What Does It Cost to Hire a Part-Time Assistant?

Samir Sampat

Who doesn’t need a little extra help now and then? When you’re in the market for a little part-time assistance, it’s helpful to know just what that’s going to cost you. That depends—on several factors. Fortunately, as long as you’re willing to do the work, it’s not hard to figure it all out. 

You’ll have to think about their salary, of course, but you’ll also have other costs involved in the process. Hiring, for starters, isn’t a cheap endeavor. Bringing a new employee on board can cost as much as six weeks’ worth of their salary, and that isn’t feasible for everyone. You’ll be pleased to know that you do have options and plenty of them. But the first thing that you need to do is take the time to figure out what an assistant will cost and how to best go about it. 

Today, assistants come in all shapes and sizes, giving the modern business more choices than ever when it comes to getting help. Hiring employees is often the next logical step for a growing business, but that doesn’t mean that you can just do it without considering the costs or what you’re going to get as a result of your investment. 

Speaking of which, that’s the first thing to keep in mind. This is an investment in your business, not an expense. It’s probably one of the best and most important investments that you’ll ever make. If you budget right, you can do it just the way that you want. You should take advantage of that, too, because today’s customers are more demanding than ever before, and you certainly can’t do it all on your own. 

Read on to learn all about hiring an assistant, including the difference between hiring and outsourcing, as well as what kind of expenses you’ll need to budget for when you’re trying to find the right solution for your needs. 


What can an assistant do?


Today, you can find assistants to handle all kinds of needs. There are part-time social media assistants, part-time executive assistants, personal assistants, and even virtual receptionists and assistants that can help you with your various business needs. Essentially, an assistant does just that—assist with whatever you need. 

Many people limit assistants to tasks like scheduling and schedule management, lead intake, managing emails and other communications, and so forth. While these tasks are certainly part of their possible list of duties, it’s not all they can do. What do you need an assistant for? That’s what you need to look for in your search, and that’s exactly what you will find. 

Today, assistants can help with everything, including:

  • Social media and your Internet presence
  • Answering and routing phone calls
  • Taking messages and answering emails
  • Creating correspondence and content 
  • Making and managing travel arrangements
  • And so forth

You can even hire an assistant to pick up your dry cleaning and prep the office for the meeting that’s coming up. There’s no limit to what these professionals can’t do. When you hire the right one from the right source, you’ll find out just how valuable of an asset they can be. 

Having dynamic support like this can change the way that you do business. It can give you a chance to make more of your own time and to improve things all around. It can also allow you to get a more dynamic solution than you thought because you have a lot more options today than ever before. Speaking of which, before we start talking about the costs, you’ll have another decision to make: hiring an employee or outsourcing to a third party or contractor. 


Hiring vs. outsourcing


One of the biggest factors in your decision is how you go about finding the help that you need. A part-time assistant can be hired as part of your staff at an hourly rate, which will typically be dependent on their skills and experience. However, you’ll also have to pay for overhead and other costs because they’re your employee. And then there’s the fact that you also have to manage them and make sure that they handle things appropriately. 

If, however, you feel like you want help that’s more self-managed and that gives you a lot more for a fraction of investing in an employee, outsourcing might be the way to go. Think about what you want in an assistant and what types of services you need them to provide. Even if you hire remotely or get a virtual assistant, you can still get a lot more than you think. And of course, if you need someone in-house, that’s always an option. And, if you choose to outsource, you can also get access to better talent that you might not find locally. Of course, even hiring remotely can increase the talent pool that you have access to, so keep that in mind. 

When planning your budget, consider what an employee would cost, even on a part-time basis, and compare it to outsourcing. Then, compare the features and solutions that you can get to make sure that you choose what’s best for your business. There are pros and cons to each consideration here, and ultimately it will be a matter of figuring out what your needs are. 

In doing that, you have to consider a lot of different costs. If you choose to outsource, you’ll pay a flat rate or hourly rate for a contractor, or perhaps have a monthly membership with a virtual assistant service, if you choose to go that route. In the event that you hire an employee, there’s a little more to it. Let’s talk about that now. 


