Virtual Assistants

Executive Assistant Goals Examples: Strategies for Remote Team Success

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What are executive assistant goals examples? How can the SMART goals method help EAs and other team members redefine goal setting and improve results? Read on to learn more!

Understanding SMART Goals for Executive Assistants

Today, SMART goals are so well-known in the corporate world. This system changed the way that companies fundamentally set and track goals. George Doran and a couple others in the 80s created the SMART goal framework. They built it as a better way for people to formulate their goals in a much more concrete way. 

SMART is an acronym that stands for the five key components of good goals, according to the system. These components are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (or Time-based). 


A goal must be simple, straightforward, and to the point. It also must be something comprehensible and tangible. Set too broad of a goal and you and your team might feel overwhelmed. By focusing on a particular area, you also allow yourself to aim for a particular outcome. 


You need to have a way to track the progress of your goal. It’s hard to know how close you are to the finish line if you can’t quantify the growth. You can do this by setting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and milestones. You can also set up a point of comparison, like statistics from a previous year or data from competition. 


SMART goal setting is all about acting on information to increase your chances of success. In other words, creating a reasonable goal is about data-driven decision making. 

When creating your goals, assess the resources you have at your disposal. Do you have the time, money, and manpower to make this work? It’s also important to think about how many steps there are to the process. It’s okay to give yourself a challenge. Ambitious goals can certainly increase individual and team motivation. However, by leveraging data, you can make practical decisions and set yourself up for success. 


The smaller goals you set must directly contribute to a personal overall goal or company mission. They need to align with not only your personal values but also the mission, vision, and core values of the business. Consider both the short-term and long-term benefits of undertaking certain tasks. 

Time-bound / Time-based 

Not everyone likes deadlines, but they are necessary when setting goals. If you set a deadline too far into the future, you run the risk of going off track or getting complacent. If you set too short of a deadline, you may not finish anything substantial. It’s important to set both short-term deadlines that measure progress. You should also have an expectation of a final date for the overall results. Be realistic about your timetables. Remember, you want to create pressure, not anxiety. Give yourself room for learning curves and errors.

A note that says "success" next to bar graphs and a computer keyboard. executive assistant goals examples

Importance of SMART Goals for EAs

Setting vague goals can be a bane to actual progress. Say you’re an entrepreneur and made it your mission to “make the workplace a safe space”. It’s a great goal, but where do you go from there? How will you go about it? In what way does what you do contribute to that goal? What’s the timeline? 

If you don’t have answers to these questions, it becomes less of a goal and closer to wishful thinking. 

Being SMART is about breaking the big dream up into manageable pieces. Think of it like breaking down a dish into a recipe. Only looking at the completed dish can’t tell you enough to recreate it. For that, you need the exact ingredients, portions, and how to combine them. You won’t be able to tell cooking temperatures or cooking time, either. If you only focus on the finished product, you might still end up with something that looks similar. You will have something that is potentially entirely different in substance, though. 

The SMART method helps you break things down into processes, components and the order of operation. Not only that, but it also helps you understand the tools, skills, and time needed to complete a task. 

Let’s look at some common EA goals and later, how we can use the SMART method to break them down into something more attainable. 

Executive Assistant Goals, Examples, and Key Areas

Administrative Efficiency

Admin and back-office tasks are some of the most outsourced. A primary reason for this has to do with the amount of time it takes to finish these tasks. These tasks can often be tedious, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t vital to business operations. The more efficiently EAs do these tasks, the quicker they can move on to other tasks on their daily checklist

These tasks include things like email management, call screening, file organization, and other office operations. An EA must also know how to leverage AI and other software to improve productivity. 

Scheduling Proficiency

Scheduling involves several skills, including time management, communication, planning, and organization. Expertise in this area comes with a lot of experience coordinating with people and arranging meetings and events. 

The ability to self-manage is also crucial. It becomes easier to know how to handle another person’s calendar if you are a master of your own time. 

Bookkeeping and Budget Management

Sometimes EAs will have to handle some financial management tasks. The level of expertise that an EA has in these areas varies. If you want someone with more in-depth skill and specialization, you need to specify this in the job description. 

Executives will often ask their EAs to go on errands and spend for a variety of different things. For business transactions, this puts them in a unique position to observe the amount of money they spend. This proximity allows them to help suggest alternative ways to spend money more efficiently and reduce costs. Some bookkeeping tasks include:

  • Compiling receipts (physical and digital)
  • Recording payments and creating journal entries
  • Managing accounts payable and receivable
  • Creating expense reports 

Travel and Accommodations Planning

An EA must know how to arrange for an executive’s business and personal trips. This type of planning has a lot of moving parts. With each part, the EA must keep cost-effectiveness in mind as well as comfort and safety in mind.

First, an EA must think about logistics. They need to book tickets and research prices to find the best deals. Transport between locations is also important. Do they need to rent a car during their stay or will they go for other methods like taxi, Uber, or Lift? Another thing is food and accommodation. An EA must familiarize themselves with the hotels, restaurants, and cafes in the area and what they offer. They also need to discern if they should make reservations far ahead of time.

Two women thinking and writing on paper. executive assistant goals examples

Examples of SMART Goals for Executive Assistants

Let’s go over some executive assistant goals examples and apply the SMART method. 

General Goal: Enhance Meeting Efficiency

  • Specific – Keep meetings to 30 minutes at the maximum and satisfy all important topics.
  • Measurable – Meet the requirements of topics needing resolution, progress updates, and new actions.
  • Achievable – We can prepare better each time and learn more precise communication to reduce meeting times by 10 minutes until they meet the goal.
  • Relevant – This will improve productivity and work satisfaction, which contributes to our core value of work-life balance.
  • Time-bound – We will achieve this goal within 2 months or after 5 meetings, whichever comes first.

General Goal: Improve Technical Skills

  • Specific – Reach 2 levels higher on skills assessment tests for administrative tasks.
  • Measurable – Use the skills assessment tests provided alongside the training materials to determine skill levels.
  • Achievable – We can enroll in courses to train up in specific skills. 
  • Relevant – This will help us align with the vision of the agency to provide the best virtual administrative support in the country. 
  • Time-bound – We will achieve this goal within 6 months; the exact time it takes to complete the courses and assessments. 

Strategies for Successful Goal Setting and Achievement

If the SMART method doesn’t work for you, don’t worry. There are multiple other goal-setting methods and alternatives you can try. And yes, taking the time to figure out which method helps you produce the best results is a worthwhile investment. (Or should we say a “relevant” investment?)

Regardless of what method you choose there are some universal things to consider when creating goals. 


As an EA, you are a bridge between executives, managers, and workers. Improved communication starts with observation and feedback. Let executives know that you care about improving processes and elevating business operations. Bring up areas that can be improved and make suggestions. It’s also important to open up dialogue with other assistants and team members and get their input. 

Flexibility in Goal-making 

Sometimes, there are circumstances that call for a change or modification of plans. This can be like a shift in business priority where the budget gets allocated somewhere else. Flexible goal setting is knowing there are multiple ways to reach a desired outcome and finding them. It’s about maintaining the objective but reaching it via other means.   

Reviewing Performance 

Whatever the project, you should always have a performance assessment to determine the effectiveness of methods used. This allows you to recalibrate goals as needed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can EAs balance personal and professional development goals?

An effective way to do this is by prioritizing executive assistant goals examples that will help you in both personal and professional settings. Find overlaps and improve your efficiency in those areas. By focusing on efficiency, you get stuff done faster, giving yourself time to focus on achieving other goals.

How can EAs track and measure the success of their goals?

Setting milestones, determining KPIs, and following a timeline are all great ways to make goals measurable. It’s also important to set expectations based on whether a goal is short-term or long-term.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


SMART goal setting provides a framework and foundation for tackling larger tasks. By breaking large goals down into smaller manageable milestones, teams and individuals have a place to start building. Simplify complex executive assistant goals examples by working SMARTer, not harder.


Virtual Assistants

Ultimate Executive Assistant Daily Checklist: Streamline Your Day for Maximum Efficiency

A man with a pen and a blank To Do List on the table in front of him. executive assistant daily checklist

We created this executive assistant daily checklist so that you can serve better. Are you an EA wondering how to improve your task management? Wondering how to start and end your day better? Read on!

Morning Checklist

Setting up the workspace and preparing for the day

The way you start often sets the pace for the rest of the day. We recommend a good stretch before getting straight into the day’s tasks. 

You can start by launching all the applications you need for the day. Next, you can go over the agenda for the day. Sometimes you’ll have a briefing with the executive at the start of the day. 

Checking the executive’s inbox and filtering emails

For a lot of executives, their first work tasks are email-related, so that will probably be your first task too. Most spend hours going through them and replying. The problem is that sometimes the urgent emails are buried under lower priority ones or straight up spam. They could really do with an organizational system in place. 

In our article on hiring an inbox management virtual assistant, we mentioned how some EAs have email management experience. This is a valuable skill for you to possess because you can sort the inbox, create folders, and label them for easier access. You can also create automations, so emails go into certain folders automatically. 

This system makes it easier both for you and the executive to get through everything. As needed, you can answer certain emails on behalf of your manager and label the ones that need executive input. 

Categorizing tasks by importance

A blue, purple, pink and orange highlighter. executive assistant daily checklist

As an EA, your ability to assess the urgency and importance of tasks is crucial. If you’re having trouble in this area, don’t worry. There are a couple of methods you can implement to help you organize your daily to-do list. 

ABCDE Method

This method involves assigning letters to tasks based on what needs to be accomplished first. 

