How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The desire for tech expertise is large, but the pool of experienced candidates is in brief supply. It also does not assist that unemployment is lower, as it additional narrows down your expertise pool and can make it more challenging to discover fantastic staff members. 

With level of competition for tech talent large, you’re most likely seeking for new and modern strategies to identify, attract and recruit exceptional tech gurus. This write-up will aid you do just that by detailing a exclusive sourcing tactic, Github superior lookup. You will master what Github is as well as why and how you need to source tech specialists from the system.


Free E-Book: Main Values in the Office

How to produce main values that will inspire your workforce.


Desk of Contents


What is GitHub?

Picture by way of Shutterstock

GitHub is a cloud-centered social sharing internet site. Instead of sharing lifestyle updates, position postings or photos, however, GitHub customers share code. The system runs on an open-resource framework, indicating the code is open up to the normal community and can be altered by any person. The improvements are tracked by using the platform’s Git revision handle system (hence the name GitHub), so end users can see how code adjustments from its primary form. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

Impression by using Shutterstock

In this day and age, just about each corporation demands experts with coding, establishing or programming expertise. Whether you are updating your firm’s web-site or making an app, you want application engineers and computer software builders — both equally of which are some of the most in-demand from customers roles in the work sector. 

Employers need to have to get far more strategic with their sourcing strategies if they want to defeat out the levels of competition and attract major program engineering expertise. For the reason that tech pros have endless work options, they’re not actively on the lookout for work or updating their electronic resumes. They are also not heading to respond to the extensive list of recruiters hoping to link and get them to apply.

As a substitute, for people really hard to employ the service of complex roles, you have to have to fulfill expertise on the platforms they recurrent. For most application engineers and developers, that system is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub State-of-the-art Research

Impression by means of Shutterstock

In order to discover good software package engineers and builders on GitHub, you initially will need to realize how the platform will work and what to look for. Commence by building an account on GitHub that incorporates details on your enterprise.

Additionally, develop a applicant persona so you know what to glance for during your lookup. Your prospect persona should really contain information and facts like locale, encounter, education and learning, programming language and skills.

Similar to other social sharing web pages, GitHub buyers have profiles with the following information:

  • Standard: Identify, Locale, Date joined, Cope with (or screen identify)
  • Experienced: Task title, Employer, Education and learning, Expertise, Web site, Contact details
  • General public activity
  • Followers/Following
  • Forks (code which is been copied)
  • Sources (original code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s edition of likes)

GitHub profiles also involve a calendar graph of when and how lots of contributions a user has produced to open up resource code in the earlier yr.

Also, there is a segment called repositories, or “repos”, which are spots on the platform where open up-supply progress initiatives or software offers are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the user has worked on and how significantly their operate has been starred or forked. Repositories give you perception into what languages and abilities a consumer has shown, which is substantially far more useful than bullet points on a resume. 




Lookup for Prospect Personas

Image via Shutterstock

Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters browsing for certain information to obtain aptly expert gurus. Relying on what you are on the lookout for, GitHub breaks down a assortment of lookup inquiries and how to use their web site to slender down your benefits.

Again, your prospect persona will help you determine what you have to have in your up coming application developer or engineer, so make guaranteed you full that initially. In this article are the most typical strategies to lookup for people by standards on GitHub

  • Language
  • Amount of followers
  • Quantity of forks (copied code)
  • Selection of stars (likes)
  • Topic or variety of matters
  • License
  • Repository measurement, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • Within a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Lookup based mostly on the contents of a repository
  • Lookup primarily based on no matter whether a repository is a mirror
  • Look for dependent on no matter if a repository is archived
  • Search centered on the selection of issues with great very first concern or assistance wanted labels

Dependent on your lookup metrics, you can reorganize the research benefits you get by greatest match, most followers, fewest followers, most a short while ago joined, least not too long ago joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Whilst it may well seem counter-intuitive to uncover individuals with number of followers or repositories, if you happen to be seeking for a junior software program engineer, this can be valuable to obtain folks new to the field.


Slim Down Prime Candidates

Impression by means of Shutterstock

As you start to determine industry experts that resonate with your crew and replicate the candidate persona you produced for the job, you can commence narrowing down your alternatives additional by searching for additional certain requirements, this kind of as:

  • Location (spot: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 

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.