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Cost of Full-Time Employee vs. Virtual Assistant

So what brought you here? You love the fact that your business is growing, but there's simply not enough time to get everything done. You know you need help, but what can you afford?

For those of you considering hiring an Administrative Assistant, we've taken the liberty in researching the costs of bringing on a full-time employee.

Every business is unique, so it would be difficult to calculate exactly how much money you'd need to spend. Here's a quick look at the facts.

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Cost of Hiring

You'll need to consider the time and cost to advertise the position and conduct interviews. Remember, time is money, and your time is valuable! You also have to factor in how long it will take to train your new assistant; this could take weeks before you're getting good value for your dollar.

Salary and Benefits

In Alberta, the average wage for an experienced Administrative Assistant is $26.86 per hour (or $51,699 per year) (1). If you were seeking an employee of a higher caliber, such as an Executive Assistant, you'd have to pay $36.06 per hour (or $70,282 per year) (2).

In Alberta, employers are required by law to provide 4% vacation pay and 9 days off with pay due to the mandatory statutory holidays (3). They also must pay 1.4% for unemployment insurance and a contribution of 4.95% for the Canadian Pension Plan (4).

To remain competitive, employers may also offer 2 weeks of sick time, matching RRSP contributions, and various other fringe benefits and 'perks' to attract potential employees.

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Office Space and Equipment

Here's a few items you'd need for an assistant: cubicle or office, furniture, computer hardware, software and licences, voice and data communications, printer/scanner, paper, pens, you get the point, it's a lot!

Productivity

Several studies show that business owners don't get a full 8 hours of work out of an employee. Blame it on social media, texting, socializing around the water cooler, or the staff meeting going into overtime. These studies suggest you're lucky if you get 6 productive work hours from your employee (5).

(1) https://occinfo.alis.alberta.ca/occinfopreview/info/browse-occupations/occupation-profile.html?id=71003244 (2) http://occinfo.alis.alberta.ca/occinfopreview/info/browse-wages/wage-profile.html?id=1222 * - These benefits, although the percentage will vary between companies, include vacation pay, unemployment, pension contributions, health, dental, life insurance, financial plan contributions, annual bonuses, etc. ** - Overhead (or indirect) costs will vary between companies but can include items such as rent or lease, computer hardware and software, furniture, hosting services, business insurance, postage and delivery, voice and data communications, conferences and trade shows, meeting expenses, printing services, office supplies, legal fees, etc. The point is, there could be a lot of ‘hidden’ costs to having full-time employees! *** - These total costs don’t even factor in the lost productivity time that an employee can waste in a day. For example, if your Administrative Assistant wasted 2 hours per day, based on the hourly rate, that would be $268.60 per week or $12,624.20 per year. If you add that cost to the total in the chart, your Administrative Assistant is costing you around $87,588 a year!

(1) https://occinfo.alis.alberta.ca/occinfopreview/info/browse-occupations/occupation-profile.html?id=71003244

(2) http://occinfo.alis.alberta.ca/occinfopreview/info/browse-wages/wage-profile.html?id=1222

* - These benefits, although the percentage will vary between companies, include vacation pay, unemployment, pension contributions, health, dental, life insurance, financial plan contributions, annual bonuses, etc.

** - Overhead (or indirect) costs will vary between companies but can include items such as rent or lease, computer hardware and software, furniture, hosting services, business insurance, postage and delivery, voice and data communications, conferences and trade shows, meeting expenses, printing services, office supplies, legal fees, etc. The point is, there could be a lot of ‘hidden’ costs to having full-time employees!

*** - These total costs don’t even factor in the lost productivity time that an employee can waste in a day. For example, if your Administrative Assistant wasted 2 hours per day, based on the hourly rate, that would be $268.60 per week or $12,624.20 per year. If you add that cost to the total in the chart, your Administrative Assistant is costing you around $87,588 a year!