Why GitHub?

The recruiting game is only getting more difficult, and the need for GitHub sourcing is prevalent. 

The demand for tech talent with specialized skill sets is continuing to climb at a frantic pace. 2020’s most in-demand hard skills include technical expertise like blockchain and cloud computing, and recruiters need to find qualified candidates before their competition does. 

GitHub is a hot spot that technical recruiters don’t want to miss. It’s the largest host of source code in the world. There are over 40 million users ranging from students to working professionals, contributing to the platform with the purpose of learning, practicing and making better software. 

There seems to be no better place for recruiters to go find motivated and knowledgeable technical candidates. Problem solved, right? Well, not really. Recruiting on GitHub is not easy. Here are three questions you might ask yourself during the process, and three ways Hiretual can help you knock them out of the way. 


1. Why is Sourcing on GitHub this complicated?

Repositories Commits. Forks. Pull requests. READMEs. GitHub is saturated with jargon you’re most likely not going to be familiar with unless you have some technical background. 

GitHub was not created to make life easier for recruiters. It was created to help the technical workforce share their capabilities, serving as a hub for developers and programmers to contribute to open source projects. 

Because of that, a profile on GitHub isn’t built like LinkedIn. Recruiters aren’t able to view a chronological list of a user’s past job experiences, skills or accomplishments. Instead, GitHub profiles highlight what the technical workforce would want to pay attention to. 

These profiles are source code information-heavy. Recruiters who conduct GitHub sourcing need to know how to interpret different sections of these profiles for indicators on how experienced a candidate is. For example, looking at repositories and contribution activity may give you a good indicator of a candidate’s technical experience. However, the challenge is coming to a conclusion on how relevant these experiences or skill sets actually are for a role. 


With AI, it doesn’t have to be.

Hiretual’s IT/Tech AI Sourcing feature gives recruiters a deeper dive into the technical candidate pool. Our Artificial Intelligence engine puts the spotlight on candidates who may be difficult to find on LinkedIn, widening your sourced talent pool to include active contributors on GitHub, Stack Overflow, Kaggle and more. 

We’ve expanded our search parameters to include over 50 technical expertise and 290 programming languages, so you can be straight forward and specific about the technical candidates you want to uncover. Fill out these fields, and we’ll do the rest. 

Hiretual unclutters GitHub profiles so you can view a holistic list of a candidate’s repository contributions, programming language strengths, and GitHub star rankings.


2. Must GitHub sourcing be this time-consuming?

According to Hiretual users, Braxton Nimmick and Ian Gillespie from Talent Edge Staffing, sourcing for 10 candidates on GitHub can take up to almost an hour. Even when doing so, they sometimes find themselves reaching out blindly to users because it’s hard to understand what these technical candidates can actually do. 

The heart of GitHub is the repository. In simple terms, repositories are where source code projects are stored. It’s also where groups of developers collaborate on files for the master branch of a project. 

Sourcing on GitHub is repository-focused and not user-focused because viewing project contributions will give recruiters an idea on a candidate’s technical capabilities. Targeting a repository search on the platform is going to be much more effective than searching for particular profiles. 

GitHub allows you to specify keywords, programming languages, popularity and more when searching for repositories. By keying in Boolean search strings, you’ll be able to pull exact matches from source code information. 

For example, if you’re looking for repositories with big data as a keyword, javascript or python as a programming language, more than 10 followers and 5 forks, your search string will look a little something like this: 

big+data in:name,description language:Java language:Python stars:>10 forks:>5

As you can see, it’s a detailed and drawn-out process to find these repositories – and that’s not even the end goal. A recruiter’s goal is to analyze the commits and activity history of developers that contribute to projects that relate to a job description on hand. 

With Hiretual’s IT/Tech AI Sourcing, you’ll have more time to work. 

Instead of creating lengthy search strings to filter repositories, recruiters can fill out the fields in Hiretual’s IT/Tech AI Sourcing to directly turn up a list of candidates who are GitHub users and contributors. 

For example, input Big Data in the Expertise field, Java and Python for Programming Languages, and specify that you want technical candidates with Intermediate, Contributor or Master coding activity levels. 

Hiretual generates a search for IT/Tech candidates across GitHub, Stack Overflow, Kaggle and more so that you can find active developers without having to click into individual repositories. You’ll be able to see a candidate’s GitHub repositories alongside their resume information in one single view (and with no need to find exact keywords in a bunch of code). You also won’t need to manually search for a candidate on LinkedIn to find more information about them. 

Instead of spending close to an hour sourcing for 10 GitHub users, Hiretual analyzes thousands of profiles in a matter of minutes. So you can get off your seat, grab a cup of coffee or check how your email sequences are doing in Hiretual’s Engagement tab, and come back to 50 of the best-fit candidates according to your search query. 


3. Why can’t I find a GitHub user’s contact information?

There’s no use in finding an extremely experienced or qualified candidate if you can’t reach them. 

“GitHub is where you’ll find people who don’t want to be found, usually really great engineers from top tier companies who might not even have LinkedIn,”

Braxton Nimmick, Co-Founder of Talent Edge Staffing. 

GitHub functions as a showcase for technical skill sets, not a networking site. Many talented developers choose not to disclose their email addresses, social media links or sometimes even their real names on their profile. They’re able to navigate the platform, contribute to repositories and collaborate with fellow developers without having to build personal connections like LinkedIn, and being contacted by others on the platform becomes a matter of low to zero priority. 

Recruiters have to resort to multiple hacks that can uncover ways to contact GitHub users. 

You can cross-check a GitHub profile with a LinkedIn one if a user discloses his real name. But if these candidates aren’t checking their LinkedIn as often, would an InMail really make a difference? 

Recruiters like Braxton and Ian have also used GitHub’s API to find email addresses available in the Commit of public repositories or in a user’s recent events. However, this method is manual and does take time. 


Hiretual uncovers contact information just as quickly as we source.

Candidate profiles in Hiretual are equipped with multiple ways for you to contact them. A click of a button is all you need to find publicly available emails, phone numbers, and social media profiles across the open web. 

To top that off, we find you your candidate’s personal emails so you can make sure that you actually reach them beyond the clutter of a busy work inbox. 


It’s becoming a necessity for recruiters to find fresh untapped candidates that have not been found because they are not actively networking on LinkedIn. There simply isn’t enough time in a recruiter’s day to spend hours navigating and interpreting a tech goldmine like GitHub. 

But GitHub simply cannot be overlooked if it’s offering hiring teams a variety of qualified talent. 


With Hiretual, power your technical recruiting so that you can look in the right places to find the best people for your open roles – in a fraction of the time. 


Ready to effectively and easily source and recruit on GitHub? Get a personalized demo now.

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