Virtual assistant or executive assistant? Which is right for you?


This guide outlines 7 questions to help you decide between a virtual assistant or an executive assistant.

The masses didn’t accept the concept of virtual assistants immediately. Even though there is a level of acceptance at the moment, a lot still needs to be done.

The term ‘assistant’ is typically associated with tasks like getting coffee and running errands. The idea of a virtual assistant can be difficult for some people to comprehend. However, that isn’t what a virtual assistant does. 

 Virtual assistants are great for positions where business owners cannot find suitable help. However, virtual solutions aren’t always ideal. Sometimes, getting an in-house executive assistant is a better idea. But how do you decide?

Virtual assistant vs executive assistant: 7 questions to ask

Ask the following questions to determine what is right for you. 

1. Do you need in-person support?

This is probably the first thing to keep in mind when trying to decide. If you need to deal with tasks like making copies, picking the mail up or going to the bank, an executive assistant is ideal. If, however, your task list includes things that can be completed online, a virtual assistant is a better choice. 

Tasks for virtual administrative assistants include sending invoices, booking travel, scheduling meetings, and tracking expenses. Advanced virtual assistant tools can handle marketing activities, content/media production, and complex bookkeeping operations. 

2. Do you need help for social media?

If you are like most entrepreneurs and business owners, you probably need some help with social media. With LinkedIn , Twitter, Facebook, and other business pages, you need a dedicated assistant. They will help you maintain your accounts, respond to comments, make posts, and manage accounts. 

 A virtual assistant for social media works great. However, executive assistants are a lot better. Even though social media virtual assistants are more affordable, they can be a hit or miss.

Since the bar for social media content isn’t very high, the quality of output is low. Since you will be one of a few clients, you may not be a priority.

You need executive assistants if you are concerned with quality rather than just keeping your social media accounts active. 

3. How timely are your projects?

How fast do you expect your projects to be completed? Do you want your emails answered within an hour, half an hour, or 15 minutes? Must your projects be completed within the same day, or can they wait? 

 The urgency of your tasks determines if you should work with a virtual or executive assistant. If you expect a task to be completed as soon as you issue it, you may want to have a physical assistant. You can hand them a task along with the instructions physically. Virtual assistants are more appropriate for long-term planners. 

4. What communication style do you prefer?

How do you prefer to communicate? Do you need to look someone in the eye when speaking with them, or do you prefer non-personal communication methods? Are you comfortable with email updates, or would you like someone to video call you every day? 

 Different types of communication are suitable for different people and businesses. If the nature of your business is highly sensitive or personal, you probably want to work with an executive assistant. You can communicate with them often and get updates face to face. 

5. Is it your way or the highway?

Nothing is wrong with you wanting things done a specific way. Training and monitoring work processes are easier when your assistant is right next to you. A virtual administrative assistant will do if the outcome is more important to you than the process. 

 Virtual assistants are experienced in working with other projects and clients. They can help you handle tasks easily and more efficiently. 

6. What do you think of assistant sharing?

If you get a virtual assistant, the chances are that they can only work in a part-time capacity. In most cases, you will need to share them with other clients.

Often, the clients are using your virtual assistant for the same tasks as you. Is that fine with you? If you are uncomfortable with the thought of assistant sharing, executive assistants will be a better choice. 

 Having someone in-house in an employee status is better than hiring a contractor. It gives you an extra layer of control over their schedule. You can determine the projects they take. 

One of the main benefits of assistant sharing is that your VA gets a lot of experience. 

7. Would a combination approach work?

If you want a virtual assistant and also need to handle analog needs, you can always take advantage of combination solutions. Hiring a part-time virtual assistant and part-time executive assistant means you can enjoy the best of both worlds. 

Think of the different tasks you would like to assign. Find out suitable options for virtual assistants and those that are suitable for executive assistants. 

While managing two assistants can be difficult, it is a fantastic solution for anyone looking for a hands-on solution but can’t find someone local.

Some online services let you handle in-house or one-off projects fast. The solutions are convenient yet affordable.

If you are honest about your business and its needs, you are likely to get the perfect choice. Being aware of your needs and setting realistic expectations increases your likelihood of getting the right fit for the job.


 Both virtual and executive assistants are great. Both of the assistants support high-level executives and other business functions. They serve as valuable additions to your team.

 However, they are suitable for different situations. Choosing the right one could improve your efficiency and productivity at work. In some instances, combining the two solutions may be helpful. 

 Usually, executive and virtual assistants can serve the same tasks. However, virtual assistants typically handle part-time work. Virtual assistants work on their own schedules, and you’ll typically be one of many clients. 

 Virtual assistants get new information with experience. On the other hand, executive assistants are easier to train. They are more appropriate for sensitive tasks.

The salaries range from low to high depending on the nature of the job, deliverables, and requirements. Use both virtual and executive assistants for the perfect balance.


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