How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The demand for tech expertise is high, but the pool of skilled candidates is in shorter supply. It also does not enable that unemployment is lower, as it additional narrows down your expertise pool and can make it harder to locate great workforce. 

With competitiveness for tech talent large, you are likely seeking for new and revolutionary strategies to detect, bring in and recruit outstanding tech specialists. This article will assistance you do just that by detailing a exclusive sourcing tactic, Github highly developed research. You’ll find out what Github is as very well as why and how you really should resource tech professionals from the platform.


Cost-free E-Reserve: Main Values in the Workplace

How to produce core values that will inspire your workforce.


Table of Contents


What is GitHub?

Impression by using Shutterstock

GitHub is a cloud-based social sharing web-site. Rather of sharing daily life updates, occupation postings or pics, nonetheless, GitHub users share code. The system operates on an open-source framework, this means the code is open up to the typical community and can be altered by anyone. The modifications are tracked via the platform’s Git revision handle system (that’s why the identify GitHub), so users can see how code alterations from its initial type. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

Impression by using Shutterstock

In this working day and age, just about just about every corporation requires professionals with coding, producing or programming practical experience. Whether or not you’re updating your company’s web-site or creating an app, you need computer software engineers and program builders — both of which are some of the most in-demand roles in the career current market. 

Companies want to get more strategic with their sourcing tactics if they want to conquer out the levels of competition and bring in best software engineering expertise. For the reason that tech industry experts have unlimited job prospects, they are not actively searching for jobs or updating their electronic resumes. They’re also not likely to reply to the prolonged listing of recruiters hoping to link and get them to implement.

As an alternative, for those tough to seek the services of technological roles, you require to meet expertise on the platforms they regular. For most software engineers and builders, that system is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Superior Lookup

Picture via Shutterstock

In buy to obtain terrific software package engineers and developers on GitHub, you very first want to fully grasp how the system performs and what to glance for. Commence by developing an account on GitHub that includes information on your corporation.

Additionally, create a applicant persona so you know what to look for in the course of your search. Your prospect persona must contain information and facts like area, knowledge, instruction, programming language and skills.

Equivalent to other social sharing internet sites, GitHub users have profiles with the pursuing info:

  • Typical: Identify, Site, Day joined, Take care of (or display screen identify)
  • Skilled: Career title, Employer, Education, Competencies, Web site, Get in touch with data
  • General public action
  • Followers/Following
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Sources (primary code from consumer)
  • Stars (GitHub’s variation of likes)

GitHub profiles also incorporate a calendar graph of when and how many contributions a user has manufactured to open supply code in the earlier yr.

On top of that, there is a segment identified as repositories, or “repos”, which are places on the system exactly where open-resource advancement tasks or software package packages are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the consumer has worked on and how significantly their do the job has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and abilities a consumer has shown, which is considerably a lot more useful than bullet factors on a resume. 




Research for Prospect Personas

Impression by way of Shutterstock

Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters seeking for precise information to come across aptly skilled experts. Based on what you are seeking for, GitHub breaks down a selection of lookup inquiries and how to employ their web page to slim down your final results.

All over again, your prospect persona will help you identify what you need in your subsequent application developer or engineer, so make guaranteed you full that 1st. Below are the most frequent ways to search for end users by requirements on GitHub

  • Language
  • Range of followers
  • Variety of forks (copied code)
  • Range of stars (likes)
  • Subject matter or amount of subjects
  • License
  • Repository dimension, identify, description, or contents of the README file
  • In just a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Research based mostly on the contents of a repository
  • Lookup dependent on no matter if a repository is a mirror
  • Lookup based mostly on regardless of whether a repository is archived
  • Lookup based on the amount of problems with very good initial problem or assistance wished labels

Dependent on your look for metrics, you can reorganize the search results you get by very best match, most followers, fewest followers, most not too long ago joined, the very least not too long ago joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Though it may seem to be counter-intuitive to find folks with couple of followers or repositories, if you’re searching for a junior computer software engineer, this can be useful to find individuals new to the subject.


Narrow Down Top rated Candidates

Impression through Shutterstock

As you begin to identify gurus that resonate with your workforce and mirror the candidate persona you established for the role, you can start off narrowing down your choices even further by hunting for much more certain requirements, this kind of as:

  • Place (site: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 

Image via Shutterstock

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


Free Toolkit: Successfully Onboard Remote Employees

Download this remote onboarding toolkit to access actionable resources you can implement and see the impact of immediately.