How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The need for tech talent is superior, but the pool of qualified candidates is in brief provide. It also does not assistance that unemployment is reduced, as it even further narrows down your expertise pool and would make it more challenging to find good workforce. 

With levels of competition for tech expertise superior, you are very likely on the lookout for new and impressive ways to identify, entice and recruit remarkable tech industry experts. This article will help you do just that by conveying a one of a kind sourcing tactic, Github sophisticated search. You are going to learn what Github is as effectively as why and how you need to source tech specialists from the system.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-based social sharing internet site. As an alternative of sharing daily life updates, work postings or pictures, however, GitHub end users share code. The platform operates on an open up-supply framework, meaning the code is open to the typical public and can be altered by anyone. The alterations are tracked by way of the platform’s Git revision command program (consequently the title GitHub), so end users can see how code improvements from its original form. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this working day and age, just about every firm requirements pros with coding, establishing or programming experience. Whether or not you’re updating your company’s web-site or creating an application, you need to have computer software engineers and software program developers — both equally of which are some of the most in-need roles in the position industry. 

Businesses require to get far more strategic with their sourcing strategies if they want to defeat out the levels of competition and bring in prime application engineering expertise. Due to the fact tech experts have endless job alternatives, they are not actively hunting for jobs or updating their electronic resumes. They are also not going to react to the long checklist of recruiters making an attempt to hook up and get them to use.

In its place, for individuals tough to employ the service of complex roles, you need to have to satisfy talent on the platforms they recurrent. For most program engineers and developers, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub State-of-the-art Look for

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In order to discover fantastic application engineers and builders on GitHub, you very first need to understand how the system will work and what to glance for. Start out by producing an account on GitHub that incorporates info on your firm.

In addition, develop a prospect persona so you know what to search for during your look for. Your applicant persona really should consist of facts like place, practical experience, training, programming language and capabilities.

Comparable to other social sharing web sites, GitHub end users have profiles with the pursuing information:

  • Common: Identify, Site, Day joined, Tackle (or display screen identify)
  • Expert: Career title, Employer, Education and learning, Competencies, Web page, Get in touch with data
  • Public action
  • Followers/Subsequent
  • Forks (code that is been copied)
  • Resources (first code from consumer)
  • Stars (GitHub’s edition of likes)

GitHub profiles also incorporate a calendar graph of when and how several contributions a user has manufactured to open source code in the preceding calendar year.

Also, there is a area referred to as repositories, or “repos”, which are areas on the platform exactly where open-supply progress projects or software deals are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has labored on and how much their do the job has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and capabilities a consumer has demonstrated, which is significantly much more informative than bullet details on a resume. 




Lookup for Applicant Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters seeking for certain information to come across aptly qualified professionals. Based on what you’re seeking for, GitHub breaks down a selection of lookup inquiries and how to utilize their internet site to slender down your outcomes.

Yet again, your candidate persona will assist you establish what you have to have in your subsequent software package developer or engineer, so make certain you full that first. Listed here are the most common methods to lookup for customers by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Number of followers
  • Amount of forks (copied code)
  • Amount of stars (likes)
  • Topic or amount of subject areas
  • License
  • Repository dimension, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • Within a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Look for dependent on the contents of a repository
  • Search centered on irrespective of whether a repository is a mirror
  • Look for centered on irrespective of whether a repository is archived
  • Search based on the quantity of concerns with superior very first challenge or aid wished labels

Dependent on your lookup metrics, you can reorganize the lookup final results you get by finest match, most followers, fewest followers, most recently joined, minimum recently joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Though it may well feel counter-intuitive to uncover folks with several followers or repositories, if you happen to be on the lookout for a junior software engineer, this can be beneficial to come across people new to the area.


Slender Down Top Candidates

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As you commence to detect pros that resonate with your team and replicate the candidate persona you created for the purpose, you can start out narrowing down your solutions even more by browsing for a lot more specific conditions, this kind of as:

  • Location (place: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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