va unicorn

I’d like to share something I’ve noticed online recently and it may make you think twice before hiring a virtual assistant (or any independent contractor).

The job posting I saw online was simple enough. The woman described herself, her business, and what type of person she was looking for to help her.

Then I noticed this line:
The rate is $XX/hr and the work load is estimated at 20 hours per week. During busy months like launches, it might go up to 30 to 40 hours per week.

And this…
• Available to work weekday evenings and 2 to 4 hours on weekends, unless otherwise agreed with the team. 

And finally this zinger…
To apply, please help me get to know you better by filling in the below form, plus attach your resume.

What’s wrong with this? As a business owner myself, the first thing I thought was, “Is this for a VA (independent contractor) or for an employee?”

How can you tell? And why does it matter? Let’s take a closer look:

1 – During busy months like launches, it might go up to 30 to 40 hours per week.
*An independent contractor usually works for other clients. If you’re requesting them to work up to 40 hours a week, they are unlikely working for anyone else. Hence, that’s an employee.

2 – Available to work weekday evenings and 2 to 4 hours on weekends
*Generally, independent contractors are flexible with their hours. Most clients don’t care when you work as long as the work gets done. Employees, on the other hand, are expected to work and be available for a certain amount of hours at a designated time.

3 – …plus attach your resume.
*I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, “VA’s are NOT employees!” They are business owners, just like you.

I get it… a lot of entrepreneurs haven’t hired anyone before and what do you do when you hire?


Ask for a resume., right? However, that’s not the case when hiring a virtual assistant. (Let me rephrase that. When hiring an AWESOME virtual assistant. Not some freelancer you found off of Upwork who works for $5/hour).

And all of this matters because listing a job position as an independent contractor, when it should be classified as an employee, is wrong. Guess what happens if you do that:

If you classify an employee as an independent contractor and you have no reasonable basis for doing so, you may be held liable for employment taxes for that worker (the relief provisions, discussed below, will not apply). See Internal Revenue Code section 3509 for more information.

You can find more info from the IRS here and here. In the end, it’s not worth it.

CLICK HERE to see if your new hire should be labeled an independent contractor or an employee.

What are your thoughts on this? Hit REPLY and let me know. I’m happy to answer any questions.

P.S. I’d appreciate it if you’d share this on social media so other entrepreneurs thinking of hiring a VA can have this info on hand. THANK YOU!