The order goes: A – most important, need to be finished first, B – finish after all “A tasks” are complete, C – less important tasks that you can do in or out of order, D – not very important, you can delegate to others, E – not important, you can drop or postpone

Color Coding Method

This is very similar to ABCDE except with colors. With a legend, you can effectively use this to work on tasks together with a team. Because there are more colors than letters, you can use this to more granularly organize tasks. 

Eisenhower Matrix

Also known as the Urgent/Important Matrix, this popular method helps you organize tasks based on urgency and importance. It looks like a square divided into four sections. 

The sections are as follows: top right – both urgent and important, top left – important but not urgent, bottom right – urgent but not important, bottom left – neither important nor urgent.

Tackling high priority tasks

High priority tasks are usually things that involve other people. These are usually tasks that are farther up the assembly line. Some examples include creating presentations and organizing meeting agendas. Presentations and meetings are usually held to communicate information or give instruction. There are certainly less important meetings. Generally, though, meetings take precedent because they provide direction to members of an organization. 

Mid-Day Routine

A hand holding a tiny, white alarm clock with the time set to 2:18. executive assistant daily checklist

Reviewing and updating the executive’s calendar and schedule

Adding meetings, crossing them off, and moving dates are all part of an executive assistant daily checklist. Make sure to double-check if certain meetings are still on for later in the day. Give your executive and other involved parties multiple reminders and ample warning before each meeting. Same applies for canceled and rescheduled meetings. 

Screening calls and emails for priority and relevance

Some EA duties are secretarial in nature. It involves filtering calls and other forms of correspondence, determining which ones are relevant. Some of these might include intents to set up meetings which you must coordinate with the executive. 

Coordinating with team members and managing internal communication

This is part of your managerial duties. On top of the necessary coordinating of schedules and availability for meetings, you also delegate tasks. These tasks can be lower on your list of daily priorities or as part of organizing an upcoming event. 

Afternoon Efficiency

Completing simpler administrative tasks

You probably aren’t a stranger to the afternoon slump. During this time, what can you do to work your way back into a groove? We recommend completing tasks that are either lower in difficulty or different in nature. For example, if you’ve been working on something cerebral, try doing something more creative or repetitive.  Some simple admin tasks include data entry, taking inventory, sending meeting invites etc. If you’re waiting on an important email, you can also check the inbox periodically throughout the day.

Following up on pending tasks and preparing documents and reports

Sometimes, you will act as a supervisor that reminds team members of deadlines and requests progress reports. You’ll then report back to higher ups. You need to set aside time to locate crucial documents, reports, and the like. Make sure you have time to prepare what you need before the end of the day. This might be for a task coming up due or an upcoming meeting. 

Organizing and filing documents to reduce clutter

A necessary part of the executive assistant daily checklist is sorting, storing, and updating records. Whenever there is a new report or a new document, you need to store it in its proper place. If necessary, you might also create a digital copy. This way, if ever someone needs it, it’s easy to access. This is especially important for financial records and receipts.  

End-of-Day Wrap-Up

A man looking at his watch in front of a laptop.

Reviewing achievements and completed tasks

At the end of the day, it’s a good idea to review and reflect on all that you’ve accomplished. Check progress on ongoing tasks and check off all tasks that are finished. Make assessments on your performance and take notes on what to improve on. If you have time, you might even squeeze in some of those “E category” tasks. 

Preparing for the next day by organizing tasks and materials

Before clocking out, make sure to create a new list of things to tackle for the next day. Review your list and see what you can do to make tomorrow easier on yourself. For example, if you know there’s going to be a meeting tomorrow, you might want to prepare the needed files ahead of time. You can also create new meeting links if necessary or pre-write some follow up messages to send the next morning. 

Communicating updates and important information to the executive

This is the debrief part of the day. This involves progress reporting and letting them know of anything you noticed that can benefit from improvements. This is where you communicate and other important but non-urgent things that could wait until the end of the day. You can also give reminders of anything the executive needs to prepare for tomorrow, like presentations, speeches, etc. They are always impressed when you’re ahead of things!

Establishing a powerful end-of-day routine

An end-of-day routine is valuable. Ending the day right is just as important as starting it the right way. Often, by ending the day well you also set yourself up physically and mentally for the next day. Some of these tasks may include: 

  • Clearing up your desk (for physical EAs)
  • Closing opened tabs and closing applications 
  • Winding down with a smaller, low priority task like data entry 
  • Making notes and reminders to yourself for the next day
  • Stretching 

Additional Key Components

A yellow post-it note with a light bulb drawing on it pinned on a cork board.

While part of the executive assistant daily checklist, these tasks don’t really fit into any specific part of the day. Some depend on the urgency, while you can do others during your spare time. 

Managing travel arrangements and expense management

Travel and accommodations arrangements for business or personal trips can vary in their urgency. You can usually tell based on the date or the type of trip it is. You should also pay attention to what an executive tells you is more important. Naturally, a business meeting taking place within the week is more urgent than a company retreat in a few months. That being said, a company retreat is also a much bigger event that requires more planning. 

Either way, you, as an EA, need to account for variables like availability and plan and prioritize accordingly. 

When it comes to bookkeeping duties, it’s good to record expenses as soon as possible. You can record as you make the purchases or all together at the end of the day. 

Continuous learning and professional development

Any good EA commits to ongoing improvement. This can be in the area of soft-skill or hard skill development. This development can come in the form of:

  • Learning a new skill or software
  • Improving current skills
  • Digging deeper into tools and software 
  • Listening to business podcasts and reading job-related literature

Note: This is one of the reasons we recommend reviewing the day. You can see which areas you excel at and where you need more practice. 

Staying updated on industry trends and news

On top of continuous learning, it’s always a good idea to stay in-the-know on the latest news impacting your industry. Are there new tools and software you should look into? Are there new developments in best practices or laws in your industry?  For instance, new developments in AI could impact how you do your job. It’s good to know these things so you can plan ahead and stay ahead.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


Organization and prioritization can directly impact productivity. An organized routine can help you maximize your efforts and talents throughout the day. Use this executive assistant daily checklist as a template to manage your tasks and your time effectively for excellent execution. 


Virtual Assistants

Personal Assistant to CEO Job Description, Duties, Skills, and Career Path

A wooden desk with a laptop, smartphone, notepad, pen, and mig of coffee on it. personal assistant to ceo job description

Before you make a hire, make sure you have a good personal assistant to CEO job description. This job description is key to attracting the right candidate for the job. In this post, we’ll go through what it should look like. The sections we include are based on what has brought us consistently great results. 

Job Description of a Personal Assistant to a CEO

The typical job description has some basic sections that we like to keep. So, you will notice some items are familiar. We just tweaked some of them to make sure you can get all the important details in. Then, we included a couple of new items. We also put an emphasis on expectations around compensation and work conditions. This is not to put too fine of a point on it. We are very intentional about ensuring that everybody is on the same page before making any big decisions.

For a personal assistant to CEO job description, these sections will, of course, take on some color. You will see more than just an overview of the typical responsibilities and daily tasks. This is because we want to make sure that you include the key qualities you look for. These are the characteristics that someone taking care of your CEO should bring to the table. This means looking into the details of the role that they have. For instance, you would think about managing the CEO’s schedule, handling communications, and liaising with team members and clients.

Key Skills Required

A personal assistant to the CEO must have certain key skills. The abilities that you want to list on the job description are the non-negotiables. We put this section first because it’s easy to scan through. This way, a candidate can tell early on if they have the essentials of what you require. If they do, they can move to the next section.

I’ve included the most common key skills we look for below, but you may have additional ones. You might also want to remove those that aren’t too important. This way, you can attract the perfect match who specializes in what you need. 

  • Excellent organizational skills for efficient management of tasks and responsibilities.
  • Strong communication skills for effective liaison with clients, team members, and other stakeholders.
  • Independent decision-making to carry out tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Problem-solving abilities to handle administrative issues smoothly without external assistance.
  • Management skills, including time management and multitasking, as well as teams and high-level projects.
  • Proficiency in business software and tools for managing data and schedules.
  • Advanced knowledge and experience on the principles and common procedures of the industry.
  • Ability to complete complex assignments and integrate elements from other specialties as needed.
  • Strong commitment to the company vision and dedication to achieving goals.

A hand holding a pen after writing in a weekly planner. personal assistant to ceo job description

Duties and Responsibilities

The role of a personal assistant is mainly ensuring the well-being of the CEO. This means doing whatever the CEO needs to be optimally productive at work, including personal errands.

The duties you list are required, and should therefore be listed first. Some responsibilities might be non-negotiable, so you can put those at the top, too. Anything that you prefer, but is not a deal-breaker, can go at the bottom of this section. You want to be careful not to turn away good candidates by setting the bar too high. If something isn’t important to you, don’t make it look like it is.

If a candidate does not meet the expectations of the job in this area, there’s no harm done. They can click off without wasting too much time. Common duties and responsibilities include:

Administrative Support 

  • Develop and maintain a filing system.
  • Prepare documents for meetings.
  • Manage calendars and bookings (including setting up events, scheduling appointments, and making travel arrangements).
  • Update and maintain office policies and procedures
  • Order office supplies.
  • Plan meetings and take detailed minutes.
  • Organize and coordinate daily activities.


  • Provide general support to visitors.
  • Direct all contact from company departments and outside offices (by phone, email, etc.)
  • Maintain contact lists.
  • Draft and send out communications (emails, memos, newsletters, etc.)
  • Maintain work files and retrieve and distribute them as required.
  • Prepare reports.

Salary Expectations

A money clip with US dollars in it. personal assistant to ceo job description

The average salary for a personal assistant in the United States is $15-$16 per hour. This is well below the national average hourly salary of $24-$25. If you are hiring a personal assistant virtually, these rates can be cut to as low as a third of these averages. We have a dedicated post on personal assistant salary ranges if you want to look at more numbers. 

