How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The desire for tech expertise is large, but the pool of certified candidates is in small source. It also does not enable that unemployment is reduced, as it even further narrows down your expertise pool and tends to make it tougher to locate great staff. 

With opposition for tech expertise superior, you are very likely searching for new and revolutionary strategies to discover, entice and recruit excellent tech pros. This article will aid you do just that by explaining a exceptional sourcing tactic, Github superior lookup. You are going to master what Github is as well as why and how you need to supply tech pros from the platform.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-primarily based social sharing web-site. In its place of sharing lifetime updates, occupation postings or pics, however, GitHub people share code. The platform runs on an open-supply framework, this means the code is open up to the general community and can be altered by any person. The alterations are tracked by way of the platform’s Git revision command process (hence the name GitHub), so consumers can see how code improvements from its first type. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this working day and age, just about each firm requires pros with coding, building or programming expertise. Irrespective of whether you’re updating your firm’s web-site or developing an app, you have to have software package engineers and application builders — each of which are some of the most in-demand from customers roles in the task industry. 

Employers require to get much more strategic with their sourcing practices if they want to defeat out the opposition and bring in major software package engineering talent. Simply because tech industry experts have endless task prospects, they are not actively looking for work opportunities or updating their digital resumes. They are also not going to react to the extensive record of recruiters seeking to link and get them to apply.

As an alternative, for those people tough to employ specialized roles, you require to satisfy talent on the platforms they repeated. For most software program engineers and builders, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Sophisticated Lookup

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In order to come across good application engineers and builders on GitHub, you 1st have to have to understand how the platform operates and what to look for. Begin by generating an account on GitHub that contains data on your firm.

Additionally, generate a candidate persona so you know what to search for for the duration of your lookup. Your candidate persona really should involve info like place, working experience, education, programming language and expertise.

Related to other social sharing sites, GitHub consumers have profiles with the pursuing info:

  • Common: Title, Spot, Date joined, Take care of (or display screen identify)
  • Specialist: Task title, Employer, Schooling, Competencies, Web page, Make contact with facts
  • General public action
  • Followers/Following
  • Forks (code which is been copied)
  • Resources (primary code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s variation of likes)

GitHub profiles also contain a calendar graph of when and how several contributions a person has manufactured to open source code in the former 12 months.

In addition, there is a part identified as repositories, or “repos”, which are areas on the platform exactly where open-supply progress projects or application offers are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the user has labored on and how a great deal their get the job done has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and skills a consumer has demonstrated, which is much more informative than bullet factors on a resume. 




Search for Applicant Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters looking for particular information to discover aptly expert specialists. Relying on what you’re looking for, GitHub breaks down a wide range of search inquiries and how to make use of their web-site to slim down your success.

All over again, your prospect persona will aid you determine what you need in your next application developer or engineer, so make sure you total that first. Listed here are the most common techniques to search for users by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Number of followers
  • Range of forks (copied code)
  • Selection of stars (likes)
  • Subject matter or quantity of matters
  • License
  • Repository dimension, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • Inside of a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Lookup based mostly on the contents of a repository
  • Lookup dependent on whether or not a repository is a mirror
  • Look for based mostly on whether or not a repository is archived
  • Search based mostly on the range of troubles with fantastic very first problem or aid desired labels

Relying on your look for metrics, you can reorganize the lookup success you get by most effective match, most followers, fewest followers, most lately joined, the very least just lately joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. While it could look counter-intuitive to come across men and women with several followers or repositories, if you might be seeking for a junior computer software engineer, this can be practical to uncover men and women new to the field.


Narrow Down Prime Candidates

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As you start out to establish professionals that resonate with your workforce and mirror the candidate persona you made for the function, you can commence narrowing down your alternatives further more by seeking for additional certain conditions, this kind of as:

  • Place (location: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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