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Go Virtual With Your Work Force Outsourcing and virtual hiring can give you lower costs and enables you to work with talented employees all over the world.

By Joel Holland

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

College entrepreneurs are often judged by their revenue, profits and work force headcounts. But while financial metrics are a logical benchmark for success, employment numbers are not. Outsourcing and virtual hiring can give you lower costs and the ability to work with talented employees around the world.

When Jordan Goldman launched Unigo last September to provide student-generated college reviews, he needed a way to quickly engage students from hundreds of schools. Instead of hiring employees and deploying them to campuses nationwide, he built a team of virtual interns--300 of them, to be exact.

"It would have taken us many years and millions of dollars to do what we did in three months, and on a tight budget," says Goldman, 26. "The interns knew their school ecosystems much better than we ever could, and this helped us spread the word quickly and economically."

In less than three months, Unigo amassed more than 40,000 student reviews, and the site was off and running thanks to Goldman's army of virtual interns. But effectively harnessing the power of virtual employees takes careful planning and execution.

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