Consider, however, that you are hiring for the CEO. You will probably want to expand your rate range beyond the average rates. This will prevent the best candidates from snubbing your offer. Otherwise, you will most likely end up with below-average hires. When they fail to meet the high standards that the average CEO demands, you will need to start all over again. This ends up wasting a lot of time and resources, especially in terms of your CEO’s productivity.

You don’t need to put a rate on the personal assistant to CEO job description. Including a range, however, will look better to applicants. Granted, a higher rate range may initially attract unqualified candidates who simply liked the dollar value. You can easily remove these applications with a simple vetting procedure and initial personal assistant interview questions. Keeping the rate visible will show serious candidates that your offer is a legitimately healthy one. 

Here’s a well-kept freelance secret: the best candidates initially pass over any offers that don’t include pay rates. This is because most companies that hide the rate they are willing to pay do so because it’s generally unattractive. They demand a lot in the job post but aren’t willing to pay at par with these demands. You don’t want to attract the stragglers who couldn’t get the better jobs because you didn’t post a rate range.

Other Factors Influencing Compensation

The biggest factors that affect rate ranges are job difficulty and location. Because this is an assistant for the top executive in your company, you can already expect to pay more. If you require a lot of experience or higher-level analytical skills, for example, then you need to go even higher. You will also pay higher for someone working in-office. You will pay less, but not a great deal less, for someone working from home. The same is true for hires in North America and Europe. 

Where you get the most savings is hiring virtually from countries with lower living costs. This is because of two main reasons. First, hiring virtually means lower costs for both you and the person you hire. You don’t need to pay the usual benefits and taxes. The assistant doesn’t need to compensate for commute times or fare. Second, an assistant who pays a lower cost of living will simply not need as much. Someone whose rent is three times higher, for example, will need a rate that much higher, on average. 

Of course, you don’t need to know right off the bat what the right range actually is. (Although we can help with that if you want to outsource work rather than hire locally. We highly recommend this, of course, unless you absolutely need someone to be physically present.) You can put out an average range and indicate that it’s open for negotiation. Just be very careful when vetting and interviewing candidates. You want to be sure that you are actually getting your money’s worth.

Work Environment and Hours

A smiling man talking to a lady on a video call on his laptop.

Be very clear about the typical working hours that you expect a hire to keep. Describe the environment that they will work in, too. Sometimes, even if you want them to work odd hours, the environment can help. If they know that the atmosphere will be comfortable, they may not mind staying late. Or, if they know that they will not be working alone, they may be more pliant. Some people will feel happier working different times than they’re used to if they have company. 

Especially if you’re hiring overseas, make the time zone hard to miss. If you are flexible at all with the work hours, mention that. The best will always be a little less flexible, because they can. They know their worth and will often choose comfort first because they know they can do better. If you might need more flexibility here and there, you must mention that. You can explain what that level of flexibility is when you interview them. Most people are ok with being flexible, as long as you tell them upfront and are willing to compensate them fairly.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


This template of a personal assistant to CEO job description is not the be all and end all. Our aim was to give you a sample that you can modify according to your needs. With an understanding of what you need to focus on, we hoped to make that easier. All in all, we think this should help you to create the perfect description for the job.


Virtual Assistants

Executive Assistant vs Personal Assistant: Key Differences and Choosing the Right One for Your Needs

a man and woman with a laptop looking at something and smiling. executive assistant vs personal assistant

How do you know if you need an executive assistant vs personal assistant? In this post, we’ll distinguish between the two so you can hire the best fit for your needs.  

Understanding the Roles

The executive assistant vs personal assistant roles do have similarities. These roles overlap in some areas. What we will focus on here are the distinctions. This way, we hope to help you to see more clearly which is which. That way, you can see what each one can do for you.

Executive Assistant: Business Focus

An executive assistant has the word “executive” in the name for two reasons. Originally, they got that title because they are high-level assistants. Now, we also recognize them as such because they assist business executives.

An executive assistant usually works for only one person, but under the umbrella of the business. An executive assistant role is, therefore, more tuned to helping the executive in business matters. They lighten the executive’s load by taking on certain business tasks. We see a lot of similarities in the task types that executive assistants take over. However, not every EA will do exactly the same things. The role is flexible depending on what the boss needs. 

Executive assistants have leadership skills. They are highly observant and proactive. They are also analytical and good at juggling tasks. This type of assistant will not just come to you with a problem to solve. They will present you with a good solution when they point out an area for improvement. An EA has higher level interpersonal, networking, and communication skills. They can plan well as well as think strategically and even handle negotiations.

Role Distinction

Most executive assistants are fully capable of performing all the basic administrative and clerical duties. They actually often do a few of these types of tasks here and there. An executive can rely on this high level of assistant for more than the basics, however. Most executive assistants actually have the ability to take on management and leadership duties. 

For instance, more than scheduling meetings, an EA knows how to interact with high-profile clients. More than taking minutes of meetings, they are capable of running these meetings. You can even put an EA in charge of relationship management if they have experience in the area. This means that they can be the point of contact between you and clients and the executives of other companies. Your executive assistant can also handle arrangements between offices and departments inside your company.

An executive assistant will also often manage communications coming into and going out of the office. More than booking individual flights and hotels, they will usually handle group trips. In much the same way, an EA will not just make copies of reports and presentations, for example, but can actually create them. Sometimes, an EA will also manage other admin assistants in an office and take on project management duties.

A smiling woman holding a smartphone. executive assistant vs personal assistant

Personal Assistant: Personal Focus

A personal assistant focuses on the personal needs of an individual. Whatever this individual needs to function better in their role, the personal assistant helps with. This is more of a life management role than an office management role. That said, a personal assistant can still assist an executive. The difference is that this role covers the non-official side of the executive’s life. 

A personal assistant is basically responsible for taking on the more personal needs of an individual. By helping clear up these tasks, they help that individual to better focus on their work. This role is vital in that aspect of enabling an individual to be more productive on the job. 

The most desired skills in a PA are organization and time management. Most of the best PAs will know how to use several communication and project management tools. A PA with keen attention to detail, flexibility, and resourcefulness is a valuable asset. Many people also look for assistants with good written and verbal communication. Solving problems around their usual tasks is also important. They won’t need to know how to keep a client from canceling a big project. They must, however, know how to make sure the boss can keep a tight appointment schedule. 

Role Distinction

A PA will most often handle the personal side of the boss’s life. This means vacation travel arrangements rather than booking business trips. This is also true for communications and scheduling. A PA would handle personal calls and appointments over those relating to work duties. 

Most personal assistants help their bosses with tasks that are completely unrelated to the office. This can include keeping household expenses separate from office deductibles. Many PAs do personal errands like ordering food, dry cleaning clothes, buying groceries, and taking pets to the vet. Online assistants can’t do these specific tasks, but they can still make most purchases and keep the books! 

A personal assistant can do some office tasks, too, of course. These roles are highly flexible, mostly because each individual is different. As a personal assistant gains experience, they also become more adaptable. This makes them more valuable in any setting. 

One area where the distinction can blur for a personal assistant is in clerical duties. We do not automatically think about organizing and maintaining office files and records as something personal. This type of work, however, does fall under the personal responsibility of any individual working in a company. If they have a lot on their plate, they can pass off these personal responsibilities to an assistant. This assistant then sorts and makes these documents easily accessible to the individual. 

Many PAs handle correspondence and communications. PAs do not usually officially liaison among departments. However, they might reach out to certain business partners, suppliers, and customers. They will also often sort emails and screen calls. They also usually take a lot of notes for their bosses. PAs need to remind them of important information as they move from task to task. They also share updates before the boss meets with different people.

A woman smiling behind a counter. executive assistant vs personal assistant

Distinctions in Compensation

An executive assistant vs personal assistant doesn’t have a clear pay grade difference. What we look at here is who they are working for. An executive assistant working for the owner of a small company will probably make less than a personal assistant to the top dog at a large multinational corporation. It’s all relative. All things being equal, however, an executive assistant will usually make more than a personal assistant. This is because their skills are more advanced and their duties are broader in scope.

One thing to take into account is who pays these assistants. The company will almost always take care of an EA’s compensation. The boss, however, is usually responsible for paying their PA. This is because executive assistants are office-focused while personal assistants are not concerned with company business.

Choosing the Right Assistant for Your Needs

When you choose between an executive assistant vs personal assistant, you must ask one question first. Do your primary needs lean more towards business support or life management? 

Second, you must carefully list out certain factors. Consider your workload and what you want to pass off to an assistant. Think about the nature of these tasks. Then think about the type of expertise that each one requires to be done well. This is vital because you may actually need someone with attributes of both an executive and personal assistant. 

Third, think about what you need to pay to hire the best fit for the role you just outlined. You always want to go for the best one – never settle! If you need to cut costs, reduce the task load, but never compromise on quality. This will give you the best benefit without the high cost. As you grow more financially capable, you can increase pay for added tasks or hire a higher-level assistant. This method helps you think about which tasks are really vital for you to pass off. It also serves as motivation for you to increase your income and remove unnecessary expenses!

Common Misconceptions about Executive Assistants and Personal Assistants

Both executive assistants and personal assistants are highly valuable assets. And most people tend to drastically undervalue them. Many EAs are seen as glorified secretaries and many PAs are seen as glorified nannies. I blame much of this gross misconception on Hollywood! In reality, most companies would not be able to function without these assistants. 

Assistants do not have the flashy positions that the people they work for do. They are not the public face or voice of a company. They are, however, what often holds up that face and voice. Both executive assistants and personal assistants are highly competent partners, and worth every penny. A good assistant is a blessing because this relationship can get very personal with a great deal of transparency. You need to be able to trust EAs and PAs at a very high level.

