How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters


The demand from customers for tech talent is large, but the pool of certified candidates is in shorter supply. It also doesn’t support that unemployment is small, as it further narrows down your talent pool and would make it more challenging to find fantastic employees. 

With levels of competition for tech expertise higher, you’re likely hunting for new and ground breaking strategies to recognize, bring in and recruit remarkable tech pros. This posting will aid you do just that by describing a exclusive sourcing tactic, Github sophisticated look for. You’ll master what Github is as effectively as why and how you must source tech professionals from the platform.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-based social sharing web-site. Instead of sharing life updates, position postings or photographs, on the other hand, GitHub people share code. The platform operates on an open-resource framework, that means the code is open to the standard general public and can be altered by anybody. The adjustments are tracked by way of the platform’s Git revision handle program (that’s why the title GitHub), so end users can see how code modifications from its primary sort. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about each company requirements specialists with coding, developing or programming knowledge. Whether you’re updating your company’s web page or constructing an app, you will need computer software engineers and software builders — each of which are some of the most in-demand roles in the task market. 

Businesses need to have to get far more strategic with their sourcing strategies if they want to beat out the competitors and draw in prime software program engineering talent. Mainly because tech experts have countless occupation possibilities, they are not actively on the lookout for positions or updating their electronic resumes. They are also not likely to respond to the lengthy list of recruiters attempting to connect and get them to apply.

Alternatively, for those people challenging to employ the service of complex roles, you will need to meet up with expertise on the platforms they frequent. For most computer software engineers and builders, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Sophisticated Search

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In buy to locate great program engineers and developers on GitHub, you 1st need to have to recognize how the system performs and what to seem for. Get started by producing an account on GitHub that features information on your enterprise.

Moreover, generate a applicant persona so you know what to seem for in the course of your search. Your prospect persona should really consist of info like location, encounter, training, programming language and abilities.

Equivalent to other social sharing web sites, GitHub customers have profiles with the subsequent facts:

  • Basic: Title, Area, Date joined, Manage (or monitor title)
  • Professional: Position title, Employer, Education, Expertise, Site, Contact details
  • General public action
  • Followers/Following
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Sources (first code from user)
  • Stars (GitHub’s model of likes)

GitHub profiles also contain a calendar graph of when and how a lot of contributions a user has manufactured to open up supply code in the previous yr.

Additionally, there is a section named repositories, or “repos”, which are spots on the system where open up-supply advancement tasks or application deals are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the consumer 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 competencies a person has shown, which is much a lot more instructive than bullet factors on a resume. 




Lookup for Prospect Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters looking for precise information to locate aptly expert gurus. Depending on what you are wanting for, GitHub breaks down a selection of look for inquiries and how to utilize their internet site to slim down your outcomes.

Yet again, your candidate persona will help you decide what you need to have in your up coming computer software developer or engineer, so make guaranteed you entire that first. Here are the most widespread means to look for for consumers by criteria on GitHub

  • Language
  • Range of followers
  • Selection of forks (copied code)
  • Range of stars (likes)
  • Subject or number of topics
  • License
  • Repository size, title, description, or contents of the README file
  • Within a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Lookup centered on the contents of a repository
  • Look for primarily based on no matter if a repository is a mirror
  • Search based mostly on no matter whether a repository is archived
  • Search based on the variety of concerns with fantastic initial challenge or assistance required labels

Depending on your research metrics, you can reorganize the research final results you get by best match, most followers, fewest followers, most a short while ago joined, least just lately joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Whilst it may well seem to be counter-intuitive to come across folks with several followers or repositories, if you might be hunting for a junior software engineer, this can be practical to uncover people today new to the area.


Slender Down Major Candidates

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As you start to identify industry experts that resonate with your workforce and replicate the applicant persona you designed for the part, you can get started narrowing down your choices further by browsing for more certain standards, these types of as:

  • Location (area: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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