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Holiday Staffing Issues? Staffing Agency vs Virtual

The holidays are here and many businesses are scrambling to find adequate and affordable staff to cover staff on leave during the holidays. Finding adequate temporary staffing can be a headache for any business. You have to find someone with the same talent as the employee going on leave and fit into the budget.

Let's take a look at how virtual assistants can be the answer to your business prayers!

Trying to decide what staffing agency or virtual assistant can be a draining task. Many businesses look for a temporary service to fill in for staff going on holiday leave, but over look the cost factor. Staffing agencies are not providing temporary staff out of the kindness of the heart, because they need to make a profit. Most agencies will charge a fee on top of the salary of the employee.

According to Business News Daily (, Staffing agencies typically charge 25% to 100% of the hired employee's wages. So, for example, if you and the staffing agency have agreed on a markup of 50%, and the new employee earns an hourly wage of $10, you will pay the agency $15 per hour for their work. If the employee needs to call out sick or no show, you're still obligated to pay the fees.

In addition to the markup you will pay, you may be expected to cover additional fees for filling the position or a contract buyout fees, if you hire a temporary worker permanently.

Virtual Assistants will charge an average of $10-$20 per hour, depending on experience, what the job entails, etc. However, the fee is a flat fee, so there's no markup, extra fees or charges. You can also negotiate the fees, hours needed and job expectations. If the employee needs to call out sick or no show, you can have in the contract they will not be paid for hours not worked.

Staffing Agencies as The Middleman!

When working with a staffing agency, you're not directly working with the prospective employee. Sometimes, getting your exact needs and/or ideas across, can be lost in translation. This is especially true if you're working with more than one person at the agency. Lets be honest, the employees at the staffing agency need to go out on holiday or sick leave too, so you may end up working with more than one person. That means you're going to need to explain your ideas more than once and hope the other employee fully understands what you're needing. We all love to repeat ourselves several times, don't we?

Virtual Assistant as Your Direct Contact!

When working with a Virtual Assistant, you're directly communicating with that person. You're able to evaluate their services prior to utilizing their services. This will save you time on training that person. If they have the experience and knowledge of the services you're needing, this will save you the headache of training.

For example, you're a solo practitioner with your own practice. Your medical biller goes on leave for the holidays and you need a biller to fill in. You find a VA that specializes in your area of practice and has experience with your EHR/EMR. The only basic training you need to provide is orienting that person to your work schedule. You have the option of having the VA work from home or able to work from your office.

In-Office vs Virtual for Temporary Assistance

Having a temporary employee in office can definitely beneficial, especially if the assistance you're needing requires hands-on, in office work. But, what happens if that temporary employee gets sick or has a situation that prevents them from coming into the office? If your regular employee is holiday leave and your temporary employee is unable to come into the office, are you going to need another temporary employee to cover for the other temporary employee?

Utilizing a VA will give you more options as to whether you need someone in-office or virtual or even both. If the assistance you're needing can be completed outside of the office, no worries if the assistant is unable to come in. This means the work you're needing completed can be done on schedule with no interruptions. If the work requires a small amount of time in the office, the VA can come in during that time and complete the rest of the work virtually. This too can prevent call-outs and/ or no-shows.

Lets Do a little Comparison

Staffing Agency Virtual Assistant

​May need to explain your business needs to multiple the same agency

You explain your business needs to only the VA

​Costs may vary depending on the work, but can fluctuate. You still pay if worker does not come to work

Costs can be agreed upon prior to the start of the contract. You only pay if the work is completed

​If temporary worker is not able to come into work, you may need another temporary worker to come and fill-in

Work can be completed in-office, virtually or both

You may need to train the temporary employee

VA's have extensive knowledge and experience, so no or very little training is needed

I hope this can give you more options when needing temporary help during the holidays. Having options, can give you more control of what you're needing.

Until We Meet Again.....

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