I know I'm a little late to this discussion but oh well.
As someone who has hired assistants and has been an assistant .. I can tell you that this is the way to go. the positives are better than an indi-potter. for pay, just make sure you're flexible ... the more tedious and menial ... the faster you'll get turnover regardless of pay. but be prepared to pay a decent rate for someone to live off of AND pay off their school debts.