How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The desire for tech talent is higher, but the pool of capable candidates is in shorter supply. It also does not help that unemployment is lower, as it even further narrows down your talent pool and tends to make it harder to uncover fantastic employees. 

With competitors for tech expertise high, you are likely searching for new and progressive ways to recognize, attract and recruit excellent tech professionals. This posting will enable you do just that by detailing a exclusive sourcing tactic, Github advanced lookup. You are going to master what Github is as perfectly as why and how you need to source tech pros from the system.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-based social sharing web-site. Alternatively of sharing daily life updates, occupation postings or pics, nevertheless, GitHub end users share code. The system runs on an open up-resource framework, that means the code is open to the standard public and can be altered by everyone. The changes are tracked via the platform’s Git revision handle method (that’s why the identify GitHub), so customers can see how code alterations from its first kind. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about each individual enterprise requires pros with coding, building or programming practical experience. No matter whether you’re updating your company’s internet site or creating an application, you have to have software engineers and computer software builders — equally of which are some of the most in-desire roles in the position marketplace. 

Businesses need to have to get extra strategic with their sourcing ways if they want to conquer out the competitiveness and appeal to best software package engineering talent. Since tech industry experts have endless work chances, they’re not actively searching for positions or updating their electronic resumes. They’re also not going to reply to the extended record of recruiters trying to hook up and get them to implement.

Rather, for those people really hard to seek the services of complex roles, you want to meet talent on the platforms they frequent. For most software engineers and builders, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub State-of-the-art Research

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In buy to locate fantastic program engineers and builders on GitHub, you initially need to recognize how the platform operates and what to seem for. Get started by developing an account on GitHub that contains data on your enterprise.

Furthermore, develop a candidate persona so you know what to appear for during your look for. Your candidate persona should contain details like locale, experience, education and learning, programming language and competencies.

Comparable to other social sharing internet sites, GitHub users have profiles with the adhering to information and facts:

  • Basic: Title, Locale, Date joined, Cope with (or display name)
  • Professional: Career title, Employer, Schooling, Competencies, Internet site, Contact facts
  • Community action
  • Followers/Pursuing
  • Forks (code that is been copied)
  • Resources (authentic code from consumer)
  • Stars (GitHub’s version of likes)

GitHub profiles also include a calendar graph of when and how several contributions a person has designed to open up source code in the prior calendar year.

Additionally, there is a segment referred to as repositories, or “repos”, which are places on the platform wherever open up-source development tasks or software 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 perception into what languages and expertise a consumer has demonstrated, which is much far more useful than bullet points on a resume. 




Look for for Applicant Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters looking for distinct information to obtain aptly experienced experts. Relying on what you are hunting for, GitHub breaks down a selection of lookup inquiries and how to employ their internet site to slim down your final results.

Once again, your prospect persona will assist you decide what you need in your subsequent program developer or engineer, so make absolutely sure you finish that very first. Here are the most widespread strategies to search for consumers by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Selection of followers
  • Amount of forks (copied code)
  • Selection of stars (likes)
  • Subject or selection of subjects
  • License
  • Repository size, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • In a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Lookup primarily based on the contents of a repository
  • Lookup dependent on irrespective of whether a repository is a mirror
  • Lookup dependent on regardless of whether a repository is archived
  • Lookup primarily based on the variety of concerns with fantastic first challenge or help wanted labels

Based on your lookup metrics, you can reorganize the search final results you get by best match, most followers, fewest followers, most just lately joined, least recently joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Although it could feel counter-intuitive to find individuals with number of followers or repositories, if you are hunting for a junior application engineer, this can be handy to discover men and women new to the discipline.


Slender Down Best Candidates

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As you start out to identify professionals that resonate with your staff and replicate the candidate persona you made for the job, you can start narrowing down your solutions more by looking for more particular conditions, these kinds of as:

  • Locale (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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