Because most assistants don’t need special degrees, many people think they aren’t skilled. Executive and personal assistants actually have a ton of specialized skills and experience! They are really very special people even though most people don’t think that the things they do are glamorous.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


Hiring an executive assistant or a personal assistant can be one of the most vital hires for your business and life. These people will become highly valued partners in your everyday activities. That is, if you choose correctly. They will work so closely with you that you will soon not know how to function without them. Because they have the potential to become indispensable parts of your work and life, you must choose carefully. We hope that this post has given you the basic information you need to start on that journey.


Virtual Assistants

What Does a Personal Assistant Do? Key Responsibilities and Essential Skills in 2024

A woman holding a laptop and smiling. what does a personal assistant do

What does a personal assistant do? What are their responsibilities and qualifications? 

The decision to hire a personal assistant is not always an easy one. Some people weigh the pros and cons, wondering if it’s even worth the investment, which is completely reasonable. In this post, we hope to help make that decision easier by providing you with a general overview of this role. 

What is a Personal Assistant?

The role of a personal assistant is so important for many businesses. A personal assistant can help you with administrative tasks such as communications, scheduling, organizing, and other related tasks as required. Anyone who needs support with their daily tasks can hire a PA for themselves. A PA may not serve the business directly, but the way they support the executives is vital.

Responsibilities of a Personal Assistant

A woman at a desk talking on the phone whole typing on a laptop. what does a personal assistant do

Managing schedules and appointments

A PA can ensure that you never forget a meeting. They can update your calendar, set appointments and reminders for you, and make sure no events overlap. They not only can set appointments for business-related matters, but also for personal affairs (such as medical and family events). 

Organizing and maintaining files and records

One of the main clerical duties of a PA involves sorting and categorizing files. Organizing documents makes for easy and quick access. This can also involve inbox management, including labeling and filtering emails. They also check regularly to make sure the database remains up to date. 

Handling correspondence and communication

Apart from emails, PAs also manage other communications, both internal and external. They screen calls and serve as a point of contact between their manager and other staff. Some higher level PAs can also manage external communications with business partners, suppliers, and customers. 

It’s also common for a PA to attend meetings on behalf of their managers and take minutes of these meetings. They need to be able to summarize the discussion and catch all the main points to report back. 

Assisting with travel arrangements

From booking hotels and restaurants to creating an itinerary, PAs make traveling for business or pleasure a lot easier. They can book flights for you as well. When they do, it usually includes travel arrangements to and from the airport, hotel, restaurant, business venue, etc. 

Providing administrative support

What does a personal assistant do aside from scheduling, appointment setting, and file organization? Well, they can also take an inventory of office supplies. When these run low, they’re also in charge of ordering and replenishing. 

Some personal assistants also do some basic bookkeeping duties. For instance, managers will often send their PAs on errands. This can include ordering food, buying groceries, taking pets to the vet, and other transactions. Of course, an online assistant will not be able to do this kind of legwork. Often, they will pay for things with a company card. It isn’t uncommon for them to list and/or categorize these expenses. They would then relay the information to the bookkeeping team.

Coordinating meetings and events

Files aren’t the only thing a PA can organize. Coordination requires a certain ability to organize people as well. A PA becomes the point of contact, communicating and following up with key players. They make sure schedules align and delegate responsibilities appropriately. They are involved from inception, to planning, to execution, to debriefing.

Skills and Qualifications of a Personal Assistant

A man using a laptop to create video and text SOPs. what does a personal assistant do

Excellent organizational skills

A lot of the time, people who hire personal assistants are spending hours on tasks that could be optimized. Whether it’s rummaging through files or sifting through spam in their inbox, a PA should be able to set things in order. They are able to develop systems that make it easier to locate, update, and delete information. 

Strong communication skills

Of course, you should look for a proficient English speaker. But you also need someone who can clearly convey ideas to others. They sometimes speak on behalf of others and therefore must be good at relaying information. Different contexts also require different styles of communication. They need to be able to shift between professional business language and more casual tones. 

Time management abilities

“PA” and “multitasker” may as well be synonyms. These disciplined individuals are able to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines. Because they are great managers of their own time, this also helps them manage other people’s schedules and timelines. 

Attention to detail

They pay attention to the little things. It’s their job to think about things that might go under other people’s noses. They are proactive. When they notice a potential problem area, they don’t just bring it up. They take the initiative to come up with solutions. 

Adaptability and problem-solving skills

PAs need to have plan and be ready at all times. Sometimes a meeting can go longer than expected and they need to move things around. Maybe your accommodations fell through at the last minute. A great PA is not just resourceful when the unexpected happens, they account for those possibilities. 

Salary Expectations for Personal Assistants

A woman calculating the cost advantages of outsourcing payroll.

Factors affecting personal assistant salaries

Like most positions, salaries and rates can depend on several key variables.

  • Level of Experience and Education. – An entry-level PA is not going to have the same rate as one with several years of experience. Similarly, if you require a degree when hiring, expect candidates to request a higher rate. 
  • Skill Level. – You should also expect to pay more for the time and effort they’ve dedicated to learning particular skills. For instance, you might need someone very proficient in Excel. This individual may charge a little more than a standard PA. 
  • Location. – In the US, personal assistant rates can vary from state to state. If you’re looking to hire a virtual personal assistant, those numbers can fluctuate even more depending on your needs. Outsourcing tends to be the more cost-effective option if your PA can do the work remotely. 

Average salary range for personal assistants 

The average general PA rate is around $15/hour. For more specialized help, like a personal finance assistant or executive assistant, these rates can jump to $20-$30/hr. Hiring online can lower these rates, depending on the person’s location. Consider checking out our personal assistant salary guide to get more details on it. 

Education and Training Requirements for Personal Assistants

Recommended educational background for personal assistants

As the PA position is more skill-based, you don’t necessarily need a degree to become one. However, some companies might prefer candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree. These include degrees related to administration, business management, or other related fields. But why is that? Well, these tend to be more standardized, making it a safer bet for hiring managers. Additionally, most college programs have some kind of OJT (on-the-job training). Other experiential training can also be part of the curriculum. 

Certifications or additional training that can enhance career prospects

That being said, certifications and skill training can be just as valuable if not more so. Not all PAs will have in-depth skills related to certain software, for instance. Think Google Suite, Microsoft Office, and others. If you are looking for a PA with a specific skillset, make that clear in the job description. 

Experience Requirements for Personal Assistants

Women having a discussion around a table.

Past experience in administrative roles or related fields

Consider this also when hiring. The more experience a person has as a PA, the more aware they are of possible hiccups. They will be‌ more adaptable to not only respond to quick changes but also quick to find solutions. 

The question of “What does a personal assistant do?” also depends on the industry they’re in. If you are in the finance industry, you’ll prefer a PA with experience working in a similar field. If you work in fashion, you probably want someone who is familiar with that world and its concepts. Whatever the case, make sure their work experience, education, and skills match the responsibilities you expect them to fulfill.

Proven track record in PA  support services

You need to know the personal assistant interview questions that can help you gauge their multitasking capabilities. It involves asking them if they have experience organizing events. These tend to have a lot of moving parts and not everyone can pull it off successfully. If you’re looking for a personal executive assistant, this ability is even more crucial. Executive PAs have additional managerial duties. This means that they need to be able to organize people and delegate tasks. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the qualities that make a good personal assistant?

Here is a god starter list of characteristics you should look for when canvassing for a personal assistant. 

  • Excellent communicator
  • Proficient multitasker
  • Problem-solver
  • Active listener
  • Good manager of time 
  • Self-disciplined
  • Resourceful 
  • Quick on their feet
  • Observant 
  • Proactive 
  • Teachable
  • Adaptable
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Organized and methodical 
  • Respectful 
  • Honest and integrous 
  • Team player

How do I know if I need a personal assistant?

Do you pay a significant amount of attention to a task that isn’t a core business function? If so, you may need a personal assistant. Do you you spend hours replying to emails, planning meetings, or other tedious tasks? If you answered yes, it might be time to start looking. This is because these issues indicate bigger issues. You’re probably not making the most efficient use of your skills or fulfilling your key role in the business. You should be free to focus on areas of business you are passionate about, too. More than this, you need time to relax and spend time with loved ones. These are critical aspects of life that you can’t sacrifice!

What training do I need to provide for my personal assistant?

We recommend getting a PA up to speed on company SOPs, culture, and communication channels ASAP. Most PAs are familiar with the common tools used to help them perform their administrative duties. However, we recommend making a comprehensive list of all the software and programs you use. Major tools should be put in the job description. You can go through minor ones during the interview process. You need to make sure that they confirm their ability to use all the tools before you hire them. Make sure it’s at the level you expect, too.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


When answering the question “What does a personal assistant do?”, we find they have several key responsibilities. This includes admin, calendar management, communications, and event planning. When assessing your need for a PA, consider how much time and energy you put into these areas. 

Virtual Assistants

Outsourcing Synonym: Alternatives and Their Impact in Business Practices

A man and a woman shaking hands. outsourcing synonym

What is the right outsourcing synonym to use? Do I need to know specific use cases for each one? The short answer is yes.

Below were going to explore the nuances of these word variations. We’ll define, compare, contrast, and give you a look into word usage in different contexts. You may find some to be not as easily interchangeable as they appear.

Outsourcing Synonym Comprehensive List

Contracting and Contracting out

Contracting refers to the act of hiring independent contractors to perform a task for a specific time period. Instead of contracting someone within your company, you “contract out” This involves making a formal agreement with an outside party.

Contractors and freelancers are similar in that they are not salaried, but work on a per-hour or per-project basis. Neither are tied to companies or locations. While contractors typically work under agencies, they can also manage their own companies. The type of work in contracting is usually more long-term. 


