Growing businesses see an increase in the number of tasks and workloads. Business owners often find themselves, working longer hours and doing mundane low-value tasks. If this sounds familiar then it might be the time to hire an extra resource. The options are an In-House employee or outsourcing to a contractor.

But, which is the best fit for your business?

Larger businesses have the infrastructure and resources to invest in a varied mix of employees. However, small businesses need to be more cautious in their approach to hiring. As such, many look for part-time support initially.

In-house Employee vs Outsourcing: What is the Difference?

Virtual Business Managers or Virtual Assistants are independent contractors who work remotely and provide specific services to their clients.

Nowadays, virtual support is more than just administrative work. Skilled business managers or assistants are able to support you with….

  • operational support
  • personal tasks,
  • content creation,
  • project management,
  • email management,
  • social media management,
  • customer service,
  • research, and
  • analysis, among other tasks.

Part-time employees are employees who work fewer hours than the standard 37-40 hour work week. Moreover, an employee is hired to take on a set number of responsibilities, per their job description.


Factors You Need To Consider

The Society of Virtual Assistants lists are some of the main factors you need to consider when deciding the best fit for your business.

1. Working Arrangements

The nature of your business tasks will dictate whether you hire a in-house employee. If the business tasks require a physical presence, for example, the role involves reception cover or a physical task such as packing then an on-site employee is needed.

However, if the tasks can be delivered virtually then a virtual solution is a better option. Outsourced Managers or Assistants require no office space to be created for them, this is a huge positive for small businesses in the wake of COVID 19.


2. Costs

The hourly rates for a virtual resources are generally higher than those of employees.  However, remember for virtual contractors there are no extra hard costs such as:-

  • NI,
  • pension,
  • holiday pay,
  • sick pay
  • insurance,
  • worker’s benefits,
  • facilities costs
  • equipment and software
  • training costs
  • line managers and HR costs
  • recruitment costs

When you take all these extra costs into consideration the cost of hiring an outsourced resource is usually less than hiring a part-time employee with the same experience.


3. Availability of Skills and Equipment

Most office-based jobs can be outsourced and there is a large pool of highly skilled Virtual Business Managers and Assistants available. It can be a challenge to secure a local part-time employees with the same level of expertise.

Additionally, virtual freelancers already possess the required equipment and software needed to fulfil the assignment. This saves you the time and costs of buying new equipment.  In the wake of COVID 19, this is a great way to optimise your business and hence work leaner.


4. Flexible

Virtual Business Managers/Assistants are able to work after regular hours, as their work is contractual on a project basis. One of the main advantages of outsourcing is that you only pay for the actual hours worked or agreed project rates. Moreover, as a small business owner themselves, a Virtual Business Manager understands the importance of maximising productivity.

On the other hand, part-time employees are paid standard rates for the hours they spend at work, inclusive of breaks, and regardless of their productivity. Eventually, this lack of flexibility results in higher additional costs to your business.


5. Workflows

The consistency of work in your business could determine whether to hire an in-house employee or outsoucred virtual support. A Virtual Business Manager or Assistant can be hired by businesses for inconsistent work i.e. seasonal work or project work. For instance, if you simply need someone to

  • create your website or
  • set up automated systems in your email or
  • set up a Trello account, it would make sense to hire a virtual resource.

Hiring a in-house employee requires a constant stream of tasks and duties to enable them to fill their required hours.

Furthermore, it is much easier to end contracts with outsourced contractor when the work is completed. Compared to part-time employees where you would need to go down the redundancy route.


6. Efficiency

Efficiency in business means using the least amount of input to attain the highest amount of output. This is achieved through the optimum use of resources. Virtual Business Managers especially are proactive and highly proficient in the services they offer. This means that they will use fewer resources, including time, to achieve the highest quality.

Hiring a part-time in-house employee could require you to assign them tasks that they are not highly specialised in. Therefore resulting in wasted time, training costs, and lower quality of work.



In conclusion, the decision to hire a in-house employee or outsource to a Virtual Business Manager/Assistant depends on the size, nature and goals of your business.  Considering the above factors makes it easier to decide whether an in-house or outsourcing is a better fit for your business.