How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The demand for tech expertise is high, but the pool of capable candidates is in brief offer. It also doesn’t enable that unemployment is minimal, as it further more narrows down your expertise pool and can make it tougher to find wonderful staff. 

With competitors for tech expertise substantial, you’re likely wanting for new and ground breaking strategies to identify, bring in and recruit outstanding tech gurus. This article will aid you do just that by outlining a exclusive sourcing tactic, Github sophisticated search. You are going to learn what Github is as properly as why and how you need to supply tech industry 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 site. Rather of sharing existence updates, work postings or pictures, nevertheless, GitHub customers share code. The platform runs on an open up-resource framework, which means the code is open up to the standard public and can be altered by any one. The changes are tracked through the platform’s Git revision manage system (for this reason the name GitHub), so buyers can see how code improvements from its authentic sort. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about every single business requirements professionals with coding, establishing or programming working experience. Regardless of whether you are updating your firm’s web site or constructing an application, you have to have program engineers and software package developers — each of which are some of the most in-demand from customers roles in the task market. 

Businesses have to have to get a lot more strategic with their sourcing methods if they want to conquer out the competitiveness and entice major software program engineering expertise. For the reason that tech experts have infinite task opportunities, they are not actively wanting for jobs or updating their electronic resumes. They’re also not likely to reply to the prolonged list of recruiters seeking to hook up and get them to utilize.

As an alternative, for those really hard to employ the service of complex roles, you will need to meet up with talent on the platforms they recurrent. For most program engineers and developers, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Advanced Search

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In purchase to come across excellent computer software engineers and developers on GitHub, you first need to fully grasp how the platform will work and what to glance for. Commence by producing an account on GitHub that contains info on your business.

Moreover, develop a candidate persona so you know what to seem for throughout your lookup. Your applicant persona need to involve data like area, experience, education and learning, programming language and expertise.

Similar to other social sharing web-sites, GitHub users have profiles with the next data:

  • Typical: Title, Location, Day joined, Handle (or screen title)
  • Qualified: Occupation title, Employer, Education, Competencies, Web site, Get in touch with information
  • Community exercise
  • Followers/Next
  • Forks (code that is been copied)
  • Sources (original code from consumer)
  • Stars (GitHub’s version of likes)

GitHub profiles also involve a calendar graph of when and how many contributions a user has manufactured to open resource code in the preceding yr.

On top of that, there is a portion termed repositories, or “repos”, which are locations on the platform where open-supply enhancement jobs or program offers are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the user has worked on and how substantially their function has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and expertise a consumer has shown, which is a great deal extra informative than bullet points on a resume. 




Look for for Prospect Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters browsing for precise information to come across aptly competent gurus. Dependent on what you are seeking for, GitHub breaks down a selection of lookup inquiries and how to employ their internet site to slender down your final results.

All over again, your candidate persona will enable you establish what you want in your following software program developer or engineer, so make sure you complete that very first. Below are the most prevalent means to lookup for customers by conditions on GitHub

  • Language
  • Number of followers
  • Amount of forks (copied code)
  • Variety of stars (likes)
  • Subject or quantity of topics
  • License
  • Repository size, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • Inside of a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Research dependent on the contents of a repository
  • Search centered on whether or not a repository is a mirror
  • Lookup centered on regardless of whether a repository is archived
  • Research based on the range of concerns with excellent initial challenge or help preferred labels

Relying on your research metrics, you can reorganize the search results you get by ideal match, most followers, fewest followers, most just lately joined, least just lately joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Though it could seem counter-intuitive to locate people with number of followers or repositories, if you are looking for a junior software package engineer, this can be useful to obtain people today new to the field.


Narrow Down Leading Candidates

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As you get started to determine gurus that resonate with your workforce and reflect the applicant persona you created for the role, you can get started narrowing down your alternatives more by looking for more precise criteria, these kinds of as:

  • Place (site:chicago)
  • Capabilities (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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