses 
  • Technology companies 
  • Law firms 
  • Online entrepreneurs
  • Accounting businesses
  • Marketing firms
  • HR firms 

With a virtual administrative assistant, you can ensure that all aspects of your business are running smoothly without hiring a full-time staff member. Most VAs are independent contractors; however, some work for agencies specializing in training or placing these highly skilled administrators.

What is a virtual assistant?
Source: Investopedia

Why Hire Virtual Assistants? What Are the Advantages?

Hiring a VA can provide various benefits to your business. Not only do you save money on overhead costs such as office space, utilities, and supplies, but VAs are often more efficient and cost-effective than traditional in-house staff. 

On average, businesses that hire VAs save up to 78% on annual overhead costs. Some of the other advantages you can gain from these skilled remote workers are below.

Aid with administrative tasks

Virtual Assistant Roles
Source: Wishup

Admin work can be tedious and time-consuming, leaving you with less energy for more important tasks like growing your business or creating new services. That’s where a VA comes in—they can take some of the admin load off your shoulders and give you the time back you need. From easy one-off administrative tasks to daily office tasks or complex tasks, there is not much a VA can’t take off your hands.

Here are some everyday tasks that VAs can help with: 

  • Managing your emails and responding to customer inquiries 
  • Scheduling meetings, appointments, and events 
  • Preparing documents like invoices, reports, presentations, and contracts 
  • Researching topics related to the business, such as marketing strategies or new trends in the industry 
  • Data entry for customer or inventory systems 
  • Bookkeeping tasks, including data entry into accounting software and preparing financial statements 
  • Email marketing and social media management
  • Online storage and file management
  • Making detailed travel plans and organizing documents for travel

In 2020, almost a third of business leaders turned to an assistant—be it virtual or in-person—for greater efficiency. Two years later, that number had skyrocketed to two-thirds. This surge in reliance on assistants proves how invaluable they are in increasing productivity.

Industry-specific expertise

One benefit of hiring a remote assistant is their industry-specific expertise. Many businesses hire VAs with experience working within their specific field or niche, allowing them to provide valuable insight into how best to manage processes and operations. 

This knowledge can be invaluable when it comes to getting the most out of your team while increasing efficiency and productivity. Furthermore, having an experienced assistant can help prevent mistakes and costly errors. 

For instance, a VA with a specialty in accounting will ensure your financial reports are always up to date and accurate, or a virtual marketing assistant will follow up on leads you might otherwise have missed.

Remote virtual assistant, home set up

No need for a physical office

Hiring a VA can be a great way to save money on office space and equipment, as your assistant will work from their own home or workspace. 

On top of saving you the cost of renting out physical space, you won’t have to spend extra money on equipping it with computers, phones, desks, and other resources that an in-house employee might require. 

When hiring a VA, you only need access to the internet and knowledge of how best to communicate with your assistant remotely. 

Affordable salaries

The cost of hiring a VA as a contractor is much lower than that of a full-time employee. In fact, it may even be cheaper than outsourcing to a VA agency. This makes it the perfect option for businesses on tight budgets looking for quality help without breaking the bank. 

Additionally, there are many benefits to hiring remote workers based abroad—namely, the availability of lower wage rates and a larger pool of skilled workers. For example, VAs based in Latin American (LatAm) countries often charge less than US-based assistants, making them an attractive option for businesses looking to save money without compromising on quality. 

Furthermore, you can hire VAs for specific tasks or projects rather than having to commit to a full-time employee. This makes it easier to keep costs down while ensuring you have the necessary resources. 

What Are the Top 3 Virtual Assistant Fields of Expertise?

When hiring a VA, many employers are unsure what type of expertise they should seek. Consider whether you need a generalist or someone with more specialized knowledge. 

Generalists are VAs adept at performing various administrative work tasks, such as managing calendars, scheduling meetings, and responding to emails. These employees can handle most clerical tasks and often have technical skills in areas like using spreadsheets and data entry

On the other hand, there are VAs who specialize in specific areas of administration work. For example, there are legal VAs to help prepare legal documents, technical VAs that can help you in a variety of technical fields like IT and marketing and social media VAs who can help manage your company’s online presence. 

Having specialized knowledge in certain areas of administrative work can be beneficial if you’re looking for someone with experience in that field. But it also means that the individual is likely to cost more than a generalist due to their higher level of expertise. 

It’s essential to consider both types when deciding which type of assistant would best meet your needs and budget. Let’s take a look at the three most common types of specialties.

Benefits of an Executive VA infographic
Source: Virtudesk

Executive assistants

These top-tier assistants are the most popular field of expertise when hiring a VA, especially for busy executives. This type of position requires an individual to be highly organized, with strong problem-solving skills and excellent communication abilities. 

