How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The need for tech talent is large, but the pool of competent candidates is in limited provide. It also doesn’t support that unemployment is small, as it additional narrows down your expertise pool and would make it harder to obtain terrific staff members. 

With competitiveness for tech expertise higher, you’re very likely searching for new and progressive ways to identify, catch the attention of and recruit exceptional tech industry experts. This post will enable you do just that by conveying a unique sourcing tactic, Github innovative look for. You are going to learn what Github is as effectively as why and how you ought to supply tech gurus from the system.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-based mostly social sharing website. As a substitute of sharing daily life updates, job postings or photos, however, GitHub consumers share code. The platform runs on an open-supply framework, meaning the code is open to the general community and can be altered by any person. The alterations are tracked by means of the platform’s Git revision regulate program (therefore the title GitHub), so buyers can see how code alterations from its unique variety. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this working day and age, just about just about every corporation demands professionals with coding, developing or programming expertise. No matter if you’re updating your company’s web site or developing an app, you want software program engineers and computer software builders — equally of which are some of the most in-demand from customers roles in the career current market. 

Companies require to get a lot more strategic with their sourcing methods if they want to conquer out the competition and bring in major software program engineering expertise. Mainly because tech industry experts have unlimited position prospects, they are not actively looking for jobs or updating their electronic resumes. They’re also not likely to reply to the lengthy record of recruiters striving to hook up and get them to utilize.

Rather, for those people difficult to employ the service of technological roles, you have to have to meet expertise on the platforms they repeated. For most computer software engineers and builders, that system is GitHub. 


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

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In order to uncover wonderful program engineers and developers on GitHub, you to start with need to have to recognize how the system will work and what to glance for. Begin by building an account on GitHub that includes information and facts on your organization.

Moreover, produce a candidate persona so you know what to glance for all through your look for. Your applicant persona should contain data like spot, expertise, education, programming language and capabilities.

Similar to other social sharing websites, GitHub customers have profiles with the following info:

  • Typical: Identify, Location, Day joined, Manage (or display screen title)
  • Skilled: Work title, Employer, Instruction, Capabilities, Internet site, Speak to info
  • Public exercise
  • Followers/Subsequent
  • Forks (code which is been copied)
  • Sources (initial code from user)
  • Stars (GitHub’s model of likes)

GitHub profiles also contain a calendar graph of when and how quite a few contributions a person has manufactured to open up resource code in the past 12 months.

Furthermore, there is a part called repositories, or “repos”, which are places on the system where open-resource progress jobs or software program deals are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the user has worked on and how considerably their work has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and expertise a user has demonstrated, which is much additional instructive than bullet factors on a resume. 




Lookup for Applicant Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters hunting for unique information to obtain aptly experienced industry experts. Depending on what you are wanting for, GitHub breaks down a selection of lookup inquiries and how to use their internet site to narrow down your benefits.

Yet again, your prospect persona will aid you establish what you need to have in your subsequent application developer or engineer, so make positive you finish that first. Below are the most prevalent means to research for end users by criteria on GitHub

  • Language
  • Number of followers
  • Range of forks (copied code)
  • Variety of stars (likes)
  • Subject or amount of topics
  • License
  • Repository size, title, description, or contents of the README file
  • Inside of a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Research primarily based on the contents of a repository
  • Lookup dependent on whether or not a repository is a mirror
  • Look for primarily based on whether a repository is archived
  • Research centered on the number of troubles with very good initial difficulty or help preferred labels

Based on your look for metrics, you can reorganize the search results you get by greatest match, most followers, fewest followers, most a short while ago joined, minimum a short while ago joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. While it may feel counter-intuitive to discover individuals with couple followers or repositories, if you are searching for a junior software engineer, this can be handy to locate folks new to the industry.


Narrow Down Top rated Candidates

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As you get started to establish industry experts that resonate with your group and reflect the applicant persona you established for the purpose, you can start off narrowing down your alternatives even more by looking for much more distinct requirements, this kind of as:

  • Area (location:chicago)
  • Competencies (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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