If you recruit for technical talent, I have no doubt that you have been told to search candidates on GitHub. But what is exactly is GitHub and why is it special? If you search “What is GitHub?” online, you will see everything from a social site for engineers to open source site to a code repository.

The very short and basic description is GitHub is the cloud for developers. It is a place to store files without a size limit, collaborate with other developers and learn some code along the way.Think of it like this. Pretend that you are painting a huge portrait. Unfortunately, you have no space to store art, but you can put it in storage we will call ArtHub. You like your portrait, but you are open to suggestions. You keep your original art but, others who are working on portraits can copy a version of your portrait to use for themselves (“forking”), or they can make changes and recommendations to you on how to make it better.

It isn’t only small companies that share their projects on GitHub. Companies such as Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon have repositories on GitHub as well.

As of April 2016, GitHub reports having more than 14 million users and more than 35 million repositories, making it the largest host of source code in the world.

With this kind of numbers, the odds are good that the candidate you are looking for has a GitHub account. However, sourcing on GitHub is not the same as sourcing on other social media sites. GitHub users are not required to share information about their current job. It is all based on their coding. Developers who register on GitHub do have  publicly viewable profiles that will include:

  • Username
  • Current Employer
  • Location
  • Email Address
  • Number of Followers
  • Contributions and Code Examples
  • Code Repositories

When reviewing resumes, hiring managers really only care about the code at first. That is why so many Hiring Managers often ask developers they are interviewing to take some sort of code evaluation or invite them in to show them how they code on a whiteboard. The catch is, most developers hate taking pre-employment coding tests. Just look:

With GitHub, many profiles have examples of code so it could allow you to hire faster and skip the coding test altogether. The first step, of course, is finding the profiles in the first place. Here are the five tools you should choose from with sourcing on GitHub:

1. Recruit ‘Em

I am showing this first because it is NOT a Chrome Extension. Recruit‘Em is a web site that develops X-Ray search strings that you can use to find candidates via Google Search. It can find candidates on LinkedIn, Google+, GitHub, Twitter, Stack Overflow and more. Furthermore, as a bonus, they recently added a job optimizer search that will give you additional keywords that you should add to make your job descriptions more attractive. It is 100% free, no registration needed.

Find GitHub Profiles

2. Jobjet

Jobjet offers a free Chrome Extension (previously known as Hound) allows you to save public social media profiles to your Jobjet account right from your browser window with a few simple clicks. It can even can find hidden contact information for candidate profiles you don’t have a personal connection with. They are also working on improving search for one of the hardest things to find, phone numbers. The best part about Jobjet is that it is unobtrusive. It uses a simple “J” on profiles that you can click for discovery. If you have several Chrome Extensions, you know what that is so important.

Find GitHub Profiles

3. Discover.ly

Discover.ly is a free Chrome Extension that discovers how you can leverage your social media contacts to get an introduction to the person with whom you are trying to connect. In other words, this tool looks for information on the individual you are sourcing as well as mutual connections on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, GitHub and even Google. Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, etc. It does this by searching your Gmail contacts as well as your social contacts.

Find GitHub Profiles

4. Nymeria

Nymeria is more than a wolf on Game of thrones. It is also a Chrome Extension that searches for emails on LinkedIn and GitHub. You don’t hear too much about it, but It’s incredibly accurate. It is also unobtrusive and does not get in your way of what you are doing like so many other extesnsions. I would combine using this tool with the Advanced Search already built in GitHub.

5. Hiretual

Hiretual is a Chrome Extension that shows you more information on candidates you find on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, GitHub and even Google.This tool is great. What makes this tool superior in comparison to a lot of the other aggregators is that it reveals things such as like compensation, likely fit, expertise, GitHub profile and the ever elusive phone number. It has a very simple User Interface makes it easy to compile all of the information that you need. As another bonus, you can export this information into a CSV file, making it easy to use with your ATS or CRM system.

Find GitHub Profiles


GitHub is definitely a must search resource is you are looking for developers. Just remember you are not in this alone. There are several sites that will help you find top talent.


Editors Note-

Corey, the founder of Nymeria https://www.nymeria.io. announced on April 4, 2017, that Nymeria was shutting down for the foreseeable future.They are no longer accepting sign-ups and all free accounts have been locked out. Furthermore, Nymeria is no longer available on the Google web store. If you uninstall your extension you will be unable to install it again.

By Jackye Clayton

Jackye is an acclaimed thought leader and inspirational speaker on recruiting and DEIB topics. She brings years of experience recruiting across a variety of industries including tech, HR, legal, and finance. In her role as VP of Talent Acquisition and DEIB, she leads all related work at Textio, provides critical expertise to customers, and serves as a leading voice in the products Textio creates for the broader ecosystem. Jackye has been named one of the 9 Powerful Women in Business You Should Know by SDHR Consulting, one of the 15 Women in HR Tech to Follow by VidCruiter, and is on the Top 100 list of Human Resources Influencers by Human Resource Executive Magazine.