If you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant, congratulations! Bringing on a VA is a great way to free up your time and hand off administrative or repetitive tasks that can draw your focus away from strategic work that will grow and improve your business.
You may have also noticed there is no shortage of virtual assistant companies to choose from. However, if you’re a US company or executive looking for dedicated, remote assistants, the list below outlines some of the most highly-rated companies to start your search.
The Best Virtual Assistant Companies of 2022
- Fancy Hands
- Time Etc.
Let’s dive into some of the similarities and differences between these companies below.
Before we begin: Some VA companies will match you with a 1099 contractor. Turnover can be higher at these agencies but they are often a great solution for project-based work. Relying on contractors for ongoing support may put you at risk for legal compliance issues.
- Snapshot: Belay is a virtual assistant company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with nearly 1,200 team members in 48 states.
- Services: Their VA’s typically have 5+ years of experience and can help with a variety of tasks, like: travel arrangements, marketing support, calendar management, project research, social media, data presentations, recurring tasks, first impressions and voicemail, and more.
- Process: Belay personally matches clients with a contractor VA that will fit their needs. They offer a ‘dedicated’ VA service, which means you will work with the same VA consistently. You will also be offered a relationship manager, who will help you with any outside needs that may arise.
- Why They Stand Out: Belay is big on company values, well-rated and well-established. With 12 years in business, their client list and team have steadily grown.
- Pricing: Pricing varies so it’s best to contact their team for a direct quote to fit your needs.
You can learn more about Belay here.
- Snapshot: Boldly is a premium subscription staffing company with employees in the UK and US — a higher-end alternative to virtual assistant staffing agencies that companies turn to when they need highly experienced, long-term support on a fractional basis.
- Services: Boldly provides ridiculously talented, premium executive assistants, marketers, and more on a flexible monthly subscription, enabling clients to avoid the hassle of recruiting and costs associated with hiring employees. Boldly staff have previous work experience at Fortune 500 companies, and are available Monday through Friday, for as few as 30 hours per month.
- Process: Boldly takes a highly curated, personalized approach. After sharing your requirements, Boldly sets up a short, productive meeting to ensure they suggest the right staff member that will match both you and your business. You will get a chance to review your candidate’s profile and meet the staff first to make sure it’s a good fit before you sign up.
- Why They Stand Out: Great option for demanding execs that can spend a bit more for quality, longevity, legal compliance, and flexibility. Boldly retains its US-based talent with W2 employment, benefits, and a thriving, supportive work culture. As a result, you can count on your assistant being part of your team for the long term. Boldly also offers a buy-out program should you want to hire your assistant full-time down the line.
- Pricing: Boldly offers flexible staffing – subscribe to one or multiple dedicated staff on a fractional basis, for the number of hours you need them each month, without a contract. Pricing starts at $1,530 for a 30 hours per month plan with a satisfaction guarantee.
Learn more about our services at Boldly here.
- Snapshot: Prialto is managed from a headquarters in Portland, OR, with English-speaking staff in Asia and Central America. Regardless of the location of your VA team, they do offer support during the client’s business hours.
- Services: Prialto provides individuals, teams, and enterprise organizations with a team (a project manager, primary assistant, and back-up assistant) of virtual assistants who can take on a variety of administrative tasks. These include everything from sales to operations to admin support.
- Process: Their team onboards clients with a discovery needs assessment, assigns your support team, and then improves their service via an engagement manager over time.
- Why They Stand Out: Prialto boasts over 10 years in business with over 1 million clocked hours of professional support. They also invest in training and continuing education for their VAs.
- Pricing: Prialto prices their services in “units” that equal a fixed number of monthly support hours. Individual rates begin at $1,350 per month, team rates at $4,050 per month, and enterprise support with custom pricing.
Learn more about Prialto here.
4. Fancy Hands
- Snapshot: As a startup, Fancy Hands got a lot of early attention by cranking through long to-do lists with hangover tasks. As generalists, they’re an easy entry into working with personal virtual assistant services.
- Services: Their team of U.S.-based virtual assistants help with simple tasks like scheduling, personal shopping, research, making calls, customer service, and more.
- Process: While they offer dedicated support, their bread and butter is a pooled team. Meaning you send tasks and someone on their team performs them with a quick turnaround. You mainly communicate through their web app, but you can also request tasks via text messaging, or assign recurring work.
- Why They Stand Out: This service works best for clients who know what they want, or have specific one-off requests like arranging travel.
- Pricing: With rates starting at $17.99 per month, Fancy Hands stresses affordability and bases pricing on your total number of “requests” per month.
Learn more about Fancy Hands here.