Sometimes, more complex projects require someone with specialized skills. In this case, a contractor may need to hire an individual with more granular expertise in that particular area. As the name suggests, a subcontractor is typically someone under the management of a contractor. However, you can also hire them directly. 

Farming or Farming out

This term has its roots (pun intended) in the early practice of leasing land out to another for agriculture. In fact, the word farm originally comes from “ferme” meaning “to rent”. This handing over of land for payment inspired its usage as an outsourcing synonym. 

The terms can be used to refer to two different things. When referring to a person, it means to send someone to work for another. When referring to work, it means to assign tasks to an outside individual. 


This is not to be confused with the pay model. Commissioning in outsourcing is a term used when sending or putting someone in charge of accomplishing a task. The term is most commonly used when instructing or prescribing someone to design or write something out. You may be familiar with its use in the creative space. This is where people commission artists to create a piece in their style. People can also commission building designs or written works like articles, stories, and even musical pieces. 

Four men laughing while freelancing together outsourcing synonym


You usually see this term used in an internal context. This is where someone reassigns tasks to workers in an organization. However, you might use this term within the context of a close partnership with outsourcing entities. Delegating responsibility also implies a level of trust in that other party. Trust is crucial when they’re handling part of your business for you. A good outsourcing partner is one you can rely on to deliver results. You want to have evidence of their competence and confirm other ethical considerations before hiring them.


This variation sheds an interesting light on the outsourcing process. When you outsource, you are actually moving around monetary and human resources. Say you had an internal team handling a particular aspect of business. Then, you decide to hand it off to a third party. You poured resources and allocated team members to that department. These are then redistributed into other business areas. Sometimes, though, the redistribution looks more like a hybrid team. Other times, people from other positions will assist with the outsourcing partnership as project managers. 


This is one of the more formal-sounding synonyms. While feeling more corporate, it simply means to seek external expert help for a task or entire process. Internalization definitely has its place in business. But externalization helps you leverage top talent to achieve your goals more effectively and efficiently.  

Special mention: Onshore, Nearshore, and Offshore Outsourcing

While these are closer to categories than straight synonyms, they are still worth putting here. Onshore outsourcing refers to outsourcing within the same country. Nearshore outsourcing involves partnering with third-party companies that are geographically close to the country in which you operate. Offshore outsourcing refers to handing over certain operations to an international service provider. 

Outsourcing Synonym Contextual Usage

People with laptops and notebooks working together at a table. outsourcing synonym

How synonyms can be used in different business contexts

We already talked about how the word “commission” is kind of a loaded term. More often than not, you will hear it used in a creative context. Companies hire these workers for one of two reasons, usually. First, because the executives approve of their methods. Second, because they prefer the artist’s style. This style creates an expectation of a unique execution. 

With contracting and subcontracting, they refer to a certain level of specificity. For instance, you may contract people to help you improve marketing and advertising. This is a broad department with several moving parts. There’s the creative aspect of advertising that involves graphics, video, and copywriting. There’s those responsible for lead generation and generating web traffic. 

A contractor might hire subcontractors for their specialized knowledge and skillsets in these areas. An example would be subcontracting a branding manager to ensure ads consistently represent a company well. They might also hire people skilled in SEO and PPC for that search engine visibility. 

Comparing subtle differences in meaning

Where’s the value in learning outsourcing synonyms if they basically mean the same thing anyway? While the differences may be subtle, nuances in usage lend a clearer understanding of when and how to apply these terms. 

Let’s look at externalization and commissioning as an example. We believe that companies use externalize more fittingly to describe business processes and departments. (Ex. externalized financial management, externalized customer relationship management, etc.)

On the other hand, we use commissions to typically refer to the tangible created product. For instance, you wouldn’t “externalize” blog posts. It would be more appropriate to say that you “externalize your content creation” and “commission” blog posts. To simplify, externalization refers to more of a “big picture” process, and commissioning refers to specific jobs within that process. 

We also think that paying attention to the implied tone of the words you use is important. Externalization and contracting tend to sound more professional, even legal. Alternatively, terms like redistribution and delegation almost have an air of collaboration and diplomacy.

Outsourcing in the Global Economy

A coffee cup next to a laptop showing a video call with multiple participants.Synonyms reflect different aspects of global outsourcing trends. Words continue to evolve in meaning alongside global advancements. On the surface, we can already see that the existence of several synonyms points to the popularity and impacts of outsourcing internationally. 

These different terms that we use impact various industries, too. With the rapid development of technology, the categories of tasks you can outsource have also grown. With it, the cost advantage of choosing external solutions is also more apparent. 

Some industries impacted by the outsourcing boom include:

  • Creatives –  You have access to a wider talent pool of people to take care of graphics, content creation, editing and more. You can hire people per project, significantly cutting down on costs related to maintaining in-house staff. 
  • Finance – Most businesses turn to outsourced accounting and bookkeeping. It saves many hours and headaches related to tax season.  
  • Manufacturing and Production – A lot of companies, even the big ones, don’t make their products in house. It’s much more cost-effective to hire third-party manufacturers with their manpower and special equipment. 
  • Legal – Did you know you can outsource legal tasks? In fact, some legal firms tend to contract out administrative duties. These can include research, contract drafting, and transcription.  
  • Marketing and advertising – You don’t need an in-house staff for online marketing. Even in traditional marketing, you can outsource a lot of the content. We see many companies effectively outsource videos, poster and billboard graphics, ad copy, and so much more.

Challenges, Common issues, and Solutions in Outsourcing

Communication is a major consideration. Correspondence and scheduling with a remote team can be challenging. Aside from potential technological difficulties, you also have to consider time zones and when people will see your messages. If there’s an issue while working on a project, it might take hours before the other party responds.

You can mitigate communication challenges by setting up working times. Go through the main communication channels as soon as possible, too. Proper remote onboarding also gives you the chance to set SOPs in the event something goes wrong.

Still, time zones can become a big enough factor to affect productivity. If they do, consider how you can leverage the time difference to your advantage. Otherwise, consider hiring in a closer time zone or emphasizing the required work schedule more. 

Data security is another potential issue. You will always face some level of risk when information leaves the four walls of your business. Mitigating data breach risks boils down to three main things:

  • Transferring and storing data using secure apps and software
  • Partnering with companies who have verifiable data security guarantees
  • Having the company or individual sign data security contracts 

Total lack of control is a challenge you want to avoid. Whether it’s management or quality assurance, outsourcing takes some control of the reins from you. It’s important to partner with someone you can trust to handle things with minimal supervision. Assigning project managers can also help. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is It Important to Understand Different Synonyms for Outsourcing in Business?

Understanding context and word usage helps you with clarity. Clarity in communication is key, especially in business partnerships. 

Can Different Synonyms for Outsourcing Imply Different Levels of Responsibility and Control?

Yes, they certainly can. A good example is contracting and subcontracting. You might contract someone to handle your web development. That contractor may then hire and manage subcontractors to take care of separate sections of the project.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


There’s a lot you can gain from learning about outsourcing synonyms. You can learn a little about outsourcing history and how culture informs language and vice versa. Other definitions give us a glimpse into the outsourcing process. You can also learn more about management structure and the contexts in which you use certain words. Overall, they give you a better idea of the global influence of outsourcing. This, in turn, help you better communicate with your third-party business partners.


Virtual Assistants

Mastering Outsourcing Training: Strategies for Empowering Your Remote Workforce

A girl pointing to groups of sticky notes on a board while other people around a table with laptops look on. outsourcing training

Outsourcing training is a vital component in your success as a business that hires remote workers. You might decide to train every hire yourself, and that can work, too. However, you’ll be sacrificing in this process. You’ll give up things that you could have made use of elsewhere. You’ll also miss out on things that you could gain by outsourcing this work.

When you take advantage of an external training team, you get the best of everything. In this post, we’ll talk about the benefits and challenges of this process. 

Understanding Outsourcing Training

The practice outsourcing various training activities is nothing new. Many companies over the decades have brough in outside resources with broad knowledge to help train teams. These third parties have a lot of experience, so they know multiple ways and strategies to help teams grow. With their help, your teams can become more effective. 

No matter what industry you are in, you can outsource training. Not all training can be done online, of course, but most can. Whatever the case, you can usually find someone out there who can teach your new hires the ropes. Even if you’re in an extremely innovative field, this is true. Your teams will always need to use some types of skills that have have been around for a while. Instead of spending your time and effort on this old stuff, hire someone else. Then you can focus on teaching them the new stuff.

Benefits of Outsourcing Training

As I already hinted at above, you save a lot of time by outsourcing training activities. In fact, we believe in this so much that we highly recommend outsourcing as many as you can! Training is a deep commitment that involves a lot of time. Sure, you can streamline the process. But you can’t just say oops, time’s up, and leave new hires hanging. You need to be available to answer questions quickly and guide people. If you don’t, they are likely to feel unappreciated right from the start. (P.S. Here are more tips to save time at work from our blog!)

The second biggest benefit to outsourcing is the cost savings. No matter what you outsource, in fact, you save a lot! In this day and age, what you’re really looking at is the cost of not outsourcing. This is because the savings is not simply in terms of upfront spending. First off, training doesn’t happen all the time. This means you can expand your capacity as needed by outsourcing this work. You have two alternatives. One would be to pay an opportunity cost by taking it on. The other would be hiring for a position that only works a few months out of the year. 

The second hidden savings is in the quality you get for a lower cost. Outsourced trainers are professional trainers. They do it best and have the most experience. You can’t beat the level of expertise that these guys bring to the table. And if you’re hiring from another country, you’ll pay them less than you would lose by shouldering the taks in-house. This expertise is actually invaluable because it can level-up your teams in ways that you never even thought of. 

