How to Recruit Tech Professionals on GitHub and Stack Overflow?

GitHub and StackOverflow are incredible sources of tech professionals. Learning how to recruit on GitHub and StackOverflow is a must for every HR professional and recruiter who wants to find and hire great developers


What are GitHub and Stack Overflow?

If you’re looking to hire developers then Github and StackOverflow are your go-to places. These two websites are your best bet for finding and hiring top tech professionals.

➡️ Download our free eBook: Definite Guide for Recruiting & Hiring Developers!

Let’s start by introducing GitHub and StackOverflow and explaining the difference between them. 


GitHub is the world’s largest software development platform. It is a place where developers can host and review their code, manage projects, and build software alongside 31 million developers. 

Basically, it is a site where developers store their code and share it with others for collaboration, further development or simply usage.

Here is what it looks like:


Here are some numbers which demonstrate the importance of GitHub in the tech community:

Here is the short video introduction to GitHub:


Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn and share their knowledge. 

Basically, Stack Overflow is a Q&A site. It is a place where developers post their programming-related questions and coding problems hoping that other developers will be able to help them. 

Here is how it looks like:


Here are some numbers which demonstrate the importance of Stack Overflow in tech community:

Here is the short video introduction to Stack OverFlow:


Why are GitHub and StackOverflow the best places to recruit tech candidates?

The latest Stack Overflow’ survey The Global Developer Hiring Landscape 2018 has found that:


In other words, developers are generally passive candidates. They aren’t actively looking for a job, which is why you won’t find them checking job boards, LinkedIn and your career site. In order to reach them, you need to go where they are - on GitHub and Stack Overflow.

Stack Overflow and GitHub have another unique advantage as a source of potential tech candidates. They are an amazing source of information about candidates which can help you evaluate their competency and skills

By using GitHub and Stack Overflow, you’ll be able to get insights into technologies they work with and projects they work(ed) on. You can even see their actual code! Gathering all this information and insights will make it easier for you to differentiate good programmers from great ones. 

How to find top candidates on GitHub and Stack Overflow?

Here is a detailed guide on finding candidates on GitHub and Stack Overflow:


Here is how you can find great developers on GitHub in 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Create a free account

First, create a free personal account on GitHub by signing up. It’s quick and easy! 

Important: Don’t skip this step, otherwise you won’t be able to see your potential candidates’ email addresses! 


Step 2: Use the top search bar

GitHub has a powerful built-in search engine. There’s a common search bar at the top of the site:


However, I highly recommend using an advanced search option, which offers a wide range of filters. For example, you can filter developers based on location, programming language, number of followers, etc. 

Step 3: Find email addresses

Once you find suitable candidates, you’ll want to get their emails addresses in order to contact them. If the candidate has listed their email address, you’ll be able to see it in two places:

1. In the search results

Let’s say we searched for Python developers located in London. Here are the results:


2. On their profile bio

If the candidate has not listed an email address, use email finders to discover it.


Stack Overflow

There are 3 great ways to find your potential candidates on Stack Overflow:

1. Use their job board

Stack Overflow has a job board where you can post your job ad. 

An additional benefit is that Stack Overflow will put your job ad directly in front of the relevant audience. 

For example, if you’re looking for Java developers, your job ad will show up on Stack Overflow pages that talk about Java-related coding issues. 


2. Use their advanced candidate search

Stack Overflow offers their paying customers access to their users’ profiles

This option allows employers to find, message and recruit from Stack Overflow’s pool of interested developer candidates - all of whom have opted in to be contacted by employers. 


3. Tag search

You can also use Stack Overflow’s tag search option to find relevant potential candidates.

First, click on tag button on the homepage. 

The tag is actually a skill. For example, click on the “javascript” tag to find Javascript developers. 


The result will look like this:
StackOwerflow Result

Now click on the “top users” to get a list of developers:

And...voila! It’s as simple as that. 🙂

How to successfully approach tech talent on GitHub and Stack Overflow?

Remember, developers are high in demand. They are bombarded with recruitment messages every day. 

