How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The demand from customers for tech expertise is higher, but the pool of skilled candidates is in brief offer. It also doesn’t assistance that unemployment is lower, as it more narrows down your talent pool and would make it harder to find terrific personnel. 

With level of competition for tech expertise higher, you’re likely seeking for new and innovative approaches to discover, entice and recruit outstanding tech specialists. This write-up will support you do just that by describing a one of a kind sourcing tactic, Github advanced look for. You’ll master what Github is as nicely as why and how you really should supply tech professionals from the system.


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Table of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-primarily based social sharing internet site. In its place of sharing existence updates, career postings or images, nonetheless, GitHub consumers share code. The platform runs on an open up-resource framework, indicating the code is open to the common general public and can be altered by everyone. The alterations are tracked through the platform’s Git revision control method (consequently the name GitHub), so customers can see how code modifications from its unique variety. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about each firm desires specialists with coding, producing or programming encounter. No matter if you’re updating your firm’s web page or developing an application, you will need computer software engineers and program developers — both equally of which are some of the most in-need roles in the occupation market. 

Businesses have to have to get extra strategic with their sourcing tactics if they want to conquer out the competition and attract major application engineering expertise. Due to the fact tech specialists have limitless task options, they’re not actively searching for jobs or updating their digital resumes. They are also not likely to reply to the very long list of recruiters making an attempt to hook up and get them to utilize.

As an alternative, for these hard to seek the services of technological roles, you have to have to satisfy talent on the platforms they repeated. For most software program engineers and developers, that platform is GitHub. 


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

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In order to discover excellent software package engineers and developers on GitHub, you first will need to fully grasp how the system functions and what to glance for. Start by developing an account on GitHub that incorporates data on your business.

Also, build a prospect persona so you know what to glimpse for in the course of your lookup. Your candidate persona must contain details like locale, expertise, instruction, programming language and abilities.

Related to other social sharing sites, GitHub customers have profiles with the pursuing information and facts:

  • Standard: Name, Spot, Date joined, Handle (or screen identify)
  • Specialist: Occupation title, Employer, Education and learning, Expertise, Internet site, Speak to information and facts
  • Public activity
  • Followers/Subsequent
  • Forks (code which is been copied)
  • Sources (initial code from consumer)
  • Stars (GitHub’s model of likes)

GitHub profiles also include things like a calendar graph of when and how lots of contributions a person has produced to open up source code in the former calendar year.

Moreover, there is a segment called repositories, or “repos”, which are locations on the system in which open-source improvement jobs or application offers are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the consumer has worked on and how substantially their operate has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and abilities a consumer has demonstrated, which is significantly far more educational than bullet points on a resume. 




Look for for Applicant Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters browsing for certain information to come across aptly competent professionals. Relying on what you are wanting for, GitHub breaks down a range of lookup inquiries and how to make the most of their internet site to narrow down your benefits.

All over again, your candidate persona will support you determine what you will need in your future software program developer or engineer, so make positive you comprehensive that very first. Here are the most popular means to search for customers by criteria on GitHub

  • Language
  • Variety of followers
  • Variety of forks (copied code)
  • Amount of stars (likes)
  • Topic or range of matters
  • License
  • Repository dimension, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • Inside a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Search based on the contents of a repository
  • Search based mostly on whether a repository is a mirror
  • Lookup based mostly on whether a repository is archived
  • Research based mostly on the number of problems with great initial difficulty or assist wished labels

Based on your research metrics, you can reorganize the research effects you get by ideal match, most followers, fewest followers, most not long ago joined, the very least just lately joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. When it might seem to be counter-intuitive to discover men and women with few followers or repositories, if you might be looking for a junior software package engineer, this can be beneficial to uncover men and women new to the discipline.


Narrow Down Leading Candidates

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As you start out to determine specialists that resonate with your staff and reflect the prospect persona you designed for the job, you can get started narrowing down your choices more by searching for far more precise criteria, this sort of as:

  • Area (place:chicago)
  • Abilities (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 strengthen your tradition. Continue on to grow your tech recruiting experience by brushing up on extra tech recruiter resources


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