How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

Cortez Deacetis

The demand for tech expertise is significant, but the pool of capable candidates is in shorter source. It also doesn’t aid that unemployment is lower, as it further narrows down your talent pool and can make it more difficult to locate good employees. 

With levels of competition for tech expertise superior, you’re very likely on the lookout for new and progressive means to determine, entice and recruit excellent tech professionals. This write-up will help you do just that by detailing a special sourcing tactic, Github highly developed search. You are going to understand what Github is as well as why and how you should resource tech professionals from the platform.


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Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-primarily based social sharing web-site. Instead of sharing daily life updates, occupation postings or pics, having said that, GitHub people share code. The platform operates on an open up-source framework, that means the code is open up to the common general public and can be altered by anyone. The improvements are tracked through the platform’s Git revision manage procedure (hence the identify GitHub), so consumers can see how code alterations from its original variety. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this working day and age, just about every firm requires specialists with coding, creating or programming practical experience. Regardless of whether you are updating your company’s web-site or developing an app, you need program engineers and software program builders — equally of which are some of the most in-demand from customers roles in the job industry. 

Employers have to have to get additional strategic with their sourcing methods if they want to defeat out the level of competition and entice leading software engineering expertise. Mainly because tech professionals have unlimited position chances, they’re not actively seeking for careers or updating their digital resumes. They are also not heading to reply to the very long checklist of recruiters making an attempt to hook up and get them to apply.

Alternatively, for those people hard to hire technical roles, you want to satisfy talent on the platforms they repeated. For most program engineers and builders, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub Superior Search

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In purchase to obtain fantastic software program engineers and developers on GitHub, you 1st will need to have an understanding of how the system functions and what to glimpse for. Start out by building an account on GitHub that includes information on your firm.

Also, generate a candidate persona so you know what to seem for all through your research. Your applicant persona really should incorporate information and facts like area, practical experience, instruction, programming language and skills.

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

  • Common: Title, Place, Date joined, Tackle (or screen title)
  • Skilled: Job title, Employer, Education and learning, Techniques, Web page, Call information
  • Public exercise
  • Followers/Pursuing
  • Forks (code which is been copied)
  • Resources (initial code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s model of likes)

GitHub profiles also consist of a calendar graph of when and how several contributions a user has built to open up resource code in the earlier 12 months.

Additionally, there is a section termed repositories, or “repos”, which are places on the system where by open-source advancement assignments or application packages are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has labored on and how substantially their function has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and expertise a user has shown, which is considerably far more enlightening than bullet details on a resume. 




Search for Candidate Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters searching for specific information to discover aptly proficient experts. Based on what you’re looking for, GitHub breaks down a selection of search inquiries and how to use their website to narrow down your success.

Yet again, your candidate persona will enable you determine what you need in your subsequent program developer or engineer, so make sure you full that initial. Listed here are the most popular means to lookup for people by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Amount of followers
  • Range of forks (copied code)
  • Number of stars (likes)
  • Subject matter or range of matters
  • License
  • Repository measurement, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • Within just a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Research primarily based on the contents of a repository
  • Research centered on no matter whether a repository is a mirror
  • Search primarily based on no matter if a repository is archived
  • Search centered on the selection of problems with fantastic initial concern or support desired labels

Relying on your look for metrics, you can reorganize the lookup outcomes you get by very best match, most followers, fewest followers, most just lately joined, the very least not too long ago joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Although it may well look counter-intuitive to locate men and women with several followers or repositories, if you are seeking for a junior software package engineer, this can be useful to come across men and women new to the subject.


Slim Down Prime Candidates

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As you commence to establish industry experts that resonate with your crew and reflect the candidate persona you developed for the purpose, you can start narrowing down your options more by searching for much more distinct criteria, these as:

  • Place (place: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

  • 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 increase your culture. Keep on to improve your tech recruiting abilities by brushing up on more tech recruiter assets


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