How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The desire for tech talent is large, but the pool of capable candidates is in limited offer. It also does not assistance that unemployment is reduced, as it more narrows down your talent pool and helps make it harder to uncover terrific staff. 

With competition for tech expertise higher, you’re likely seeking for new and progressive techniques to identify, draw in and recruit extraordinary tech gurus. This post will aid you do just that by outlining a distinctive sourcing tactic, Github innovative research. You’ll discover what Github is as effectively as why and how you should 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 site. In its place of sharing lifetime updates, position postings or pics, nonetheless, GitHub buyers share code. The platform operates on an open up-resource framework, indicating the code is open up to the normal community and can be altered by everyone. The alterations are tracked by means of the platform’s Git revision handle process (consequently the title GitHub), so buyers can see how code adjustments from its original type. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about every firm desires experts with coding, acquiring or programming encounter. Whether or not you are updating your firm’s web page or setting up an app, you want software program engineers and software program builders — the two of which are some of the most in-demand from customers roles in the occupation marketplace. 

Employers require to get a lot more strategic with their sourcing practices if they want to beat out the opposition and attract prime computer software engineering talent. Since tech experts have countless job options, they are not actively on the lookout for jobs or updating their electronic resumes. They’re also not going to reply to the extensive listing of recruiters trying to connect and get them to utilize.

As a substitute, for these challenging to employ specialized roles, you need to satisfy talent on the platforms they regular. For most application engineers and developers, that platform is GitHub. 


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

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In purchase to obtain great software program engineers and builders on GitHub, you very first want to realize how the system is effective and what to look for. Start by making an account on GitHub that features info on your company.

Additionally, generate a prospect persona so you know what to glance for through your research. Your applicant persona really should include things like facts like location, expertise, education and learning, programming language and competencies.

Related to other social sharing web pages, GitHub end users have profiles with the subsequent information and facts:

  • Typical: Identify, Spot, Day joined, Cope with (or display title)
  • Professional: Position title, Employer, Education, Skills, Site, Make contact with information
  • General public activity
  • Followers/Pursuing
  • Forks (code which is been copied)
  • Sources (initial code from consumer)
  • Stars (GitHub’s variation of likes)

GitHub profiles also incorporate a calendar graph of when and how numerous contributions a user has created to open up source code in the previous yr.

Also, there is a part identified as repositories, or “repos”, which are places on the system in which open up-source improvement assignments or software packages are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the user has labored on and how substantially their operate has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and skills a consumer has demonstrated, which is significantly much more informative than bullet factors on a resume. 




Search for Applicant Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters seeking for certain information to locate aptly qualified experts. Based on what you’re looking for, GitHub breaks down a range of lookup inquiries and how to employ their site to narrow down your benefits.

Again, your prospect persona will aid you identify what you require in your subsequent software program developer or engineer, so make sure you complete that first. Listed here are the most typical strategies to lookup for consumers by conditions on GitHub

  • Language
  • Quantity of followers
  • Range of forks (copied code)
  • Variety of stars (likes)
  • Topic or number of subject areas
  • License
  • Repository measurement, title, description, or contents of the README file
  • In just a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Search dependent on the contents of a repository
  • Look for based on whether a repository is a mirror
  • Look for dependent on no matter whether a repository is archived
  • Look for based on the variety of challenges with fantastic first challenge or assistance preferred labels

Based on your search metrics, you can reorganize the look for success you get by greatest match, most followers, fewest followers, most a short while ago joined, the very least just lately joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. When it may perhaps look counter-intuitive to find people today with couple followers or repositories, if you’re searching for a junior software engineer, this can be valuable to uncover men and women new to the field.


Narrow Down Top rated Candidates

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As you begin to establish industry experts that resonate with your workforce and replicate the applicant persona you produced for the role, you can begin narrowing down your options further by seeking for additional unique criteria, this sort of as:

  • Locale (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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