Outsourcing is growing and hiring someone with little skill background against someone who is doing full-time freelance projects may not be the route to go. Its easier to get hold of 5 experienced people that can do tasks extremely well than waste time training someone who may never be up to the job in the end.
A prime example of this was recently I had some advertisement videos made, I got a guy in Canada to do the voice over, a guy in the Philippines to do the video editing and someone in the UK to do me a HD video sales pitch. That is 3 professionals that know what they are doing and didn't cost me a single cent to train them.
Adding to that having someone full-time in your own office is OK depending on regulations, I found that by the time I took into account everything I had to pay in taxes and to the state it simply wasn't viable. I could just pay a fixed fee via Paypal to someone internationally and forget about the expenses.
BUT the big thing here is outsourcing doesn't have to be short-term either on a per project basis. You can hire people long-term just as easily and to be honest most people prefer long-term contracts even if it was a lower rate because it gives them constant work-flow.
Virtual assistants seem to be the new buzz word for these types of services and to be honest I would personally go with a small company rather than a cattle styled call center.
Reason being with a small company they normally have mixed services. E.g. one guy may be your virtual assistant full-time but if you needed web development or something else someone in the same office can probably do it, saving hunting around for someone online.