How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The need for tech expertise is superior, but the pool of skilled candidates is in short offer. It also does not support that unemployment is minimal, as it further more narrows down your talent pool and tends to make it more challenging to obtain excellent staff. 

With competitors for tech talent substantial, you are probable hunting for new and revolutionary strategies to detect, draw in and recruit remarkable tech experts. This article will help you do just that by describing a special sourcing tactic, Github innovative look for. You are going to study what Github is as perfectly as why and how you should really resource tech professionals from the platform.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-centered social sharing web site. Instead of sharing lifetime updates, position postings or photos, nonetheless, GitHub buyers share code. The system operates on an open up-resource framework, this means the code is open up to the typical general public and can be altered by everyone. The adjustments are tracked by way of the platform’s Git revision management procedure (therefore the identify GitHub), so users can see how code alterations from its original type. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about just about every company requires industry experts with coding, producing or programming working experience. Whether you are updating your firm’s web site or setting up an application, you need to have software package engineers and software package developers — both of which are some of the most in-demand roles in the career marketplace. 

Employers will need to get a lot more strategic with their sourcing practices if they want to defeat out the level of competition and attract top rated application engineering talent. Due to the fact tech pros have countless occupation possibilities, they’re not actively looking for work opportunities or updating their digital resumes. They’re also not heading to reply to the very long record of recruiters trying to hook up and get them to apply.

Instead, for individuals really hard to use technological roles, you will need to fulfill expertise on the platforms they regular. For most software engineers and builders, that system is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Sophisticated Search

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In order to find great computer software engineers and developers on GitHub, you to start with need to have to have an understanding of how the system works and what to glimpse for. Start out by developing an account on GitHub that consists of facts on your business.

On top of that, develop a candidate persona so you know what to glimpse for throughout your search. Your prospect persona must include information like area, working experience, education, programming language and abilities.

Very similar to other social sharing web pages, GitHub customers have profiles with the next information and facts:

  • Normal: Name, Site, Date joined, Manage (or display screen name)
  • Specialist: Occupation title, Employer, Training, Capabilities, Internet site, Get in touch with information
  • Public action
  • Followers/Pursuing
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Sources (first code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s model of likes)

GitHub profiles also contain a calendar graph of when and how lots of contributions a user has made to open up source code in the preceding calendar year.

On top of that, there is a portion referred to as repositories, or “repos”, which are destinations on the platform exactly where open up-supply enhancement tasks or software program packages are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the consumer has worked on and how substantially their work has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and skills a user has shown, which is considerably a lot more insightful than bullet points on a resume. 




Research for Candidate Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters hunting for unique information to come across aptly proficient professionals. Based on what you’re looking for, GitHub breaks down a selection of research inquiries and how to utilize their web-site to narrow down your outcomes.

Yet again, your applicant persona will assist you ascertain what you need to have in your following software program developer or engineer, so make certain you full that 1st. In this article are the most typical strategies to look for for buyers by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Amount of followers
  • Variety of forks (copied code)
  • Amount of stars (likes)
  • Subject matter or number of subjects
  • License
  • Repository sizing, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • In just a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Search based mostly on the contents of a repository
  • Research dependent on regardless of whether a repository is a mirror
  • Lookup based mostly on irrespective of whether a repository is archived
  • Research based mostly on the range of issues with great initially situation or aid preferred labels

Based on your research metrics, you can reorganize the search outcomes you get by best match, most followers, fewest followers, most not too long ago joined, the very least recently joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Though it may well look counter-intuitive to uncover men and women with couple of followers or repositories, if you might be wanting for a junior program engineer, this can be practical to locate people new to the discipline.


Slender Down Top rated Candidates

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As you start off to detect gurus that resonate with your crew and replicate the prospect persona you developed for the function, you can start out narrowing down your options further more by browsing for extra precise standards, these as:

  • Place (area:chicago)
  • Techniques (language:ruby)
  • Followers (followers:<100)

On the profiles that stand out, make sure to take note of important information on their profiles, like:

  • Name 
  • Job title
  • Email
  • Website
  • Public activity

Additionally, you can use Boolean search tactics on Google to further narrow your search on GitHub. Boolean search is like a DIY version of advanced search fields, and using Boolean search in recruitment saves time sourcing candidates, ultimately reducing your cost-per-hire.

Let’s break down some examples of how to use Boolean search to find information on Github. 


You can search for results on a specific website by entering the URL: or site: Boolean search operator to target specific candidates on GitHub (or any other site for that matter). You can use this search to narrow down candidates by keywords, like their job title, current company, location, skills and language. 

Boolean Search Example

  • software AND (engineer OR developer) AND ~resume -job -jobs -hire -hiring

*Do not include an extra spacing between operators. Follow the format above exactly.

This is an example of a search query for someone looking for:

  • Candidates on GitHub ( 
  • Who are software developers or software engineers (AND (engineer OR developer))
  • Who have a resume or something similar (~resume)
  • And wants to exclude any job postings (-job -jobs -hire -hiring)



You can also utilize Boolean search tactics to search GitHub for resume pages or links within a website. Candidates often create websites with digital portfolios and professional documents. Such documents are often uploaded under a file name that includes “resume” or “CV.” Use the following search string to locate those downloadable documents on GitHub.

Boolean Search Example

  • (inurl:resume OR inurl:CV) software AND (engineer OR developer) -job -jobs -hire -hiring

*Note: intext: searches the body text of a web page, whereas inurl: searches within a URL.

This example is for recruiters who are looking for:

  • Candidates on github ( 

  • With a downloadable resume or CV ((inurl:resume OR inurl:CV))

  • Who are software developers or software engineers ((software AND (engineer OR developer))

  • Excluding any job postings (-job -jobs -hire -hiring)


Connect with Candidates 

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Once you’ve identified a few prospective candidates you want to pursue, do your due diligence and learn as much as you can about them before connecting. Go onto other social platforms and search their name to see where they’ve worked and what projects they’ve worked on. The more information you gather, the more personalized your message can be, and the better chance you’ll have at standing out from other employer inquiries.

Consider the projects they’ve worked on in the past and inform them of similar or more challenging projects your job opportunity has to offer. If you know their interests, you can identify how they will add to your company culture, and you can share elements of your culture that will entice them to take a closer look at your company.

Most profiles have a public email address so you can reach out to candidates and add them to your talent pipeline. Even if they’re not interested in your job opportunity now, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in your company altogether. You can always ask them to join your talent community so they can hear about open positions in the future.

In the event that they are interested in pursuing your offer, prepare your team for how to handle salary negotiations. In a candidate driven market where tech talent is scarce, these candidates know they’re in high demand and will wait around for the best opportunity. Having a solid negotiation strategy will make sure you’re prepared to meet the candidate’s expectations while staying within your budget for the role. 



GitHub is one of the best resources out there for companies looking to find exceptional tech talent. All it takes is a little learning and adaptation to optimize your search tactics on their website. Once you get in the swing of things, you’ll become faster and more efficient at finding the specific candidate personas your team needs to drive business and boost your culture. Continue to grow your tech recruiting expertise by brushing up on additional tech recruiter resources


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