How to Find Top-Notch Interns Who Are Willing to Work for Free

Interns can be great for tackling repetitive, time-consuming tasks, the kind that can drain your otherwise productive days. The challenge, of course, lies in finding those interns -- especially good ones.

Software bundler AppSumo has a new offering that can help. It's a video on leveraging free interns, and it teaches you not only where to find the right people, but also how to recruit and even motivate them. Here's a two-minute preview:

Update: This video is no longer available, but see below for what you would have learned from it.

No time to sit through the entire thing? Here are three great lessons learned from the video:

  1. Everyone knows colleges are a prime source of interns, but where do you find the cream of the crop? Start with student groups (AppSumo's Noah Kagan cites UC Berkeley's Asian Business Association as an example). By reaching out to (and maybe buttering up) the president, you can gain access to students who are specifically looking for job experience.
  2. A second (and surprising) potential source: out-of-work actors. Kagan recommends hitting up Craigslist to find folks who want to build up their resumes when they're between acting gigs. (Obviously New York and California are the top cities to try, assuming your business is based there or you can accommodate interns who telecommute.)
  3. Finally, Kagan reveals that he's even tapped his own customer base to find folks who are familiar with and fans of his business.
Obviously not all of these options will work for every kind of business (Kagan is a small-biz/startup kind of guy), but who knows? You might just strike intern gold. He certainly did.

The video comes with a smattering of templates for things like job descriptions, e-mail recruiting, and intern interviewing. They're pretty short and informal, but a good starting point if you're new to the whole intern thing.

The video normally sells for $14, which, quite frankly, is a bit ridiculous. Thankfully, through Feb. 8, Business Hacks readers can grab it free of charge. I definitely recommend it for anyone who needs help tapping that sweet, sweet free-labor pool. (Update: Once again, the video is no longer available. But the lessons I took from it are still viable.)
Of course, if you have any intern-related recommendations of your own, please share them in the comments!

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Thumbnail photo courtesy Flickr user Poldavo, CC 2.0