How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The demand for tech expertise is high, but the pool of capable candidates is in small provide. It also doesn’t enable that unemployment is lower, as it even more narrows down your expertise pool and helps make it more difficult to locate fantastic staff members. 

With competitors for tech talent significant, you are likely on the lookout for new and modern strategies to discover, bring in and recruit extraordinary tech industry experts. This post will support you do just that by outlining a exceptional sourcing tactic, Github innovative look for. You’ll find out what Github is as very well as why and how you must source tech experts from the platform.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-dependent social sharing web page. In its place of sharing lifestyle updates, position postings or photographs, nevertheless, GitHub users share code. The platform runs on an open up-source framework, which means the code is open up to the general community and can be altered by any individual. The variations are tracked by way of the platform’s Git revision handle method (therefore the name GitHub), so customers can see how code adjustments from its original type. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this working day and age, just about each organization desires experts with coding, acquiring or programming experience. Irrespective of whether you are updating your company’s web site or developing an application, you want software engineers and software developers — both equally of which are some of the most in-need roles in the career industry. 

Businesses need to have to get a lot more strategic with their sourcing strategies if they want to beat out the levels of competition and catch the attention of major software engineering expertise. Because tech pros have infinite career chances, they are not actively on the lookout for employment or updating their digital resumes. They are also not going to react to the very long listing of recruiters striving to link and get them to implement.

As an alternative, for those tricky to use technical roles, you have to have to meet up with expertise on the platforms they repeated. For most software engineers and builders, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Sophisticated Look for

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In get to find great software package engineers and developers on GitHub, you 1st want to have an understanding of how the system performs and what to search for. Start off by making an account on GitHub that consists of data on your firm.

Moreover, develop a applicant persona so you know what to seem for for the duration of your research. Your prospect persona need to include things like info like area, expertise, schooling, programming language and skills.

Equivalent to other social sharing sites, GitHub users have profiles with the adhering to info:

  • General: Title, Area, Day joined, Cope with (or monitor title)
  • Professional: Job title, Employer, Training, Abilities, Web site, Call details
  • Public activity
  • Followers/Adhering to
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Sources (original code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s model of likes)

GitHub profiles also incorporate a calendar graph of when and how a lot of contributions a user has designed to open source code in the prior calendar year.

Furthermore, there is a portion identified as repositories, or “repos”, which are destinations on the system wherever open up-supply advancement tasks or program packages are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the user has labored on and how a lot their operate has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and capabilities a consumer has shown, which is substantially far more insightful than bullet factors on a resume. 




Look for for Candidate Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters searching for certain information to obtain aptly competent specialists. Based on what you’re wanting for, GitHub breaks down a range of lookup inquiries and how to use their web site to narrow down your final results.

All over again, your prospect persona will assistance you ascertain what you need to have in your up coming software package developer or engineer, so make absolutely sure you complete that initial. Below are the most prevalent means to lookup for consumers by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Number of followers
  • Range of forks (copied code)
  • Amount of stars (likes)
  • Subject matter or quantity of matters
  • License
  • Repository dimensions, identify, description, or contents of the README file
  • In a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Look for based mostly on the contents of a repository
  • Research primarily based on no matter whether a repository is a mirror
  • Look for primarily based on whether a repository is archived
  • Research based on the range of challenges with excellent 1st situation or enable preferred labels

Based on your research metrics, you can reorganize the look for effects you get by best match, most followers, fewest followers, most lately joined, least recently joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Although it could seem counter-intuitive to uncover men and women with few followers or repositories, if you might be hunting for a junior application engineer, this can be handy to uncover persons new to the field.


Slender Down Prime Candidates

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As you begin to detect professionals that resonate with your staff and mirror the applicant persona you made for the role, you can start out narrowing down your solutions additional by searching for extra distinct requirements, these as:

  • Site (location: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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