An executive assistant can support C-level management in their daily operations. Some of the tasks an executive assistant will perform include: 

  • Managing calendars and scheduling appointments
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Preparing reports
  • Handling confidential company documents
  • Organizing meetings and events as well as providing general administrative support

On average, executive assistants in the US earn around $45,000 annually. This number can vary depending on the company and the nature of their job responsibilities. 

It is important to remember some executive assistant positions often require additional qualifications or certifications to meet the demands of the role, so you need to remember to check for evidence of these when looking for the right VA. 

Marketing VA

This popular remote position specializes in tasks related to digital and online marketing. A virtual marketing assistant is often responsible for creating strategies for businesses to reach their target audiences online and implementing these strategies correctly. 

The tasks a virtual marketing assistant may be responsible for include: 

  • Creating and managing content for websites, blogs, newsletters, video channels, podcasts, and other media outlets
  • Researching potential customers and trends in the marketplace 
  • Coordinating digital campaigns with traditional advertising efforts 
  • Analyzing competitors’ tactics to develop more effective plans 
  • Developing engaging email campaigns targeting specific customer groups 
  • Creating compelling visuals for social media posts and advertisements 
  • Search engine optimization of new and existing digital content

On average, marketing VAs in the US earn an annual salary of $49,000. Of course, this can vary depending on experience and location. 

Customer relations manager

A virtual customer relations manager handles all aspects of customer service from: 

  • Responding to inquiries and complaints
  • Managing customer accounts and returns
  • Providing information about products or services
  • Resolving conflicts between customers and employees
  • Ensuring that customer feedback is heard

Specialized tasks for this role include:

  • Researching potential customers
  • Developing new strategies for engaging with customers
  • Creating reports on client activities
  • Analyzing data to identify trends and areas of improvement
  • Creating, managing, and updating customer databases

On average, a customer relations manager in the US earns around $71,000 annually.

Cost of hiring a virtual assistant

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Virtual Assistant?

Hiring a VA can save you time, money, and stress. But how much does it cost to hire one? Costs vary depending on the VA’s experience, expertise, credentials, and location.


The cost of hiring a VA varies depending on the experience level you need. For an entry-level full-time VA in the US, most businesses pay between $1,000 to $1,500 per month; for more experienced or specialized VAs, this amount will likely increase to $5,000 or more monthly. 

When hiring a VA based in LatAm, the costs are generally lower than in the US. From our experience, an entry-level VA can cost around $700 monthly, while a more seasoned assistant will be around $2,400 monthly. 

These prices may vary depending on your chosen VA’s country and experience level. So it’s critical to do your research before making any offers. 

Remember that while the prices may be lower when hiring VAs based in LatAm, the quality is just as high as their US counterparts. The lower salaries relate to the cost of living in LatAm and the highly competitive labor market.

Part-time or hourly basis

So how much does it cost to hire a remote assistant on a part-time or hourly basis? That again depends on several factors, including the type of work they’ll be doing and their experience level. There isn’t a standard hourly rate.

When hiring your part-time VA, here are some things to consider: 

- Type of work. Different tasks come with varying rates of pay. For example, bookkeeping often requires more expertise than customer service and pays more per hour. 

- Urgency of tasks. You’ll generally have to pay a higher rate if you need something done quickly. 

- Amount of experience. More experienced VAs tend to charge more than less experienced ones. 

- Location. The cost of hiring a VA varies depending on where they live and work. Here’s an average hourly rate per region/country: 

  • US & Canada – USD 12–50/hour
  • Latin America – USD 8–20/hour
  • Europe – EUR 13–19+/hour
  • UK & Ireland – GBP 21–45+/hour 
  • Australia & New Zealand – AUD 20–100+/hour 

Ultimately, the cost of hiring a virtual assistant will depend on the type of work they’ll be doing and their level of experience. But with careful consideration and research, you can find affordable assistants to fit your budget, especially if you widen your search beyond the US.

How Do I Hire a Virtual Assistant?

Hiring a virtual administrative assistant can be an intimidating process. With so many options, figuring out where to start can take time. Don’t limit your search to within your own country—you can hire remote workers from anywhere in the world, giving you a much wider variety of skills and talent pools to choose from. 

How do you go about hiring a VA? Here are some tips on where to look for top-notch talent.

Hire from online job boards

When it comes to online job boards, you should consider both their advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, they provide a wide range of potential candidates you can choose from without limiting yourself geographically, saving you time and money in recruitment costs. 

Additionally, they often have intuitive search functions that allow you to home in on what kind of skills or experience you’re looking for. However, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. 

