Hiring Local Staff vs Overseas Virtual Assistant

We’ve watched many of our long-term clients (mainly based in Australia and New Zealand) start off as solopreneurs and then growing exponentially after hiring Virtual Assistants.

But when it comes to hiring more staff for your business, is it worth hiring local staff or outsourcing the work to an overseas Virtual Assistant? Keep reading to see which option is the right one for your business or watch our summary video below:

Reliability of Candidates

Traditional workplaces are accustomed to hiring local staff because it seems like the safe and reliable option… but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s true.

Hiring local staff may give you the advantage of meeting a candidate in-person, but a well conducted video interview with a potential overseas Virtual Assistant can be just as effective. In fact, determining the candidate’s reliability for the job all comes down to the recruitment process and the people involved.

If you plan to hire a local staff member or freelancer yourself, you could risk hiring someone that doesn’t end up delivering on their promises. Then it’s up to you to let them go and re-do the entire process again which ultimately wastes more time, money and resources.

On the other hand, when you hire an outsourcing agency to hire a Virtual Assistant for you, these candidates go through an extremely thorough recruitment process with our HR Manager that’s with you every step of the way (even during the video interview!) If for any reason, things don’t work out between you and your Virtual Assistant, then it’s up to us to resolve the issue and hire someone new with our fast and free replacement cover.

Surprisingly, this means there’s actually less risk involved for you when you hire a Virtual Assistant if you leave it in the hands of an experienced offshore recruitment agency like Outsourcing Angel.

Employee and Economic Costs 

One of the most obvious reasons to outsource to overseas Virtual Assistants is that the job can be done easier or cheaper overseas because of lower cost of living.

However, some people may argue that outsourcing overseas results in a lost opportunity for your own country’s economy. This might be true, but only for businesses that are hiring Virtual Assistants for the wrong reasons.

If your business hires a Virtual Assistant to take on the daily tasks that take you away from growing your business and conducting high-impact work, you’re actually losing the opportunity to generate more revenue for your business and your economy.

If you choose to hire local employees at a higher price, it can take you longer to reach your revenue goals and service more clients. It’s ultimately up to you to weigh up how important it is to scale your business fast.

Cultural and Communication Barriers

There’s no question that hiring a local employee means that they’re likely going to be more attuned to your culture and level of English. This makes things much easier for hiring customer service and client facing roles. 

Even so, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a barrier when it comes to hiring Virtual Assistants. You can still find overseas employees with the same level of written and verbal communication by employing highly skilled and educated staff from countries such as the Philippines and Singapore. This is why the majority of our Virtual Assistants are based in these countries.

Here’s a Client Case Study from Suzanne Tapper (based in New Zealand) where she discusses the communication skills of her Virtual Assistant Trisha (based in the Philippines):

Suzanne Tapper
Natural Medicine Practitioner

She’s a very quick worker and can turn things around really quickly. Her English is great so she’s also good at communicating with clients and suppliers and really good at taking direction. But at the same time, she often comes up with ideas too which I really value. I work on my own a lot so I really appreciate her input.

Local terminology and communication preferences can all be taught during the on-boarding process and can take the same amount of time for both local staff and a Virtual Employee.

Finding the right balance

In conclusion, if your business has the resources to hire both local and overseas Virtual Assistants, then we highly recommend finding the balance between both.

We see Virtual Assistants as remote employees that can really take care of all the repetitive and ongoing administrative and technical tasks while your local employees can operate in Management and higher decision making roles outside of your expertise, it’s all about finding the right balance.

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