September 22, 2023

Alex o'Loughlin

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How To Use GitHub Advanced Search For Recruiters

The desire for tech expertise is large, but the pool of experienced candidates is in shorter source. It also doesn’t help that unemployment is small, as it additional narrows down your talent pool and can make it harder to discover excellent staff. 

With competitors for tech talent significant, you’re very likely seeking for new and impressive ways to detect, bring in and recruit excellent tech professionals. This report will enable you do just that by outlining a one of a kind sourcing tactic, Github advanced search. You’ll find out what Github is as effectively as why and how you need to supply tech experts from the platform.


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Table of Contents


What is GitHub?

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GitHub is a cloud-based social sharing web-site. As a substitute of sharing everyday living updates, position postings or shots, nonetheless, GitHub people share code. The system operates on an open-supply framework, indicating the code is open to the general community and can be altered by everyone. The variations are tracked by using the platform’s Git revision management technique (therefore the name GitHub), so people can see how code adjustments from its authentic type. 


Why Recruit on GitHub?

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In this day and age, just about each individual company wants professionals with coding, creating or programming experience. No matter whether you are updating your firm’s site or making an app, you require software program engineers and application builders — equally of which are some of the most in-desire roles in the career marketplace. 

Employers need to get much more strategic with their sourcing practices if they want to defeat out the opposition and entice prime software package engineering talent. Because tech professionals have endless task prospects, they are not actively searching for work or updating their digital resumes. They’re also not going to respond to the prolonged listing of recruiters striving to hook up and get them to utilize.

Alternatively, for those people challenging to use specialized roles, you want to meet up with expertise on the platforms they repeated. For most software package engineers and developers, that platform is GitHub. 


How to Recruit with GitHub State-of-the-art Look for

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In get to obtain great application engineers and builders on GitHub, you to start with will need to understand how the platform functions and what to look for. Start off by creating an account on GitHub that incorporates data on your firm.

On top of that, make a applicant persona so you know what to search for all through your look for. Your applicant persona should include things like info like locale, experience, training, programming language and techniques.

Equivalent to other social sharing web pages, GitHub consumers have profiles with the next information:

  • Standard: Title, Place, Day joined, Manage (or display identify)
  • Qualified: Career title, Employer, Schooling, Expertise, Web site, Speak to info
  • Public activity
  • Followers/Next
  • Forks (code that’s been copied)
  • Sources (unique code from person)
  • Stars (GitHub’s version of likes)

GitHub profiles also incorporate a calendar graph of when and how a lot of contributions a user has made to open source code in the former year.

Additionally, there is a area identified as repositories, or “repos”, which are places on the system the place open up-supply progress projects or application deals are stored. On a user’s profile, you can see which repositories the person has labored on and how a lot their operate has been starred or forked. Repositories give you insight into what languages and techniques a consumer has shown, which is a lot additional useful than bullet points on a resume. 




Look for for Candidate Personas

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Repositories are a goldmine for recruiters hunting for particular information to find aptly proficient specialists. Relying on what you are wanting for, GitHub breaks down a range of lookup inquiries and how to benefit from their web site to slender down your outcomes.

All over again, your applicant persona will assist you figure out what you require in your following program developer or engineer, so make confident you complete that to start with. Right here are the most common ways to lookup for consumers by conditions on GitHub

  • Language
  • Amount of followers
  • Range of forks (copied code)
  • Quantity of stars (likes)
  • Subject matter or variety of topics
  • License
  • Repository dimension, name, description, or contents of the README file
  • Within just a user’s or organization’s repositories
  • Research based mostly on the contents of a repository
  • Search centered on irrespective of whether a repository is a mirror
  • Lookup primarily based on no matter if a repository is archived
  • Research based on the variety of problems with good very first issue or aid desired labels

Relying on your search metrics, you can reorganize the lookup results you get by most effective match, most followers, fewest followers, most not long ago joined, least recently joined, most repositories and fewest repositories. Though it might seem counter-intuitive to discover people with few followers or repositories, if you’re looking for a junior program engineer, this can be valuable to obtain people new to the area.


Slim Down Prime Candidates

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As you commence to discover pros that resonate with your team and replicate the prospect persona you designed for the role, you can get started narrowing down your options additional by looking for extra particular standards, such as:

  • Spot (area: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 

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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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