5. Time Etc.
- Snapshot: Time Etc is both U.K. and U.S.-based who hires only college-educated VAs with an average of 12 years of experience. To date, they have served over 22,000 clients.
- Services: Their VAs help by managing email, coordinating schedules, doing data entry, formatting documents, cataloging expenses and receipts, updating social media, and more.
- Process: Time Etc. offers both a dedicated VA option (you work with the same person consistently) or you have the option to match your work with a VA on their team you believe might be best suited. And like Fancy Hands, Time Etc works through a virtual platform that allows clients to assign tasks via a dashboard.
- Why They Stand Out: Time Etc is one of the lowest cost VA staffing companies and can be a great option if your budget is tight.
- Pricing: They offer plans starting at $310 per month, starting with a free trial, and a money-back guarantee.
Learn more about Time Etc here.
- Snapshot: Zirtual is part of the Startups.com platform, and offers U.S.-based, dedicated, and college-educated virtual assistants.
- Services: Zirtual’s team can handle tasks like scheduling, event planning, travel booking, invoicing, data entry, and research.
- Process: When you get in touch with their team, they will match you with a virtual assistant they feel will best suit your needs, and you’ll work with that VA one-on-one.
- Why They Stand Out: While Zirtual pairs you with a best-fit virtual assistant, they also share the workload for specialized tasks. If your VA can’t handle a specific task, they have help from teammates or can even hand it off entirely.
- Pricing: Zirtual’s plans range from 12–50 hours a month—with their 12-hour plan starting at $549.
Learn more about Zirtual here.
What About Freelancers Or Sites Like Upwork?
Find the right person and reap the benefits. However, finding a VA you can trust is a tall order. There are plenty of things you’ll wish you knew before making this key hire.
Thanks to the gig economy, a quick search through sites like Upwork or Fiverr shows that there are thousands of individuals claiming to have virtual assistant skills and experience from around the world. Many will work for less than $10/hr. But sifting through a huge pool of applicants, vetting the top candidates, and ensuring that they are the right fit can take months.
If you’re considering using a freelancer for a VA, we recommend beginning with word-of-mouth referrals — ask who your network uses and start there!
On the other hand, a highly-rated virtual assistant company has done all of this for you, making it an easy place to start for just a slightly higher cost. Plus, most VA companies offer some type of money-back guarantee.
The Pros And Cons of Working With A 1099 Contractor
It’s important to note that the virtual assistant companies mentioned as well as freelancers work as 1099 contractors. While businesses often appreciate the flexibility and cost savings afforded by working with 1099s, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with compliance concerns.
The Pros of Using Contractors as VAs
- Quick access to specialized skills and experience
- Because contractors are highly-qualified, they often require less training
- Flexibility in cost and time commitments (no long-term contracts!)
- No need to pay for health insurance, 401(k), vacation time, or other benefits
- Contractors typically provide all their own equipment/tools needed for a project
The Cons of Using Contractors as VAs
- Contractors are often looking for their next gig, which could put you in a lurch if they’re suddenly not available
- The quality of contractor work is highly variable — you’ll need to sift through potential contractors and determine if they’re the right fit
- It can be tougher to fire a contractor than an employee. Your ability and legal right to fire them depends on having a signed contract or statement of work.
- You cannot dictate when, where, or how contractors work without risking employee misclassification
Misclassification of employees, even if it’s unintentional, can cost dearly. If found guilty of misclassification, employers are responsible for all past payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, plus interest and penalties.
Looking For The Next Level Up From Virtual Assistants?
The subscription staffing model has changed the virtual assistant game.
Now, you can subscribe to the exact number of hours you’ll need from your dedicated staff member each month.
In addition, your unique requirements from skills to experience to culture fit are taken into consideration. This allows senior executives to be matched with the perfect fit in skillset and chemistry.
Subscription staffers are also the best tenured, often Fortune-500 trained with 10–15 years of industry experience on average. And they integrate fully into their clients’ team, working with them one-on-one on a long-term basis. (There are even full-time options available.)
Better still, subscription staffers are W2 employees of their company. This removes every compliance liability associated with contractors.
For executives who want remote support from professionals who can handle more than basic administrative tasks, or remote team members who can integrate into your business for the long-term, consider Boldly’s subscription staffing.
Subscription staffing began taking shape in 2019 and is now used by companies like Apple, Facebook, Zendesk, Asana, and Google to fill fractional roles with highly-experienced remote staff.
Get started with subscription staffing here.
[Author’s Note – This post has been updated for 2022 and additional information has been added for completeness.]
Topic: Remote Executive Assistant