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How to utilize the power of GitHub to find developers

GitHub is a gold mine not only for developers who show off their work but also for recruiters. It’s the largest code-sharing platform in the world, where developers host and share their codes based on open source frameworks and technologies. The code is open, so anyone can access and alter it. GitHub is full of tech talents who contribute to the platform and regularly develop their skills. As a recruiter, you can’t ignore this platform, and here is how to find developers there.

Github for recruiters: How this platform simplifies hiring

As the largest open-source code platform globally, GitHub provides access to professional developers with real-life examples of their work, skills, and expertise. Developers create profiles on Github to share mainly information about their background and experience. But they also can show their real expertise that you won’t find on Linkedin. 

Just imagine, there are over 31+M developers on GitHub, along with data scientists, QA engineers, product managers, software architects, and other tech-minded people. Recruiters can find the personal info about the developers there and see their actual code, projects, and skills in action and even compare it to the information they state on LinkedIn.

And that’s only a small part. Here are other benefits of GitHub, recruiters can’t miss.

  • It gives you a chance to be more personalized and increase the response rate of developers

Let’s take LinkedIn as an example. There you see only the general information about the candidate and usually write a cold email with no understanding of whether his/her skills are relevant to the position. While with GitHub, you already know the skills and experience of the candidate and can come up with a more personalized offer. Also, if the developer knows how to list Github on a resume, you can compare his/her actual contributions to what is stated on the CV.

  • With GitHub, recruiters can reduce their time-to-hire

On GitHub, recruiters can analyze the repositories where developers contribute code and save their time on reaching out to irrelevant candidates. It also saves time during the interview process, as the recruiter is well-prepared, knows the developer’s expertise, and can predict the expectations of the specialist from the job position.

Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions, and a healthy dose of curiosity. What do you think is the most important factor when building your team? For us, it's personality

Richard Branson

How to find developers on GitHub

Here are the most effective ways to hire developers on GitHub and resume GitHub:

  • Advanced search

With GitHub advanced search and GitHub search syntax, recruiters can search based on such Github resume information as to location, language, number of followers, and public repositories. You can filter the searches and select profiles based on the number of followers, repositories, and date the developer joined. Here is the tip: filter the profiles based on those who have recently joined the platform; as these people are newcomers, they are more responsive and open to new job opportunities. 

  • Search by GitHub projects and developers

You can also filter the candidates by the open-source projects they work on. For example, if you want a developer with experience in developing maps, type “maps” in the search box and press enter. Then choose the desired repository and check the number of contributors, forks, and other criteria. You can look for the separate members in the Contributors list and the Members list. 

  • Search by programming language and technology

This strategy is great if you need to find developers based on the project requirements. It is as simple as just typing the search query with the name of the technology and then looking for the contributors and members of the repository. Not all developers add GitHub to resume, so this will help you find more about the developer’s experience.

  • Use Web search and X-ray search

X-ray is a great way to find relevant candidates. All you need to do is open the GitHub tab, enter a desired location and skills, and click on the “Find the right people on GitHub” button. Copy, save, or open the search string in Google and find the right candidates.

GitHub profile structure: How to find the relevant information

The key to finding relevant candidates for the position is to look for profiles similar to your organization's need, scanning for relevant keywords, finding repositories and GitHub search users. To do this, you need to know what to look for in the developer profile and how to use GitHub on resume. Here’s what information you’ll find in the GitHub profile structure:

  • Popular repositories  
  • Programming Language in which the repository is written  
  • Number of stars the repository has received  
  • Number of people who have forked it

Let’s dig deeper into each of these.

Personal information

  • A developer’s photo, location, and GitHub jobs profile with organizations where she/he has worked
  • Developer’s website or email ID
  • Popular repositories of the developer
  • Stars - the number of stars shows how many users follow the projects of the candidate


  • A list of all the projects and the source code the programmer has worked on
  • “Personal” repositories are the projects that developers completed and “Contributed to”

repositories are the projects that the developers worked on for a recruiter or an organization.

  • You can filter and open the list of work done for the day by clicking on the green blocks.
  •  The projects can be opened, commented on, and modified.


  • A number of contributions a user’s made to projects on GitHub, and how often. It is a great index of how actively the developer contributes to the projects and his/her commitment to the craft of coding. You can also view the date of their last contribution; when it comes to contribution activity, the greener, the better.

How to contact someone on GitHub

Before contacting a developer, create a personalized message and include a description of your company and the benefits you offer. The message will be sent to the developer’s personal email ID linked to the profile.

Don’t rely only on GitHub when collecting information about developers. You can also check out his/their profiles on other platforms to gather as much as possible about the projects they have worked on. When reaching out, make sure to include the following information:

  • Why you’re reaching out to them 
  • What impressed you on their GitHub profile
  • Information about your company, including its tech stack and benefits
  • How the candidate can make an impact on the team, why his/her skills are important to the project
  • Links to the company GitHub account or members of the dev team’s profiles

Offer flexibility and work-from-home benefits, if possible: Remote work and flexible schedules are becoming more popular than ever. Try to keep up with current workplace trends. Depending on the industry and shift schedule, remote work might not be possible, so consider other ways of offering more flexibility to your workers

Nicole Smartt, Co-Owner and President of Star Staffing, one of America's Best Recruiting and Temporary Staffing Firms by Forbes

And don’t forget that the right technology will make the hiring process easier and automate most of the manual tasks. Employa is an AI-driven research assistant that helps you recruit by automatically posting your vacancies to the best IT jobs websites, and uses AI to select only the best applicants.

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