The essentials


There is more to taking on an employee than just their salary. Sure, you might only need a part-time assistant that costs $12 per hour, but you’re spending more than $12 per hour on that employee in several different ways. Before you can hire anyone, that’s what you need to figure out. 

To help you with your hiring budget, we’ve taken the time to compile a list of the major and most common expenses that you’ll need to consider. What you spend will vary depending on your needs and the type of support that you’re bringing on board. Here is a closer look at the actual costs involved in adding an employee to your staff. 


Hiring and sourcing costs

You can’t hire someone without posting a job listing and advertising the position. You could, of course, if you get lucky and happen to find someone by chance, but if you’re seeking new talent, you need to make that known. Even in today’s digital world where there are a lot of great free resources, there’s still something to be said for paying for job postings and advertisements that help you get more attention or source better help. 


Training and onboarding

Just like hiring, training costs money. In fact, the average company will spend about $4,000 on training and onboarding a single employee, according to research. You certainly don’t have to spend this much, but you do have to think about what it’s going to cost to bring someone on with your company. Even if it’s a minimal cost, it’s still part of your budget. What do you spend on training classes? How long will it take your assistant to get to 100% productivity? These are all factors you want to keep in mind. 


Salary and benefits

Here’s the bread and butter. This is what everyone thinks about when they think of hiring an employee. While it’s not the major component, it is a part of your decision. Think about the hourly rate of your assistant, which will range from $11-$14 per hour, according to Indeed.com. Of course, the type of help that you hire and the level of experience they have will also impact the pay they garner. Then, there are benefits. You may not offer benefits like health insurance or retirement perks for part-time employees, but do you do anything else for them? Any extra perks, like holiday bonuses, should be factored in here. 


Overhead expenses

If you have an employee, they’ll need an office, or at the very least a desk. Even when you hire someone remotely, you might want to spring for their home office expenses as a sign of good faith. Not only that, but if they’re assisting you, it’ll help if they have the same tools, technology, and other resources. These will be one-time expenses and ongoing expenses, and you’ll need to consider what you can afford compared to the help that you need. 

A lot of people like hiring remotely because they can still get an employee without as much overhead. If you’re looking for something that offers the best of both worlds, that could be the way to go. In either case, you’ll want to factor in any costs related to keeping someone on as an assistant, no matter how you go about sourcing them. 


Other costs that come with hiring an employee

If you decide to hire someone as an employee that is part of your payroll, you’ll also need to make sure that you’re paying the proper employment and payroll taxes. That includes your state’s unemployment taxes and other necessary tax contributions. 

Another cost to keep in mind is any professional insurance that you are required to have, such as professional liability coverage or workers’ compensation coverage. Check with your state’s laws regarding insurance and taxes to ensure that you’re covering all the potential expenses when planning for your new addition. 

What about employee lunches? Do you have special events or other things you do for your employees? All of these things will need to be factored in because you’re not going to hire a new employee and leave them out of it all. These aren’t always relevant to every business, but if you have a good company culture, you’re probably going to want to extend those perks to everyone. 


The cost of productivity 


One factor that several people don’t consider when it comes to hiring an employee is the cost of productivity. What that means is that there will be a period of time when your new employee is still learning, and they will therefore still cost you some money because they’re not working at full capacity. It is estimated that it takes about 12 weeks to get someone to full productivity with proper training and support and could be longer without a solid training plan in place. 

For the first month, you should expect only about 25% productivity. After that, it’ll go up to about 50%, and then 75% for the third month. In this time, you’ll still be paying the employee, but they may not be operating at their best efficiency, which means they’re still costing you more. That will change over time, and the better you are at training someone and getting them up to speed, the faster it will happen. 



Get all the assistance you need, customized for your business, when you partner with Smith.ai 


At Smith.ai, we’ve got all of the solutions that you need for part-time help and temporary assistance, and we’ll deliver it all at a fraction of the cost of adding to your payroll. Our dedicated virtual receptionists offer 24/7 support for after-hours phone answering, live website chat, and even admin tasks like scheduling, lead intake, payment collection, and more. 

No matter what you need, we’ll help you create a custom solution to deliver the best service to your customers and others that come to your business. You’ll never have to worry about payroll, taxes, or other expenses. Plus, you’ll get a much more dynamic solution than one assistant could provide. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do for your business. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 


Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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