How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters


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The need for tech talent is high, but the pool of competent candidates is in limited source. It also does not aid that unemployment is small, as it further narrows down your talent pool and tends to make it harder to discover great staff members. 

With opposition for tech expertise substantial, you are likely hunting for new and progressive techniques to identify, attract and recruit exceptional tech specialists. This write-up will help you do just that by conveying a special sourcing tactic, Github state-of-the-art research. You are going to master what Github is as well as why and how you need to supply tech professionals 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. Alternatively of sharing lifestyle updates, job postings or photos, even so, GitHub consumers share code. The system runs on an open up-supply framework, indicating the code is open up to the general public and can be altered by everyone. The variations are tracked by means of the platform’s Git revision regulate technique (consequently the identify GitHub), so consumers can see how code modifications from its initial sort. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about each firm requires specialists with coding, producing or programming experience. No matter whether you are updating your company’s web site or setting up an app, you have to have software engineers and computer software builders — the two of which are some of the most in-desire roles in the occupation marketplace. 

Companies will need to get extra strategic with their sourcing ways if they want to conquer out the opposition and draw in major program engineering talent. Due to the fact tech pros have infinite task prospects, they’re not actively looking for jobs or updating their electronic resumes. They are also not heading to answer to the very long list of recruiters attempting to hook up and get them to utilize.

Rather, for those people tricky to retain the services of technological roles, you require to satisfy talent on the platforms they regular. For most software program engineers and developers, that system is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Superior Look for

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In purchase to uncover good software engineers and builders on GitHub, you to start with have to have to fully grasp how the platform operates and what to glimpse for. Begin by creating an account on GitHub that includes facts on your firm.

Also, build a candidate persona so you know what to appear for all through your search. Your prospect persona should incorporate information like locale, encounter, training, programming language and competencies.

Comparable to other social sharing websites, GitHub buyers have profiles with the pursuing data:

  • Typical: Name, Spot, Day joined, Take care of (or display title)
  • Experienced: Work title, Employer, Training, Abilities, Website, Speak to data
  • General public exercise
  • Followers/Pursuing
  • Forks (code that is been copied)
  • Sources (unique code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s variation of likes)

GitHub profiles also incorporate a calendar graph of when and how quite a few contributions a consumer has made to open up source code in the previous yr.

Moreover, there is a segment identified as repositories, or “repos”, which are places on the platform in which open up-source development assignments or software offers are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the consumer has labored on and how much their function has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and competencies a person has demonstrated, which is significantly more enlightening than bullet details on a resume. 




Search for Prospect Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters searching for precise information to uncover aptly experienced professionals. Dependent on what you are on the lookout for, GitHub breaks down a variety of look for inquiries and how to benefit from their site to slender down your results.

All over again, your prospect persona will support you identify what you will need in your following software package developer or engineer, so make positive you entire that initial. Listed here are the most frequent ways to research for consumers by standards on GitHub: 

  • Language
  • Quantity of followers
  • Amount of forks (copied code)
  • Selection of stars (likes)
  • Subject or variety of matters
  • License
  • Repository size, identify, description, or contents of the README file
  • Inside of a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Research based on the contents of a repository
  • Search dependent on whether a repository is a mirror
  • Search dependent on regardless of whether a repository is archived
  • Research based on the quantity of troubles with very good very first situation or aid wished labels

Based on your search metrics, you can reorganize the lookup outcomes you get by very best match, most followers, fewest followers, most not too long ago joined, least lately joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Even though it could seem to be counter-intuitive to find folks with couple of followers or repositories, if you’re searching for a junior software engineer, this can be useful to come across folks new to the discipline.


Narrow Down Top Candidates

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As you start out to determine pros that resonate with your team and reflect the prospect persona you produced for the function, you can get started narrowing down your possibilities further more by browsing for additional specific requirements, this sort of as:

  • Place (locale:chicago)
  • Techniques (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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