Should I Hire a Personal Assistant or a Personal Concierge?
The differences between a personal assistant and a personal concierge—and the benefits of each.
In some ways, the distinction between a personal assistant and a personal concierge may seem like nothing more than semantics. As our work lives and home lives have become more intertwined, the lines between executive assistants, personal assistants, concierge services, and other personal management services have begun to blur as well.
However, there are some key differences between the two services that may influence your decision. These differences typically include scope of service, cost of service, and type of relationship. In addition, depending on your needs, this may not be an either-or decision—you may want to hire both.
To help, we’ve compiled a quick primer to clarify what personal assistants do, explain how concierge services work, and demonstrate the pros and cons of each service.
Personal Assistant Vs. Personal Concierge: The Nuts and Bolts
Generally speaking, a personal assistant is a full-time office position traditionally reserved as a benefit for upper-level management. This person is responsible for taking notes, making business travel accommodations, answering phone calls and emails, arranging meetings, keeping up with the weekly schedule, and more. The idea behind hiring a personal assistant is that this person enables C-level employees to be more productive by taking the minutia off their plates and managing their time.
As corporate culture has evolved over the years, and as more people seek work-from-home and entrepreneurial careers, the role of the personal assistant has also evolved and become more fluid. However, one constant that remains is that personal assistants tend to be dedicated, full-time employees who work for only one client, whether your PA is a benefit you receive at work or someone you hire yourself.
By contrast, personal concierges tend to work with several clients at once, forming deep partnerships with each client, providing a broader range of perks and services overall, and operating as a liaison or central point of contact for other service providers. At Monogram Concierge, for example, we offer full-service lifestyle management. In other words, our concierges do whatever it takes to help you achieve the most beautiful outcomes possible—both at work, and at home.
Benefits of a Personal Concierge Service Compared to a Personal Assistant
While, at first glance, it may seem that hiring a full-time personal assistant to meet all of your lifestyle support needs will provide a greater level of service, there are several potential drawbacks to this arrangement.
Compared to full-time personal assistants, personal concierge services tend to be:
Since personal concierges work with several clients at a time, they can provide their services at a lower overall cost to each individual client—both in terms of hourly rate and in terms of time, benefits, and other soft costs. As the intermediary between our concierges and our clients, Monogram Concierge bears the cost, and the responsibility, of fully vetting concierges, providing employee benefits, and making sure that our concierges are licensed, insured, expertly-trained professionals. This level of quality assurance provides a significant burden relief compared to the time and effort that you, or your employer, would have to spend finding the right person.
A personal concierge service is also the ideal choice if you need lifestyle management support for a few hours every day or every week. The last thing you want to do is pay for a full-time personal assistant when you don’t have a full-time need.
More Comprehensive and Flexible
The way personal concierge services are structured provides another benefit—more comprehensive support and greater flexibility. While many personal assistants are willing and able to provide support for clients both at work and home, the traditional model is structured on a 9 to 5 workday, which doesn’t reflect reality for most people anymore. Most personal assistants are also primarily trained to perform support services in a corporate setting.
Our personal concierges, on the other hand, are trained to transition their services seamlessly from the office to the home, helping you clear your desk for the weekend one day and setting up home services or reorganizing your closets the next. Plus, by not working full-time for one person, our concierges quickly develop new skills and greater experience, bringing ideas and lessons they learn by working with other clients to your unique service requests. Check out our Concierge Checklist to get an idea of everything we can do.
More Reliable—with Less Downtime
Of course, reliability depends on the person you partner with, and a good personal assistant is usually just as reliable as a good personal concierge. The employee-employer relationship, however, creates some reliability challenges. What happens if your personal assistant gets sick for an extended period of time? Or decides to take a new job? What do you do when your PA goes on vacation? Do you continue to function as normal with barely a blip on the radar? Probably not.
However, with a personal concierge service, we can guarantee smoother sailing and less downtime should your concierge be unavailable due to illness or vacation. Although each client receives a dedicated personal concierge, and we encourage our clients to develop a meaningful partnership with their concierge, we have many highly-trained professionals on staff who can take over for a day or two, or help out on a larger project when necessary. In addition, we keep track of your individual needs, likes and dislikes, and other service details at an organizational level, so you never have to worry about starting over from scratch with a new concierge. It’s built-in backup that you don’t get with a full-time personal assistant.
Whether you need comprehensive, structured lifestyle management or you simply need a helping hand from time-to-time, Monogram Concierge can help you create a beautiful outcome and has a service level that is right for you. Schedule a private, complimentary consultation to find out more.