If you’re considering hiring virtual staff, you first need to decide what working arrangement works for you. Do you want to employ a permanent staff member? Engage them for a contract? Or seek their services on a casual basis?
We’ve put together an explanation of the differences between an employee, contractor and freelancer to help you decide.
When you hire a virtual employee, it’s very similar to hiring in-house staff. You are responsible for providing a safe workplace, the tools and equipment needed for the role, a regular award wage or salary, and the standard insurances, superannuation and tax obligations. The only difference is, virtual staff work at home. Employees are generally paid lower rates than contractors or freelancers, however the other financial obligations need to be taken into consideration.
A contractor is usually self-employed and may bid for a request for tender. Alternatively, you may seek out their services to fulfil the role of a specific contract. What each party is responsible for will be determined by the terms of the contract, which needs to be mutually agreed upon. This could include nominating hours of work, length of contract, exclusivity, who is responsible for providing relevant equipment, supplies and insurances, and their fee.
A freelancer is a self-employed business owner, trading in a particular field of service. They usually provide services to multiple clients and invoice their clients based on hourly rates, project fees or ongoing contract terms. Their hourly rates are generally higher than award wages for employees, however, there are none of the other obligations of insurance, superannuation, taxes, and equipment costs when hiring a freelancer. This is a great option for many businesses, especially those wanting temporary assistance or greater flexibility in hiring.