June 21, 2024


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How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The need for tech expertise is substantial, but the pool of certified candidates is in brief source. It also doesn’t assist that unemployment is lower, as it even further narrows down your expertise pool and tends to make it more durable to discover good employees. 

With opposition for tech talent higher, you’re most likely searching for new and progressive techniques to establish, bring in and recruit extraordinary tech experts. This short article will aid you do just that by outlining a exclusive sourcing tactic, Github highly developed lookup. You will study what Github is as well as why and how you should really source tech experts from the system.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-dependent social sharing web page. Rather of sharing everyday living updates, work postings or images, nonetheless, GitHub consumers share code. The platform operates on an open up-resource framework, that means the code is open to the general community and can be altered by anyone. The adjustments are tracked through the platform’s Git revision handle system (therefore the identify GitHub), so end users can see how code variations from its authentic kind. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about just about every organization requirements industry experts with coding, developing or programming knowledge. No matter whether you’re updating your company’s web site or creating an app, you will need software engineers and software developers — both of which are some of the most in-need roles in the position current market. 

Businesses need to get a lot more strategic with their sourcing strategies if they want to beat out the level of competition and catch the attention of major software engineering expertise. Since tech specialists have unlimited position prospects, they are not actively hunting for employment or updating their digital resumes. They are also not going to answer to the lengthy checklist of recruiters hoping to hook up and get them to use.

In its place, for all those tough to hire complex roles, you have to have to meet talent on the platforms they frequent. For most computer software engineers and developers, that system is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Sophisticated Lookup

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In order to obtain excellent software package engineers and builders on GitHub, you very first want to realize how the platform is effective and what to look for. Start by building an account on GitHub that contains data on your business.

On top of that, create a candidate persona so you know what to glimpse for for the duration of your search. Your prospect persona must contain information and facts like locale, experience, schooling, programming language and competencies.

Similar to other social sharing sites, GitHub consumers have profiles with the adhering to facts:

  • Basic: Title, Location, Date joined, Take care of (or display name)
  • Specialist: Work title, Employer, Instruction, Techniques, Website, Call info
  • Community action
  • Followers/Adhering to
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Sources (initial code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s edition of likes)

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

Furthermore, there is a portion identified as repositories, or “repos”, which are places on the system wherever open up-resource enhancement jobs or software deals are saved. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has worked on and how a great deal their work has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and competencies a person has shown, which is considerably far more insightful than bullet points on a resume. 




Search for Prospect Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters hunting for certain information to come across aptly qualified specialists. Relying on what you’re wanting for, GitHub breaks down a range of research inquiries and how to employ their web site to slender down your results.

All over again, your applicant persona will assistance you identify what you need to have in your subsequent software program developer or engineer, so make guaranteed you full that very first. Listed here are the most typical methods to lookup for customers by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Range of followers
  • Number of forks (copied code)
  • Quantity of stars (likes)
  • Topic or selection of topics
  • License
  • Repository dimensions, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • Within a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Research dependent on the contents of a repository
  • Search based mostly on no matter if a repository is a mirror
  • Search based mostly on no matter whether a repository is archived
  • Research dependent on the selection of difficulties with superior 1st problem or aid required labels

Dependent on your look for metrics, you can reorganize the look for benefits you get by most effective match, most followers, fewest followers, most lately joined, minimum not long ago joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. When it may seem to be counter-intuitive to come across people today with handful of followers or repositories, if you are searching for a junior software engineer, this can be handy to find individuals new to the discipline.


Slender Down Best Candidates

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As you commence to identify professionals that resonate with your group and mirror the prospect persona you designed for the position, you can start narrowing down your choices even further by looking for more unique requirements, these types of as:

  • Area (location:chicago)
  • Competencies (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

  • site:github.com 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 (site:github.com) 
  • 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

  • site:github.com (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 (site:github.com) 

  • 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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