How to Source Github for Technical Talent

Editor’s note: This post is part of our Source the Web series here on SourceCon. It features articles on how to mine particular online data resources from experts like Shane Bowen.

If you’re a technical recruiter or sourcer, then you’re likely familiar with Github’s existence. However, sourcing Github can be tricky and even intimidating for some, especially if you approach it as you would other social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Because Github is a community where developers share code, it’s best if you have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for as this is not the place for “title” recruiters/sourcers. If you’re looking for a software engineer, you’d be better served NOT using the term “software engineer” in your query and instead search for what the software engineer is working on.

The beauty of Github is the amount of layers the site has and how accessible it is via search engines and the more tech savvy you are; the better. There are many ways to build out your query to find what you’re looking for on Github, the following should help get you started. Add search terms as needed!

Github Profiles

Profiles: [ “joined on” “public activity” -tab.activity ]

Profiles with location: [ “san francisco” “joined on” “public activity” -tab.activity ]

Profiles with above + key terms: [ (ios | android) “joined on” “public activity” -tab.activity ]

Profiles with above + followers | starred count: [ (“50..250 followers” | “100..500 starred”) (ios | android) “joined on” -tab.activity ]

You can also expand your search by removing [ -tab.activity ] in any of the strings examples above. Or target the activity page with [ tab.activity ]

Additionally, you can include “email *” in your search string to return profiles that contain an email address in them, however email addresses are obfuscated and the returned results may include some noise if the term email is used elsewhere in the users profile.

Narrow results by when a user joined: By year “joined on * 2009?  or by month  “joined on mar *”

Github/Uploaded Resumes

Github Resumes: [ ]

Uploaded Resumes: [ (intitle:resume|cv|vitae | inurl:resume|cv|vitae) -inurl:https|format ]

Uploaded Resumes 2: [ (intitle:resume|cv|vitae | inurl:com/resume | inurl:com/cv | inurl:com/vitae) -inurl:https|format ]

Github Organizations

Organizations: [ “joined on” “repositories * members” -tab.members ]

Article Continues Below

Organization locations: [ “san francisco” “tab.members” ]

Organization members: [ inurl:tab.members ]

Organizations + member count: [ “50..500 members” “tab.members” ]

Organizations + public repositories: [ “1..100 public repos” “50..500 members” -tab.members ]

Oranizations + repositories OR members: [ (50..500 “public repos” | “members”) “tab.members” ]

Github Blogs/Personal Pages

[ (intitle:musings|blog) -inurl:https ]

[ (intitle:musings|blog | inurl:musings|blog) -inurl:https ]

There are literally countless ways to source Github and it would be a boon to any technical recruiter or sourcer to get familiar with the network. It not only lets you uncover great talent, but can help you become a more effective recruiter/sourcer by encouraging you to gain a better understanding of what the role you’re trying to fill requires.

This post originally appeared on

Shane Bowen is an accomplished Technical Sourcer & Full-Cycle Recruiter leveraging 10+ years of experience developing and executing innovative and scalable recruiting strategies in both agency and corporate environments, including Microsoft and Amazon. Shane has an unparalleled passion for all things Talent Acquisition and sharing his expertise with peers and the next generation of recruiting professionals. If you would like to connect with Shane, please reach out via the following: LinkedIn, Twitter @ShaneABowen or shane [at]


11 Comments on “How to Source Github for Technical Talent

    1. Doing things manually is awesome! I love handcrafted furniture. I also love the convenience of Ikea. TalentBin is less than $500/month when you sign a commitment, and allows you to search not only github, but 29 other sources at the same time, email, qualify, contact and manage those people.

      We want to take what would take a recruiter 10 minutes, 1 minute so you have get 10x the work done in your day.

      I would be happy to speak with you about different options and discuss the value of your time!

      1. Many of our readers are individual contributors that do not have budgetary oversight for their departments. We focus on helping them learn how to search all resources (for free).

      2. Many of our readers are individual contributors without budgetary oversight for their departments. We focus on helping them all learn to search every resource available (for free or as cheap as possible).

  1. Jeremy – I wrote a 3 paragraph reply to your comment. For some reason it is not showing up below. Any reason?

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