How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

ByThomas L. Elston

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The demand from customers for tech expertise is substantial, but the pool of competent candidates is in quick provide. It also doesn’t aid that unemployment is reduced, as it more narrows down your expertise pool and makes it more durable to uncover great staff. 

With opposition for tech expertise substantial, you are most likely seeking for new and innovative approaches to determine, draw in and recruit exceptional tech industry experts. This article will help you do just that by conveying a unique sourcing tactic, Github sophisticated research. You are going to understand what Github is as properly as why and how you really should supply tech professionals from the platform.


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Table of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-dependent social sharing site. As a substitute of sharing lifetime updates, task postings or photos, having said that, GitHub users share code. The system runs on an open-source framework, meaning the code is open up to the common public and can be altered by any individual. The alterations are tracked by means of the platform’s Git revision control process (for this reason the title GitHub), so customers can see how code improvements from its primary kind. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this working day and age, just about each individual enterprise desires industry experts with coding, establishing or programming knowledge. Irrespective of whether you’re updating your company’s internet site or making an application, you want software engineers and software builders — both of those of which are some of the most in-demand roles in the occupation current market. 

Employers require to get a lot more strategic with their sourcing methods if they want to conquer out the levels of competition and entice top rated program engineering expertise. Due to the fact tech experts have limitless job opportunities, they are not actively seeking for positions or updating their electronic resumes. They’re also not heading to reply to the extended checklist of recruiters trying to join and get them to apply.

As an alternative, for all those tricky to employ specialized roles, you will need to meet up with talent on the platforms they regular. For most software engineers and developers, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Highly developed Lookup

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In purchase to come across great software program engineers and developers on GitHub, you initial want to understand how the platform is effective and what to look for. Start out by generating an account on GitHub that consists of info on your corporation.

On top of that, build a applicant persona so you know what to glance for throughout your search. Your prospect persona really should contain details like spot, expertise, training, programming language and skills.

Identical to other social sharing web-sites, GitHub people have profiles with the subsequent info:

  • General: Title, Area, Date joined, Take care of (or display identify)
  • Qualified: Task title, Employer, Education and learning, Abilities, Web site, Get hold of details
  • General public activity
  • Followers/Next
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Resources (primary code from user)
  • Stars (GitHub’s model of likes)

GitHub profiles also contain a calendar graph of when and how several contributions a user has created to open supply code in the previous calendar year.

In addition, there is a portion known as repositories, or “repos”, which are destinations on the system wherever open-resource growth initiatives or software deals are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has worked on and how a lot their get the job done has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and competencies a person has demonstrated, which is much much more educational than bullet factors on a resume. 




Research for Prospect Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters searching for certain information to come across aptly expert experts. Dependent on what you are on the lookout for, GitHub breaks down a range of research inquiries and how to make the most of their website to narrow down your outcomes.

Once again, your candidate persona will enable you decide what you require in your subsequent application developer or engineer, so make positive you complete that to start with. Right here are the most typical approaches to look for for users by conditions on GitHub

  • Language
  • Variety of followers
  • Amount of forks (copied code)
  • Selection of stars (likes)
  • Topic or quantity of topics
  • License
  • Repository dimensions, title, description, or contents of the README file
  • In a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Search based on the contents of a repository
  • Search dependent on no matter if a repository is a mirror
  • Lookup centered on whether a repository is archived
  • Search dependent on the quantity of troubles with fantastic initial challenge or aid desired labels

Based on your lookup metrics, you can reorganize the lookup final results you get by greatest match, most followers, fewest followers, most a short while ago joined, minimum recently joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Whilst it may possibly look counter-intuitive to uncover people with number of followers or repositories, if you might be seeking for a junior computer software engineer, this can be helpful to obtain folks new to the industry.


Slim Down Top Candidates

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As you start to determine gurus that resonate with your crew and replicate the prospect persona you created for the part, you can start narrowing down your solutions further by hunting for a lot more particular criteria, these types of as:

  • Place (site:chicago)
  • Expertise (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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