Top 9 Tips for Hiring Software Developers on GitHub

A guide to recruiting software developers directly from GitHub

In today’s highly competitive job market, hiring software developers is harder than ever. So as a recruiter, it’s imperative that you utilise all the available resources in order to source the best candidates.

One of the most valuable resources that can help in hiring software developers is GitHub.

In this article, we’ll share actionable tips on recruiting software developers on the code hosting platform.

Why GitHub is a Valuable Resource for Recruiters

GitHub is the largest and most popular code-hosting platform in the world. It has over 100 million repositories and 40 million users, making it an excellent resource for recruiters for hiring software developers. 

This kind of access means you can engage with tech talent in the place where they hang out. And that’s going to be far more effective in building meaningful relationships than firing off a bunch of generic emails.

GitHub is a place for developers to show their open-source projects and essentially showcase their professional skills.

However, it is underpinned by collaboration, and over the last decade it has become in essence a social media site for tech people. It’s something that GitHub has dubbed ‘social coding’.

The casual culture that fosters means GitHub’s users will be far more receptive to your approaches.

You’ll be able to build positive relationships with them and ultimately recruit software developers from GitHub on a repeat basis. 

So what are the key benefits of hiring software developers via GitHub?

You will be able to:

  • Access a large pool of talented software developers who actively contribute to open-source projects.
  • View developers’ code and assess their coding skills before even contacting them.
  • Get insights into developers’ interests, passion projects, and contributions to the community.
  • Build long-term relationships with developers who share the same values and vision.

Tips for Hiring Software Developers on GitHub

1. Create a Comprehensive GitHub Profile

Before you start searching for candidates on GitHub, you need to create a comprehensive profile that showcases your company’s culture, values, and mission.

Make sure to include a clear job description and the skills you’re looking for in a candidate. By doing so, you’ll attract developers who are a good fit for your company.

2. Use Advanced Search Filters

GitHub’s advanced search filters allow you to narrow down your search based on different criteria such as location, programming languages, and stars.

For example, if you’re looking for a software developer who is proficient in Python and based in San Francisco, you can use the following search query: language:python location:san francisco.

3. Look for Developers who Contribute to Open-Source Projects

Developers who contribute to open-source projects on GitHub are more likely to be passionate about coding, willing to collaborate with others and have a deep understanding of best coding practices.

Look for developers who have a track record of contributing to projects related to your industry or technology stack.

Also look at the contribution chart. This heat map of activity is a key indicator of how much and how often a developer gets involved with other projects.

People who love to code have steady patterns that correlate with their success in the workplace.

hiring software developers
Contribution chart on Github

4. Assess Developers’ Coding Skills

One of the biggest advantages of using GitHub is the ability to assess developers’ coding skills before even contacting them.

Look for developers who have a clean and well-documented codebase. Pay attention to how they structure their code, how they write comments, and how they handle edge cases.

5. Reach Out to Developers with a Personalised Message

When you find a potential candidate on GitHub, don’t just send them a generic message. Personalize your message by mentioning their previous contributions to open-source projects or specific skills that caught your attention.

By doing so, you’ll show that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in their work.

6. Build Long-Term Relationships

Building long-term relationships with developers is crucial for your company’s success. Even if you’re not hiring at the moment, stay in touch with developers who are a good fit for your company.

Comment on their code, give them feedback, and share your company’s culture and values. By doing so, you’ll build a network of talented developers who are interested in working with you in the future.

7. Check Out Their GitHub Profile

Once you’ve found a potential candidate on GitHub, it’s important to take a closer look at their GitHub profile.

This will give you a better understanding of their coding skills, interests, and contributions to open-source projects.

It’s also a good idea to review their repositories and see if they have any projects that are relevant to your job opening.

8. Leverage GitHub Communities

GitHub has a large and active community of software developers, which can be a valuable resource for recruiters.

By participating in GitHub communities, recruiters can learn more about the latest trends in software development, as well as connect with potential candidates.

Some popular GitHub communities include HackerRank, Codecademy, and FreeCodeCamp.

9. Use GitHub to Build Your Employer Brand

Finally, recruiters can use GitHub to build their employer brand and attract top software developers.

By showcasing your company’s open-source projects and contributions on GitHub, you can demonstrate your commitment to software development and attract like-minded candidates.

This can help differentiate your company from competitors and attract the best talent in the industry.

GitHub is used by the majority of developers

According to a survey by Stack Overflow, 87% of developers use GitHub, 75% of those are interested in hearing about new job opportunities, and 58% of hiring managers consider GitHub contributions when evaluating candidates.

This indicates the importance of GitHub in the software development industry and highlights the need to leverage this platform when hiring software developers.

By effectively utilising GitHub, you can find highly skilled and passionate candidates who are active contributors to open-source projects, which can lead to better job performance and overall productivity.

The bottom line

In conclusion, GitHub is the platform for software developers. What Gmail is to email, GitHub is to writing software.

In short, it’s the most powerful tool in your arsenal when hiring software developers. 

By following our tips, you can effectively search GitHub and find the most qualified tech talent for your roles.

From leveraging advanced search options to building your employer brand, there are a variety of strategies that you can use to make the most of GitHub when hiring software developers.


  1. How can I use GitHub to build my employer brand?

Recruiters can showcase their company’s open-source projects and contributions on GitHub to demonstrate their commitment to software development and attract top talent in the industry.

  1. How do I recruit software developers on Linkedin?

Post your job openings on LinkedIn and share engaging content that will keep developers coming back for more.

Use InMail or group messages in specific communities dedicated solely towards programmers and developers.

  1. Are there any other online communities for software developers?

Yes, there are many other online communities for software developers, such as HackerRank, Codecademy, and FreeCodeCamp.