Third, don’t forget that you have multiple sources to tap for training when you outsource. In-house, it’s limited to you and whoever already works with you. Outsourcing opens you to a global pool of talent and experience. You can even hire different trainers for different areas. Because these guys are professionals, they can coordinate effortlessly. They can also get things done much more quickly and adapt to any special needs you might have. Outsourcing wins because it’s super flexible and allows you to scale at the drop of a hat. 

Young Filipinos talking about work. outsourcing training

Challenges and Solutions in Outsourcing Training

We love outsourcing, but we will never tell you that it’s all rainbows and roses. I’m noting here the top challenges when outsourcing so you can prepare. We want to make sure that you know what you’re facing so you can avoid the pitfalls. 

Quality Control

The biggest challenge to outsourcing your training needs is the potential for a loss of control. You are no longer giving your teams instructions. This means that at any time during the process, the trainer might not be giving them the correct information. As the leader, you are responsible for making sure that all training aligns with the company’s goals. If you put in the time to establish checks and balances, you’ll prevent trainers from going off the rails. This is a good use of your time and resources anyway. You will need these checks and balances moving forward to evaluate and manage your teams. 

Another challenge that can hinder the effectivity of training is poor communication. This can happen because of cultural barriers. Usually, however, it stems from trying to cut corners. Any barrier can also make training take longer than it should. This is because you spend time putting out fires created by miscommunication. Then you need to retrain to correct false notions. That costs you more money, too. Not only will your teams be away from work longer, but you may need to pay trainers more. To avoid this, make sure that you are investing properly in training. Choose to wither give people what they actually need or don’t bother training them at all.


The cost to outsource is always something to consider carefully. However, we are confident that you can reap all the benefits and not suffer any harm if you do it right. Outsourcing can give you significant savings if you plan well and execute diligently. If your heart isn’t in it, then outsourcing can cost you your business. 

Outsource School exists for the exact purpose of helping you outsource properly. If you think you need more guidance after reading through this whole post, there’ll be a link below where you can schedule a call to earn more!

Best Practices for Successful Outsourcing Training

The first thing you want to secure when deciding to outsource training is to choose the right partner. Not just any old trainer will fit the bill. Consider the audience, and consider their needs. Who comprises your teams? What makes them tick? What do they need to be more successful at work? Do they have specific goals you don’t know about? If you don’t have a good relationship with the people on your teams, you’re in the dark. You won’t be able to pick a training program that will work for them. Once you know the type of trainer you need, then you can choose the most reputable one from the bunch.

As your teams train, make sure they know that you are still available to them. This will put them at ease and create a check and balance for the trainer. By opening and maintaining effective communication channels, they know that you are watching. Your team members can report anything unusual and the trainer also knows that the team is held accountable.

Don’t forget quality control! I mentioned it above, but I must stress it again here. You need to set clear performance metrics and strict quality standards. Communicate these to everyone on both sides of the training program. They must all know that they need to adhere to the standards you set. Setting performance metrics also helps keep everyone motivated because there’s something to aim for. As you then monitor and evaluate their progress, you can offer incentives if you like. These unexpected bonuses can do wonders.

Frequently Asked Questions

A cork board with pins and yarn connecting frequently asked questions. outsourcing training

Can outsourcing training be integrated with in-house training strategies?

Most outsourced training is actually not much different than in-house training models. The only thing that changes, really, is who is doing the training. This is where the differences lie. Pulling in resources from outside gives your teams access to more flexible options to upskill and even advance their careers. By cooperating with the trainers, you can inject your knowledge of the company and the team’s needs. This way, you get the most relevant and strategic training possible. 

Of course, if you are relying on a training program that isn’t customizable, you will run into some limitations. You can combat these limitations by supplementing the information in-house. It will take some time and effort at first, but it will be worth it in the long run. 

How does outsourcing training impact workforce productivity and development?

Bringing in experts to train your teams helps you avoid dips over the course of the training program. When you train in-house, it puts a strain on management as they juggle work and training duties. Outsourcing team training also boosts productivity in the long run since they can get a collection of specialized knowledge. They develop more and better because the training comes from many sources distilled into one product that packs a punch.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


As you allow a third party to manage training activities, you’ll see how much value it brings. You’ll free up your time for the activities that you should be focusing on. But that’s just the beginning!

Virtual Assistants

Outsourcing vs In-house: Pros, Cons, and Key Considerations

People meeting to discuss the pros of outsourcing. outsourcing vs in house

Today we will be comparing outsourcing vs in house operations. We’ll tackle their definitions, pros and cons, things to consider when choosing and how mixing both methods might be ideal. 

Understanding Outsourcing and In House Operations

Definition of outsourcing and in house operations

Outsourcing is a hiring practice where you partner with a third-party to perform a task or take over a business process. This can be an agency, company, or freelancer. You can source third-party remote help from within your country, close-by countries, or internationally.

In house operations refers to getting something done internally without third party help. Here, a task, project or process is accomplished by regular workers within an organization. 

Historical context and current trends

The history of outsourcing dates back to when companies would source raw materials from other countries. The processing and manufacturing of certain parts were also done elsewhere. This drove down costs while simultaneously maintaining quality. 

As travel evolved and technology developed, so did outsourcing, and the outsourcing trends we see today continue to mirror these advancements. 

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

Smiling agents with headsets to whom you can outsource eCommerce customer service. outsourcing vs in house

Cost efficiency and savings

  • Rates vs Salaries – The cost of hiring from an outsourcing agency or hiring independent freelancers is lower than an in house hire. For one, you can do project-based hiring and seek outsourcing help as needed. 
  • Location – Because the cost of living varies from country to country, you can hire someone just as talented for less. 

Access to a wide pool of talent and specialized expertise

Outsourcing allows you to expand your search. You get more options and a higher likelihood to find the best fit for your needs. It’s much easier to find people who focus on a particular niche. You don’t need to settle for what’s available locally.

Flexibility in scaling, team dynamics, and project management

  • Scaling – Outsourcing allows you to expand or contract your team as needed. You can scale to your needs relatively easily and meet demands or a lack thereof. 
  • Team Dynamics – You can blend outsourced services and in house staff in various ways to meet specific needs. (More on that later)
  • Project Management – You can assign an internal project manager to oversee an outsourcing task or outsource project management entirely. 

Drawbacks such as communication challenges, less control, and security concerns

  • Communication Challenges – Communicating with remote teams can be one of the biggest challenges. If you hire internationally, you have to consider time zones. There’s also the possibility of messages being seen late and delaying project movement. Then, of course, you have the potential language and cultural barriers.
  • Less Control – Even if hiring from a reputable company, quality control is limited. You can’t know all the steps of the process. Unless you have a project manager taking the lead, it can be challenging. 
  • Security Concerns – Data privacy concerns are a real outsourcing risk. There’s always a risk of a data leak whether intentional or accidental. This ties in with the previous point because you can’t always guarantee both your data security policies or procedures align.  

Pros and Cons of In House Operations

People having a meeting to talk about how outsourcing works.

Greater control over projects and internal processes

When handling things internally, you are able to supervise a lot more closely. If a problem occurs you are more likely to catch and solve the problem quickly without halting production. Internal communications can also be more manageable. 

Enhanced security, especially for sensitive information

You can know who has access to what information and control how information is shared. You choose what applications to use to send and receive information. 

Long-term support and team familiarity

In house workers typically have long-term contracts. As such, they typically have more experience working with each other. They are likely to be familiar with each other’s way of thinking, work habits, even strengths and weaknesses. That working relationship and chemistry is already established where it may take time with a remote team. 

Higher costs and potential limitations in expertise

Maintaining an in house worker or team is pricey and sometimes inefficient cost-wise. Not only do you have to consider benefits, but you might actually be paying for time they aren’t working. That’s why short-term hiring and hiring as needed is more cost-effective. You only pay for the hours they’ve spent on the tasks.

Sometimes location limits the candidates. That isn’t to say that local candidates aren’t skilled or talented. Rather, sometimes it’s education and opportunities that limit the possibility for expertise and specialization. Outsourcing with its wider talent pool gives you access to skills that may not be popular in your area. 

Key Considerations for Decision Making


Comparing outsourcing vs in house operations can sometimes look like comparing short-term savings and long-term investments. Outsourcing can be cheaper if you’re looking for expertise you don’t have the budget or time to learn or train. Conversely, investing in equipment, tech infrastructure, and training might yield a bigger return. 

Think also about how you choose outsourcing partners. Are you looking for someone to finish a job or are you looking for partnerships and joint growth opportunities? Cheaper in the short-term can also mean cheaper in the long term with the right strategies. 

Quality control and maintaining standards

What’s the best way you can maintain a consistent standard with what you offer to customers and clients? How can you establish quality control guidelines? It’s possible to outsource quality assurance and quality control, but can they work well with the outsourced company or team? If you outsource both, you also need to consider the fact that you’ll need to manage two third party entities. 

Scalability and meeting fluctuating business demands

Can you handle busy months completely in house? Do you have the budget or manpower? A company with a limited workforce cannot take advantage of seasonality demands. In that situation, you need to decide if hiring more in house workers is better than temporarily outsourcing some work. 

Focus on core business activities and resource optimization

When comparing and contrasting outsourcing vs in house benefits and drawbacks, it may help to ask this question:

“How much time am I spending on secondary tasks and how much time am I spending on growing my business?”

These secondary tasks can be back-office related like payroll, administration and other tasks that help maintain business operations. Some non-core activities can also help you with growth in combination with core activities. For instance, while you focus on product development, another company can handle marketing said product or service. 

