How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The demand from customers for tech talent is superior, but the pool of capable candidates is in short source. It also does not aid that unemployment is reduced, as it additional narrows down your talent pool and makes it harder to uncover wonderful staff. 

With level of competition for tech expertise higher, you’re possible seeking for new and ground breaking ways to establish, attract and recruit extraordinary tech pros. This write-up will support you do just that by conveying a special sourcing tactic, Github innovative search. You will study what Github is as effectively as why and how you must resource tech industry experts from the platform.


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Table of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-based mostly social sharing web site. Alternatively of sharing everyday living updates, work postings or pics, nevertheless, GitHub consumers share code. The platform operates on an open up-resource framework, this means the code is open to the standard community and can be altered by any person. The improvements are tracked by way of the platform’s Git revision handle program (for this reason the name GitHub), so customers can see how code changes from its primary form. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about every single firm requirements gurus with coding, producing or programming practical experience. Irrespective of whether you’re updating your company’s website or developing an app, you need software program engineers and software program developers — both equally of which are some of the most in-demand roles in the job current market. 

Employers will need to get extra strategic with their sourcing methods if they want to defeat out the level of competition and appeal to top software engineering expertise. Simply because tech gurus have unlimited occupation chances, they’re not actively wanting for positions or updating their electronic resumes. They are also not going to respond to the very long list of recruiters making an attempt to connect and get them to apply.

Rather, for people difficult to employ the service of complex roles, you need to meet talent on the platforms they repeated. For most software program engineers and developers, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Highly developed Look for

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In get to come across terrific software engineers and builders on GitHub, you initially have to have to understand how the platform will work and what to search for. Begin by making an account on GitHub that includes facts on your business.

Moreover, build a candidate persona so you know what to glimpse for all through your lookup. Your candidate persona must include things like data like area, working experience, schooling, programming language and skills.

Similar to other social sharing websites, GitHub people have profiles with the adhering to info:

  • Common: Name, Spot, Day joined, Tackle (or display screen name)
  • Experienced: Work title, Employer, Education, Techniques, Web-site, Get in touch with details
  • General public action
  • Followers/Pursuing
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Sources (original code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s edition of likes)

GitHub profiles also include a calendar graph of when and how numerous contributions a person has manufactured to open up resource code in the earlier year.

Moreover, there is a section called repositories, or “repos”, which are destinations on the platform the place open up-supply advancement jobs or computer software offers are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has worked on and how a lot their get the job done has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and skills a person has demonstrated, which is a great deal extra insightful than bullet factors on a resume. 




Look for for Applicant Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters seeking for certain information to uncover aptly expert gurus. Dependent on what you are searching for, GitHub breaks down a wide range of look for inquiries and how to utilize their web page to slender down your results.

Once again, your candidate persona will support you identify what you want in your subsequent program developer or engineer, so make sure you total that 1st. Listed here are the most typical techniques to search for users by criteria on GitHub

  • Language
  • Quantity of followers
  • Amount of forks (copied code)
  • Number of stars (likes)
  • Matter or number of matters
  • License
  • Repository size, identify, description, or contents of the README file
  • In just a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Lookup dependent on the contents of a repository
  • Research primarily based on whether a repository is a mirror
  • Research dependent on no matter if a repository is archived
  • Look for based on the number of concerns with fantastic initial challenge or support wished labels

Based on your look for metrics, you can reorganize the search benefits you get by very best match, most followers, fewest followers, most not too long ago joined, minimum not long ago joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Even though it could look counter-intuitive to uncover individuals with handful of followers or repositories, if you happen to be wanting for a junior software engineer, this can be beneficial to uncover individuals new to the industry.


Slim Down Prime Candidates

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As you start out to establish experts that resonate with your crew and replicate the candidate persona you established for the position, you can start narrowing down your selections even further by hunting for a lot more unique standards, these as:

  • Location (spot:chicago)
  • Skills (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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