Online job boards can be very competitive, meaning there is a lot of competition to find top talent. Also, the sheer amount of potential candidates can be overwhelming and time-consuming when it comes to sifting through all the applications and resumes you may receive. 

When it comes to online job boards, here’s a list of the three most popular, along with a critical feature of each: 

  • Indeed. As one of the most popular job boards, Indeed offers a wide range of candidates from many countries. It also provides an easy-to-use search function that allows you to narrow down your results by skills, experience, location, and more. 
  • LinkedIn. This networking juggernaut has quickly become one of the go-to places for employers to find talent thanks to its powerful connections and detailed profiles for potential hires. You can even use their advanced search feature to look for specific skills or qualifications that match what you’re looking for in a virtual assistant. 
  • ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter is an excellent choice for employers looking for virtual assistants because of its intuitive user interface and powerful search tool. It also offers an easy way to post job openings on multiple platforms simultaneously, saving you time in the hiring process. 

Online job boards can be a great way to find a qualified virtual assistant. However, it’s essential to consider both the advantages and disadvantages before choosing to go this route. 

International outsourcing companies

These staffing alternatives provide nearshore and offshore employees to help with administrative and other tasks. They can be an excellent option for hiring foreign-based VAs, as they offer access to a global talent pool while allowing you to save money on labor costs. 

Plus, the quality of work these professionals do is usually excellent since many have extensive experience in their field. Working with an international outsourcing company also ensures that your data remains secure and confidential, as non-disclosure agreements typically bind the personnel.

Three of the top outsourcing companies for virtual assistants are:

  • Remote CoWorker. This international firm specializes in virtual assistant and business support services. Their qualified Filipino VAs can manage a broad array of duties and assignments, such as customer service, promotional activities, and administrative aid.
  • Prialto. This company has earned a stellar reputation for its virtual assistance and business support services, particularly regarding large operations. Their staff is composed of highly experienced professionals who are adept at handling an extensive array of tasks and projects with ease, as well as working in unison with various team members.
  • Near. Near offers a comprehensive solution for businesses searching for the best talent in LatAm, including VAs. Our hiring process is designed to ensure you get only the most qualified candidates, and as the candidates are located in LatAm, they will be working in US time zones. Our process includes pre-screening and vetting for English language and related abilities and detailed assessments that include writing samples, appointment-setting tests, and situational exams.

The secret to success when hiring remote assistance is having a reliable, rigorous process that ensures you can find the right person for the job.

Essential skills executive assistant skills infographic

What Are the Qualities of the Best Virtual Assistants?

It takes a special type of person with particular skills to be a VA. Let’s break down the most important traits to look for in your search for one.


The best remote assistants know how to stay ahead of the curve. They’re proactive, meaning they anticipate what needs to be done, and then do it before you even ask for it. This is an invaluable quality in a virtual assistant because it means that you don’t have to worry about micromanaging them; they’ll take the initiative and handle tasks independently. 


Autonomy doesn’t simply mean your remote assistant can take care of their own tasks without instructions. It means they can think through each project and determine the best approach, even if it differs from the original plan. 

They should be comfortable asking questions about what you need done and be willing to offer suggestions for how things could be improved or made more efficient. 

Outstanding communication skills

The best virtual assistants understand how to use clear and concise language, so you can easily understand their messages. They also know the importance of active listening and can ask questions to ensure everyone understands each other. 

This helps build trust between you and your assistant, which is essential for successful collaborations in a virtual environment.


Great virtual assistants can keep track of numerous daily tasks and maintain organized systems for their work. They prioritize and manage their time well to complete client work efficiently. Additionally, they use digital tools like calendars and project management software effectively to help them stay on top of all their duties.


Being a virtual administrative assistant requires precision and attention to detail. The best virtual assistants are thorough in their approach, breaking down high-level, complex tasks into manageable chunks and completing each step accurately. 

They can identify potential problems before they arise by double-checking the details of the task at hand. You can also trust these detail-oriented assistants with sensitive information due to their commitment to accuracy and discretion. 

These professionals take pride in producing quality work, even if it means completing the same task multiple times until they get it exactly right. 

Final Thoughts

In this article, we explored the costs of hiring a virtual administrative assistant, the jobs they can take off your plate, and some of the best places to recruit them. Hiring a skilled VA can save you time and money—and hiring a VA based outside the US can be very cost-effective. If you’ve decided that hiring a VA is for you, the next step is the recruiting and hiring process.

Near can help you with every step in this process if you are looking to hire a VA from LatAm—from sourcing to interviewing and making offers—so you get the best remote assistant possible. You can even interview for free with Near. We’ll help you zero in on the perfect VA for your organization.

So if you’re looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to hire a VA, get a list of pre-vetted VAs from LatAm by filling out this form today.

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