Special Situations: When to Choose Outsourcing

A man on the phone behind a desk with two moonitors.

For short-term projects or specific skill requirements

Outsourcing is great for one-off projects, seasonal scaling, and when in need of niche skills. It’s also great if you’re seeking expert advice and guidance. For example, you might hire an SEO expert to help you rank on search engines and teach your content writers keyword integration. 

Scaling team size in response to project demands

Think of a time you would have benefited from a larger team. Maybe you’ve racked up customer service tickets or need more editors for marketing material. Whatever the case, a bigger team can help you temporarily meet heavy project or seasonality demands. 

Rapid project completion under tight deadlines

When you need speed and quality, the solution is never to overwork existing staff. When deadlines and demands are high, consider the long-term benefits hiring more people will yield. 

Take the animation industry, for example. Companies have come under fire for overworking their animators to meet deadlines. Outsourcing animation can help maintain quality and still keep working conditions healthy.

Special Situations: When to Opt for In House

Projects requiring complete control and real-time oversight

You might have projects where you would prefer closer supervision. Maybe you want tighter control of speed and deadlines. Maybe you want real-time insights and more frequent updates and reporting. Based on the results of these reports, some may want the freedom to terminate certain projects to avoid wasting resources. 

Long-term projects with continuous updates and support

For some tasks or operations that may require long-term support, it makes more sense to maintain an in house team. For example, it may be wiser to keep an in house IT department if you need website maintenance, app development, or general technical support. 

Handling sensitive or confidential information

There are certain tasks, operations, or projects where you might want information to remain internal. For instance, some prefer to have an internal accounting team handling their financial information. Other data, like customer information or supplier details, might also be better handled internally. 

Blending Outsourcing with In House Operations

Strategies for integrating both models

Our goal is not to pit outsourcing vs in house operations against each other to find a clear winner. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. The good news is there are ways you can combine both methods to achieve the best results. 

For example, you can blend outsourced and in house staff to create a system of checks and balances. Remote workers and internal staff can go over each other’s work, creating a kind of vetting process. You might see this in accounting and bookkeeping, where failure to detect the smallest inconsistency can lead to big problems. 

Your company might excel at planning, research, and data gathering, but lack the manpower or equipment to execute. You can outsource to teams, product manufacturers, and other companies that can turn that data into physical products, services, and more. Balance out your expertise and knowledge with theirs to collectively bring forth great offerings in a timely fashion. 

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


The comparison of outsourcing vs in house is more than selecting one ultimate solution for everything. Some things are better managed within an organization where they need a certain level of control, quality, and security. Other things are better delegated to an outside team of people when time, expertise, or manpower are lacking. Learn to maximize the benefits and mitigate the risks of both. Striking the between the two for your unique need is essential for growth.

Virtual Assistants

23 Personal Assistant Interview Questions to Ask in 2024

A personal assistant working on her phone and laptop.

Wondering what personal assistant interview questions you should be asking when hiring?

Bad hires are never fun and the aftermath can be messier than before. We want to help you avoid that as much as possible. We hope these questions can serve as a guide for vetting your applicants. 

Find out their capabilities. Discover what they value, and see which one best fits your needs, team, and goals. 

Understanding the Role of a Personal Assistant

A personal assistant (PA) is someone that takes care of various administrative tasks for an individual. PAs are sometimes referred to as secretaries. These individuals help busy people manage their affairs and help maintain a work-life balance. Responsibilities listed in a personal assistant job description can include administrative duties and event planning, among others. Mainly, however, they take care of schedule management and communications management. 

General Interview Questions

1. Why do you want to be a personal assistant?

One important part of the interview process you shouldn’t forget about is rapport-building. This question is one way to get to know the person behind the position. This can give you a look into their passion, personal and work values, motives, and goals. 

2. Describe your previous experience in administrative support.

This question relates to work experience, previous jobs, and positions. When asking this question, make sure the interviewer has the candidate’s resume and cover letter with them. This is not only for cross-checking. This serves to also see if they will include any additional information. 

3. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses as a personal assistant?

Most people know how to talk about their strengths. Whatever the candidate says, they should be able to relate it to the position. 

When you ask the weakness question, don’t just pay attention to the weakness itself. Hone in on if and how they address it. Everyone has areas in need of improvement. The better hire will always be actively trying to get better. 

4. How do you handle stress and pressure?

When you ask this question, clarify the type of stressor. Find out whether you’re talking about the work itself or stress brought on by co-workers. This question gives you insight into their attitude and behavior when faced with these situations. 

If workload-related, take note of any strategies they implement. You want someone who works to better manage multiple tasks and large tasks. If it is stress related to other team members or managers, note how they manage interpersonal conflicts. 

Skills and Abilities

A laptop on a desk with other virtual assistant accessories.

5. What organizational strategies do you use to stay on top of tasks?

Take note of any work techniques they use, software and tools, and time management strategies. Automation is always valuable when you have multiple tasks to juggle. A PA who knows how to use tech to their advantage is likely very wise and efficient with their time.

6. How do you prioritize tasks when resources are limited?

This is where you can see if they can distinguish and categorize tasks based on urgency and importance. This also tests their own resourcefulness, problem-solving and attitude towards these situations. 

This question can also lead to a scenario-based question or you can bake the scenario into the question itself. 

7. Describe your proficiency with office software like MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Anyone applying for a PA position should be familiar with these tools. We do recommend including that in the job description and qualifications first before your list of personal assistant interview questions. We also recommend asking for samples of presentations they have prepared in the past. 

Scenario-Based Questions

8. Provide an example of a successful event you have planned.

There are many elements that go into planning a successful event. Depending on the event, one needs to think about budget, venue, travel, accommodations, food, and entertainment. One also needs to ensure the right people and places are available on the right dates and follow up with those attending and those in charge. Another thing to note is their ability to delegate tasks to the right people and ensure event success. 

9. How do you anticipate the needs of an executive before they arise?

This question hones in on their observation skills, initiative and ability to think ahead. Not only is it important to notice potential problem areas, but it’s also ideal to come up with ideas for a solution. 

10. Describe a challenging situation you faced as a personal assistant and how you handled it.

Pay attention to how they describe the situation and the people involved. What was the challenge? What were they responsible for? Was there a mess-up? What tactics did they employ to overcome said challenge? 

11. Could you walk us through your process for handling a complex project or event from inception to completion?

There’s a lot of insight you can glean from a person’s work process. You can see how they divide tasks into more manageable steps and if they set milestones. How do they plan and implement? Do they take notes while they work and after events to see where they excelled and where to improve? 

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

A smiling woman talking on a headset while typing on a laptop.

12. How do you manage confidential information?

This question helps to gauge how they tackle discretion. How serious is data security to them? Do they know which channels and software are more secure than others? 

13. Discuss your experience with managing internal and external communication.

A PA will have to handle communication within your company and with clients and partners. This means they need to be able to adjust their communication style depending on the situation. Note their experience with communication tools and the type of information they have relayed. 

Adaptability and Problem-Solving

14. Give an example of how you have adapted to unexpected changes in a work setting.

Personal assistants need to be flexible. They need to be able to bounce back from unforeseen disruptions and adjust accordingly. How do they take responsibility and deliver results? 

15. Describe a time when you had to solve a problem quickly and efficiently.

How were they able to think on their feet? You can even clarify if they thought of it on the spot or if they prepared a solution just in case this situation arose. 

Career Motivation and Goals

A man wearing glasses writing on notebooks while working on a laptop.

16. What motivates you in a personal assistant role?

We believe this is one of the most telling personal assistant interview questions you can ask. A person’s motivations can reveal a lot about their work values and care for those they work with. 

For example, here at Outsource School, we like to ask candidates if they value money or growth more. Growth-minded individuals tend to care about learning, are more ambitious, and are more likely to stay longer. Money-motivated candidates are not exactly bad, but their motivations can be problematic in the long term. It’s up to you to assess whether their money-motivations come from a place of greed or necessity. For instance, money-motivated individuals who are sole providers for their families can be some of the most earnest and hardworking. 

17. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

This is another way you can tell if an individual has a growth mindset. What are their long-term goals and how do they plan to get there? You can even ask them how this position will help get them there. 

Work Style and Ethics

18. Do you prefer working independently or as part of a team?

Independence is a good indicator of self-management skills. A preference for group work can indicate a value of collaboration. Flexibility in this area is ideal. Either way, note how well their answer fits your company’s culture, values, and job scope. 

19. How do you maintain ethical standards in your work?

We’re not just talking about practices that are illegal like owning pirated copies of tools and software. We are also talking about integrity, honesty, and respect towards others. How do they maintain professionalism, submit to company SOPs and policies, and uphold company core values? 

20. How do you handle situations where you have to make decisions in the absence of your executive?

How well do they know the needs of their executive? Can they successfully work intuitively and independently? What level of supervision do they need? How trustworthy are they to be left to make decisions?

21. How do you handle constructive criticism or feedback from your employer?

No one is above criticism, and no one should be against feedback. One Biblical proverb states, “Pride comes before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction.” Remember, personal assistance is a service-oriented role that requires humility. They should always be ready and willing to change and improve their services for the sake of those they serve.  

Closing Questions

22. What questions do you have about the role or company?

This is a way to open up the conversation and give them the floor. If they ask anything related to vision, mission, company goals etc., this could be a good sign. It can indicate an interest in the business and not just the position or the paycheck attached to it!

23. Why should we choose you for this position?

Concluding our list of personal assistant interview questions is fittingly a question that helps candidates summarize what you’ve discussed. This is essentially their final pitch. Take note of what things they choose to highlight and their level of enthusiasm. 

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


This may not be the most comprehensive list of personal assistant interview questions. It isn’t meant to be. Our hope is that you use this as a template. It will assist you in personalizing and perfect your own interview process.

