How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The need for tech talent is large, but the pool of competent candidates is in shorter offer. It also does not help that unemployment is lower, as it even more narrows down your expertise pool and helps make it more difficult to uncover good staff. 

With levels of competition for tech expertise high, you’re likely searching for new and ground breaking strategies to identify, attract and recruit remarkable tech specialists. This report will assist you do just that by explaining a one of a kind sourcing tactic, Github state-of-the-art lookup. You’ll find out what Github is as properly as why and how you should really source tech professionals from the system.


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Table of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-dependent social sharing site. As an alternative of sharing lifestyle updates, task postings or images, nevertheless, GitHub people share code. The platform operates on an open up-resource framework, this means the code is open to the normal general public and can be altered by any individual. The changes are tracked by using the platform’s Git revision manage procedure (for this reason the name GitHub), so users can see how code improvements from its initial variety. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this working day and age, just about every single enterprise needs professionals with coding, establishing or programming practical experience. Regardless of whether you’re updating your company’s website or making an application, you have to have computer software engineers and software builders — the two of which are some of the most in-demand roles in the work market place. 

Employers require to get additional strategic with their sourcing ways if they want to conquer out the competitiveness and bring in top software package engineering talent. Mainly because tech professionals have unlimited occupation opportunities, they’re not actively seeking for employment or updating their digital resumes. They’re also not heading to reply to the very long record of recruiters striving to hook up and get them to implement.

Instead, for all those hard to employ technological roles, you have to have to fulfill talent on the platforms they regular. For most program engineers and builders, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Highly developed Look for

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In buy to come across excellent program engineers and developers on GitHub, you 1st will need to recognize how the platform functions and what to appear for. Start out by generating an account on GitHub that features data on your organization.

Furthermore, make a prospect persona so you know what to glance for through your search. Your prospect persona need to consist of facts like locale, encounter, education and learning, programming language and abilities.

Equivalent to other social sharing websites, GitHub end users have profiles with the following information:

  • Typical: Name, Site, Date joined, Manage (or monitor name)
  • Expert: Task title, Employer, Education, Abilities, Site, Speak to info
  • Public activity
  • Followers/Following
  • Forks (code that is been copied)
  • Resources (first code from user)
  • Stars (GitHub’s version of likes)

GitHub profiles also contain a calendar graph of when and how quite a few contributions a consumer has produced to open up supply code in the preceding calendar year.

Furthermore, there is a area referred to as repositories, or “repos”, which are spots on the platform exactly where open-resource progress initiatives or computer software offers are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has worked on and how much their get the job done has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and competencies a consumer has demonstrated, which is considerably more educational than bullet details on a resume. 




Search for Candidate Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters hunting for precise information to obtain aptly experienced specialists. Relying on what you are hunting for, GitHub breaks down a assortment of look for inquiries and how to employ their internet site to narrow down your outcomes.

Yet again, your applicant persona will assist you figure out what you will need in your up coming program developer or engineer, so make sure you comprehensive that initial. In this article are the most prevalent methods to search for people by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Quantity of followers
  • Selection of forks (copied code)
  • Amount of stars (likes)
  • Subject matter or selection of subject areas
  • License
  • Repository measurement, identify, description, or contents of the README file
  • Within a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Lookup based mostly on the contents of a repository
  • Look for primarily based on no matter whether a repository is a mirror
  • Search based mostly on no matter whether a repository is archived
  • Look for based mostly on the amount of issues with fantastic initial issue or assist preferred labels

Based on your lookup metrics, you can reorganize the search results you get by greatest match, most followers, fewest followers, most not too long ago joined, the very least not long ago joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Though it may perhaps seem to be counter-intuitive to come across individuals with several followers or repositories, if you happen to be wanting for a junior computer software engineer, this can be useful to find people today new to the industry.


Slim Down Best Candidates

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As you begin to determine gurus that resonate with your workforce and reflect the prospect persona you developed for the position, you can start out narrowing down your possibilities additional by searching for far more specific standards, these types of as:

  • Place (place:chicago)
  • Skills (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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