How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

ByValerie Winifred

Apr 1, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The desire for tech expertise is high, but the pool of experienced candidates is in small offer. It also doesn’t help that unemployment is low, as it further more narrows down your talent pool and helps make it more difficult to find great staff members. 

With level of competition for tech expertise substantial, you’re most likely on the lookout for new and modern methods to discover, draw in and recruit fantastic tech specialists. This report will enable you do just that by explaining a unique sourcing tactic, Github advanced lookup. You’ll study what Github is as nicely as why and how you should supply tech pros from the system.


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Table of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-centered social sharing site. As a substitute of sharing existence updates, work postings or photos, however, GitHub end users share code. The platform operates on an open-resource framework, meaning the code is open up to the normal community and can be altered by any one. The alterations are tracked by using the platform’s Git revision handle program (consequently the title GitHub), so users can see how code adjustments from its primary form. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about each business desires experts with coding, building or programming experience. No matter whether you’re updating your firm’s web site or creating an application, you have to have computer software engineers and software builders — each of which are some of the most in-demand from customers roles in the work sector. 

Companies will need to get far more strategic with their sourcing ways if they want to beat out the competition and appeal to best computer software engineering talent. Simply because tech professionals have unlimited position possibilities, they’re not actively looking for positions or updating their digital resumes. They’re also not going to answer to the prolonged record of recruiters striving to connect and get them to apply.

As an alternative, for people tricky to seek the services of technological roles, you need to meet up with expertise on the platforms they frequent. For most software engineers and developers, that system is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Innovative Research

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In buy to come across good software engineers and builders on GitHub, you first will need to fully grasp how the platform performs and what to appear for. Get started by generating an account on GitHub that includes information on your business.

Moreover, develop a candidate persona so you know what to glimpse for throughout your look for. Your applicant persona should really contain info like site, encounter, training, programming language and skills.

Equivalent to other social sharing web-sites, GitHub customers have profiles with the pursuing information:

  • Basic: Identify, Locale, Date joined, Handle (or monitor name)
  • Experienced: Work title, Employer, Schooling, Capabilities, Web-site, Call facts
  • Public action
  • Followers/Next
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Resources (primary code from consumer)
  • Stars (GitHub’s model of likes)

GitHub profiles also contain a calendar graph of when and how lots of contributions a person has produced to open up supply code in the preceding yr.

Also, there is a segment called repositories, or “repos”, which are locations on the system where open-supply improvement assignments or computer software offers are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has worked on and how a lot their perform has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and capabilities a person has demonstrated, which is significantly more useful than bullet factors on a resume. 




Lookup for Applicant Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters hunting for certain information to discover aptly skilled specialists. Depending on what you are hunting for, GitHub breaks down a wide range of research inquiries and how to make the most of their web-site to slim down your results.

Yet again, your prospect persona will assist you figure out what you will need in your up coming software developer or engineer, so make certain you comprehensive that initially. Right here are the most prevalent strategies to lookup for end users by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Quantity of followers
  • Variety of forks (copied code)
  • Amount of stars (likes)
  • Subject matter or amount of subject areas
  • License
  • Repository sizing, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • Within a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Lookup dependent on the contents of a repository
  • Lookup based mostly on no matter if a repository is a mirror
  • Search primarily based on whether or not a repository is archived
  • Lookup dependent on the quantity of problems with fantastic 1st issue or help wanted labels

Depending on your look for metrics, you can reorganize the look for success you get by ideal match, most followers, fewest followers, most lately joined, the very least not too long ago joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Though it could look counter-intuitive to uncover individuals with number of followers or repositories, if you are wanting for a junior software program engineer, this can be useful to find individuals new to the field.


Slender Down Leading Candidates

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As you start out to establish pros that resonate with your crew and reflect the applicant persona you created for the job, you can get started narrowing down your choices even further by seeking for extra precise conditions, these types of as:

  • Location (locale:chicago)
  • Techniques (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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