How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The demand from customers for tech talent is higher, but the pool of competent candidates is in limited source. It also does not assist that unemployment is low, as it further more narrows down your talent pool and makes it more difficult to discover wonderful staff. 

With opposition for tech expertise substantial, you’re most likely hunting for new and impressive techniques to identify, catch the attention of and recruit remarkable tech experts. This report will assistance you do just that by outlining a exceptional sourcing tactic, Github superior look for. You are going to learn what Github is as very well as why and how you should really resource tech experts from the platform.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-based mostly social sharing website. As a substitute of sharing lifestyle updates, work postings or pictures, nonetheless, GitHub end users share code. The platform runs on an open-supply framework, indicating the code is open to the common community and can be altered by everyone. The variations are tracked via the platform’s Git revision command method (hence the name GitHub), so buyers can see how code improvements from its initial kind. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this working day and age, just about each individual business wants specialists with coding, producing or programming working experience. Irrespective of whether you are updating your firm’s internet site or constructing an application, you want software package engineers and program developers — both equally of which are some of the most in-desire roles in the job marketplace. 

Employers need to have to get far more strategic with their sourcing ways if they want to beat out the competitiveness and entice best software program engineering expertise. Mainly because tech experts have unlimited work options, they’re not actively hunting for employment or updating their electronic resumes. They’re also not likely to reply to the very long listing of recruiters attempting to hook up and get them to apply.

Rather, for people hard to hire specialized roles, you will need to fulfill talent on the platforms they repeated. For most application engineers and developers, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Superior Research

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In purchase to obtain fantastic software program engineers and builders on GitHub, you initial need to have to understand how the system functions and what to look for. Start out by creating an account on GitHub that involves details on your business.

In addition, produce a prospect persona so you know what to look for through your research. Your applicant persona ought to incorporate information and facts like area, experience, instruction, programming language and expertise.

Comparable to other social sharing web sites, GitHub buyers have profiles with the subsequent info:

  • Typical: Title, Spot, Date joined, Handle (or display screen identify)
  • Specialist: Work title, Employer, Schooling, Capabilities, Web site, Get in touch with information and facts
  • General public exercise
  • Followers/Pursuing
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Sources (unique code from user)
  • Stars (GitHub’s variation of likes)

GitHub profiles also include a calendar graph of when and how lots of contributions a user has created to open resource code in the previous yr.

On top of that, there is a part named repositories, or “repos”, which are areas on the platform in which open up-resource advancement jobs or software package offers are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has worked on and how considerably their operate has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and abilities a user has demonstrated, which is significantly a lot more educational than bullet points on a resume. 




Look for for Candidate Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters searching for unique information to find aptly proficient pros. Dependent on what you’re seeking for, GitHub breaks down a variety of search inquiries and how to benefit from their website to narrow down your success.

Yet again, your candidate persona will assistance you establish what you need in your upcoming program developer or engineer, so make certain you complete that to start with. Below are the most frequent techniques to research for consumers by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Quantity of followers
  • Amount of forks (copied code)
  • Amount of stars (likes)
  • Topic or quantity of subject areas
  • License
  • Repository dimensions, title, description, or contents of the README file
  • Within a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Look for centered on the contents of a repository
  • Look for primarily based on regardless of whether a repository is a mirror
  • Search centered on no matter whether a repository is archived
  • Lookup based mostly on the variety of challenges with great initially challenge or help preferred labels

Based on your lookup metrics, you can reorganize the search outcomes you get by best match, most followers, fewest followers, most not too long ago joined, minimum recently joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Though it could appear counter-intuitive to discover persons with handful of followers or repositories, if you are searching for a junior program engineer, this can be handy to uncover folks new to the area.


Slim Down Major Candidates

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As you start off to establish specialists that resonate with your team and reflect the applicant persona you designed for the purpose, you can get started narrowing down your solutions even more by browsing for additional particular conditions, this kind of as:

  • Place (location: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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