If you found this helpful, you might like our other posts on admin assistant and executive assistant interview questions!


Virtual Assistants

Outsourcing to Mexico in 2024: Pros, Cons, and What to Outsource

A woman at a desk talking on the phone whole typing on a laptop. outsourcing to mexico

We think that outsourcing to Mexico is a largely untapped opportunity. It’s not a go-to place like outsourcing to the Philippines or outsourcing to India. But Mexico offers some great advantages, especially for businesses in the Americas. We must say, even these top outsourcing countries can’t beat a couple of those advantages!

On this post, we’ll go over the outsourcing to Mexico pros and cons. We also want to talk about the The 2021 Amendment to Mexican Labor Law and its impact on businesses. Finally, we’ll give you some examples of the best roles to outsource to Mexico. 

Advantages of outsourcing to Mexico

Big companies have outsourced work to Mexico since the 1990s. Some even opened up operations there. Smaller companies started taking advantage of outsourcing to Mexico when the internet made it possible. So the whole idea of outsourcing jobs to Mexico isn’t new. It’s all about whether or not it works for you specifically. 

Highly educated and skilled talent

Mexico boats of a very large talent pool. For one thing, they have a large population of potential workers. This makes the Mexican government’s focus on education even more valuable. As the vast talent pool began to get trained up about a decade ago, the Mexican economy got a boost. This only encourages the government to put more effort into preparing the people for work. With a particular focus on the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), Mexico is uniquely poised. More skilled graduates means a wider talent pool that is ready to serve with know-how in the latest technologies.

The education in Mexico also extends to the area of language skills. Millions of Mexicans have some degree of English proficiency, with English as the most common foreign language in the country. And that number will only increase as the opportunity for outsourcing jobs to Mexico increases. Mexico has long historical ties with the US. So, they understand each other on some level, even when the English isn’t perfect. Even in areas with limited language practice, you can hire any number of bi-lingual individuals to project manage for you. These professionals are also highly valuable in the US environment where many speak Spanish.

Convenient location 

Mexico is situated right under the western part of the United States. This means that it is not only very close to the US geographically, but also in terms of time zones. Mexico has four time zones, just like the US does. This means that you can benefit greatly if you need to work very closely with your teams. It’s also an amazing advantage if you need things done on the spot, like problem-solving. Or, maybe you just prefer assigning tasks in real-time. Either way, the time zone benefit is not something to ever take for granted.

The further away one travels, the more differences one is likely to find in terms of norms and values. This proximity makes Mexico an all-around excellent option for hiring. We must also mention that the cultural overlaps between the US and Mexico are more defined than they are with other countries. Millions of Mexican nationals have family in the US. Many Americans also live and travel to Mexico to study, do ministry work, business, and vacation. This long-term and multiple points of crossing makes the cultures closer and closer. 

People enjoying talking and working together at a table. outsourcing to mexico

Lower costs 

Despite its proximity to the US, Mexico demands much lower rates than are required locally. In fact, they are easily half the averages in the US for equivalent work, and possibly up to a third. On the surface, this means that any company, large or small, can hire for the positions that they need without straining their budgets. Going deeper, this also means that Mexico offers a greater opportunity to scale. Companies can allocate the significant savings they enjoy into scaling their operations.

Better business infrastructure 

Mexico has not always been sufficiently equipped to support outsourcing. Their government has been working on this in the past decade, however. Now, they are on the scene with updated infrastructure, growing as a global hub. Outsourcing to Mexico will only get better as the Mexican Government invests more time, money, and effort into more progressive infrastructure plans in the IT arena. 

Currently, Mexico is a pretty impressive tech hub, all things considered. Many companies are attracted to them over other Latin American destinations for their IT outsourcing needs. Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Monterrey, and Yucatan are all prime centers of development earmarked by their government. You can enjoy a great tech ecosystem and top talent in any of these areas. 

Outside of the IT space, you can also enjoy top tier service in other specialized services like customer care, human resources, and even real estate. 

The 2021 Amendment to Mexican Labor Law 

Mexico’s president amended the country’s Federal Labor Law to solve an economic issue. Effective April 23, 2021, international companies had to stop subcontracting core business activities. Outsourcing jobs to Mexico is now limited to tasks that are not part of a company’s main economic activity. This removes all liability from Mexico for offshore companies that are trying to avoid their corporate tax obligations. In some cases, this extends to mandatory benefit payments. 

This new amendment is a good move for Mexico in preventing illegal activities. It also hurts legitimate business operations, however. The implication for businesses operating in Mexico is that they must use labor outsourcing for minor tasks only. This means any business activities that are not directly related to either the manufacture of a core product or the rendering of a core service. So, companies can outsource tasks like shipping, data processing, hiring, and supply-chain management. 

The limitation threatens to cut the amount of savings that businesses can enjoy in terms of human resources. In some cases, it also impacts savings in the areas of office space and equipment. The thing is, the Mexican government did not clearly define what they consider to be core business activities. So, as that is all getting cleared up, businesses can still take advantage of outsourcing to this advantageous location.

Some documents on a clipboard.

Key obligations for businesses under the new labor law amendment

What we do know for certain is the obligations that the amendment defines. These obligations apply to both the hiring company (called the beneficiary) and the hired party (called the subcontracting or outsourcing company). For the purposes of this post, we’ll only give examples of a beneficiary’s obligations to: 

  • share 10% of taxable income with employees, but not to exceed the equivalent of each employee’s three month’s pay;
  • give annual year-end bonuses and health and retirement plans to each employee;
  • register with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare for proof of meeting social security and tax obligations; 
  • share a quarterly report with INFONAVIT, Mexico’s employee housing agency; 
  • within three months of hiring any outsourced talent, include them in the company’s payroll if they serve in core activities; and,
  • collect tax receipts from the subcontracting company for withholding tax, employer contribution, and employee salary.

Strategies and actions businesses can take to comply with the new law

The best solution for any business that wants to outsource core activities is to move to offshoring. For businesses based in the US, that would be nearshoring. Transferring business operations to Mexico has its own advantages versus contracting. Mainly, it sustains the benefit of being able to quickly scale the business.

If you prefer to continue outsourcing, you can still retain benefits like reducing or eliminating transportation tariffs. This is because Mexico has twelve favorable Free Trade Agreements with more than 46 countries that benefit outsourcing companies. For instance, the:

  • North American Free Trade Agreement encourages trade between Mexico and Canada and the US. 
  • EU–Mexico Free Trade Agreement removed duties from almost all goods traded between Mexico and the EU. 
  • Japan–Mexico Free Trade Agreement offers lower trade tariffs on auto parts and agricultural goods traded between them. 

Challenges of outsourcing to Mexico and how to overcome them

We all know that you can’t take advantage of the good stuff without dealing with some challenges, too. 

Top view of manager and employee doing teamwork in business office , looking at charts on laptop display.

Online threats and distance

The biggest concern for any work conducted outside your office is security. When you hire outsourced labor that works online, you face the potential for data breaches. This is true because of inherent online dangers, regardless of whether or not the hire is trustworthy. When you hire from a subcontracting company, you need to focus on building strong trust. In either case, you must ensure a mutually beneficial working relationship. This helps you to avoid getting duped when the other party feels like they’re on the losing end. 

When a business owner or manager is far away from an operations team, monitoring performance is challenging. You might suffer untraceable losses without the right tools to keep track of progress and quality. 

Unforeseen costs 

Labor costs are not the only costs you will shoulder as the beneficiary. Subcontracting services to Mexico involves a lot upfront to get an outsourcing partner on the same page. This time, energy, and capital spent is known as the cost of knowledge transfer and transition.  

At this point, you must also consider costs like tax rates and exchange rates, which do not stay the same. This makes them unpredictable and challenging to keep up with. 

Top 5 Best Roles to Outsource to Mexico

IT and Technical Support

As mentioned above, Mexico has invested a lot into developing their IT space in the past decade. The country has built up a lot of infrastructure, making them an attractive place to base your IT and technical support needs. The biggest advantage is that you won’t have to pay extra to get them set up. 

Software Development

Software development is one of the top roles that we think you should look to fill in Mexico. Mexico produces more developers than the US on a yearly basis. You can find an abundance of talent for your needs. Because the competition is higher among them, it also means lower rates for you. As mentioned above, hiring from within Mexico is also a flexible option because they can offer you specialized talent without time zone hassles.

Customer Service

When you hire within the pool of bilingual Mexican talent, you can find great customer service agents. Because they speak both English and Spanish, US businesses can serve a wider range of local customers at a high level. You will still enjoy the cost savings without having to hire double the agents or make customers wait longer for responses. 

Data Entry

Because of the great cost savings you can enjoy, outsourcing data entry is the wisest choice for any business. This general includes any kind of task that involves the bare basics. For instance, you can outsource research, transcription, database population, website content uploads, and the like.


Human resources is a great area to outsource to Mexico along with other tasks. Again, the bilingual advantage comes into play. A local recruitment manager can easily find top talent for you in any area where you need help. They can also take over interviewing and hiring applicants, facilitating the onboarding process, managing task assignments, and payroll. This makes an already cost-effective solution even more efficient so you can maximize your personnel growth potential. We already know that Mexico boasts a large pool of skilled labor that is very close to the US and Canada, especially.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


We only described the main pros and cons of outsourcing work to Mexico. Depending on what business you are engaged in, you might find other benefits and disadvantages apply to you. Please do some in-depth research with outsourcing partners before you make the decision to hire outside of your country. This will help you to avoid many potentially costly pitfalls. It will also ensure that you can reap the maximum benefits of outsourcing. You wouldn’t also want to pay the cost of not outsourcing, would you?