How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The demand for tech expertise is significant, but the pool of experienced candidates is in short offer. It also doesn’t aid that unemployment is reduced, as it further more narrows down your expertise pool and will make it harder to find wonderful employees. 

With competitors for tech expertise large, you are very likely on the lookout for new and revolutionary means to determine, attract and recruit excellent tech gurus. This article will support you do just that by detailing a exclusive sourcing tactic, Github innovative look for. You are going to master what Github is as well as why and how you must resource tech industry 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 web-site. In its place of sharing lifetime updates, task postings or photographs, nevertheless, GitHub people share code. The platform runs on an open up-supply framework, which means the code is open to the general community and can be altered by any person. The improvements are tracked by way of the platform’s Git revision management program (that’s why the name GitHub), so consumers can see how code changes from its primary variety. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about just about every organization needs pros with coding, creating or programming experience. No matter if you are updating your firm’s internet site or making an application, you will need computer software engineers and application builders — equally of which are some of the most in-demand from customers roles in the work sector. 

Businesses need to have to get a lot more strategic with their sourcing methods if they want to conquer out the levels of competition and bring in leading application engineering expertise. Because tech pros have countless position possibilities, they are not actively hunting for positions or updating their electronic resumes. They’re also not heading to answer to the extensive listing of recruiters hoping to connect and get them to apply.

As a substitute, for individuals challenging to employ specialized roles, you want to satisfy expertise on the platforms they recurrent. For most software package engineers and builders, that system is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Advanced Research

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In purchase to locate great program engineers and developers on GitHub, you 1st will need to recognize how the system operates and what to appear for. Begin by developing an account on GitHub that contains info on your corporation.

Additionally, develop a prospect persona so you know what to seem for in the course of your search. Your applicant persona should really incorporate information like place, experience, education and learning, programming language and techniques.

Equivalent to other social sharing web pages, GitHub consumers have profiles with the next information:

  • Basic: Identify, Spot, Date joined, Deal with (or display name)
  • Expert: Occupation title, Employer, Training, Competencies, Internet site, Get in touch with facts
  • Community exercise
  • Followers/Subsequent
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Sources (original code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s version of likes)

GitHub profiles also consist of a calendar graph of when and how numerous contributions a user has manufactured to open source code in the earlier yr.

Moreover, there is a segment referred to as repositories, or “repos”, which are spots on the platform where open up-source development projects or software deals are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has labored on and how significantly their perform has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and skills a consumer has shown, which is a lot extra instructive than bullet points on a resume. 




Look for for Candidate Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters looking for certain information to come across aptly qualified industry experts. Depending on what you are wanting for, GitHub breaks down a selection of search inquiries and how to use their web site to slender down your success.

Yet again, your candidate persona will assist you figure out what you will need in your following software program developer or engineer, so make sure you full that first. Here are the most common approaches to look for for end users by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Number of followers
  • Quantity of forks (copied code)
  • Range of stars (likes)
  • Subject matter or variety of subject areas
  • License
  • Repository size, identify, description, or contents of the README file
  • In just a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Search dependent on the contents of a repository
  • Lookup centered on no matter whether a repository is a mirror
  • Lookup based mostly on whether a repository is archived
  • Look for based on the range of difficulties with very good initially concern or aid required labels

Relying on your lookup metrics, you can reorganize the search success you get by most effective match, most followers, fewest followers, most a short while ago joined, minimum lately joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Whilst it may perhaps appear counter-intuitive to come across people with few followers or repositories, if you might be looking for a junior software program engineer, this can be beneficial to locate people new to the subject.


Slim Down Major Candidates

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As you start out to determine professionals that resonate with your staff and reflect the prospect persona you designed for the role, you can start out narrowing down your solutions more by browsing for extra unique standards, such as:

  • Locale (area:chicago)
  • Capabilities (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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