If you want to stand out from many other recruiters, you’ll need to differentiate your approach. 

Here is the magic 3 step formula for approaching developers on GitHub and Stack Overflow:


Step #1: Showcase your existing employees

Encourage your hiring managers and developers to be active on GitHub and Stack Overflow. Ask them to build up their profiles and share the projects they work on. It is also important that they share their knowledge and expertise by answering to questions posted by other developers.

Having your existing employees visible and contributing to the tech community is the best way to get your company in front of your potential candidates. Developers who work with the same technology and on similar projects will quickly notice your star employees. 

Using your existing employees as your brand ambassadors is a great way to attract the attention of your highly relevant potential candidates. It is also a great way for your developers to build their own personal professional brand: a win-win situation!

Want to adapt your website content to attract more developers?
Create landing pages with targeted content and a set of jobs for any initiative, program, campaign, department, location or event. Help developers realize why they want to join YOUR company! Creating lading pages in TalentLyft is so simple, that you don't even need any coding knowledge for it!
 See it in action 

Step #2: Become a part of a community

Stack Overflow and GitHub are communities. Unfortunately, most communities aren’t very welcoming to strangers. Especially if they come with unwanted job offers. Luckily, there is a solution - become an insider

Get involved! Build relationships and become a part of the community. And don’t worry - you can do it even if you’re not a techie! Spend time on Stack Overflow and GitHub. Explore them and learn how they work. 

Also, make sure to follow discussions on the technologies you’re interested in. Learn more about those technologies. Our Technology Glossary for Human Resource (HR) Professionals will help you get started. 

Step 3: Personalize your approach

Use the personalized approach to grab the attention of your potential candidates. If you followed two previous steps, you’ll already have all the information you need to define a highly relevant, customized recruiting message. 

Show your understanding and appreciation for your potential candidates’ work. Make sure to focus on their needs and interests. Make it clear how working at your company can help them achieve their goals (and dreams!).

Candidates will want to hear how you might be able to help their career progression, boost their income or improve their reputation.   

Looking for more great tips on recruiting developers?

Download our guide Tech recruiting guide below! 

Frequently asked questions

Why are GitHub and Stack Overflow crucial for recruiting tech talent? 

GitHub and Stack Overflow are pivotal for reaching passive tech candidates and gaining insights into their skills and projects, facilitating targeted recruitment.

How can recruiters find potential tech candidates on GitHub? 

Recruiters can use GitHub's advanced search options, create accounts to view email addresses, and leverage the platform's data to find and contact tech professionals.

What strategies are effective for recruiting on Stack Overflow? 

Posting job ads, using advanced candidate search, and employing tag search are effective strategies for finding and recruiting tech talent on Stack Overflow.

How can recruiters stand out when approaching tech talent on these platforms? 

Personalizing outreach by showcasing employees' contributions and becoming part of the tech community helps recruiters stand out and attract tech professionals.

What is the benefit of using tech community platforms for recruitment? 

Platforms like GitHub and Stack Overflow provide authentic insights into tech candidates' work and help recruiters tailor their approach, making the recruitment process more efficient and targeted.

backgound backgound
Tech Recruitment: Top 10 Tips for Recruiting Tech Professionals

Tech Recruitment: Top 10 Tips for Recruiting Tech Professionals

Download this guide and find out how to find, attract and hire tech professionals who are fit for your company!
Get your eBook

Further reading

55 Best Job Boards in 2024 (Free + Paid) 55 Best Job Boards in 2024 (Free + Paid)
Welcome to the ultimate cheat sheet for navigating the jungle of job boards! At this time, the space of job boards is almost endless, ranging from widely recognized...
How to Create a Hiring Plan That Works How to Create a Hiring Plan That Works
Imagine working in tourism, and you start posting ads for seasonal jobs a month before the beginning of the season? We all know it will be a disaster. Because we...

By topics

Attracting Candidates
Best HR Blogs
Candidate Experience
Careers Page
Collaborative Hiring
Conducting Interviews
Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Company Culture
Employee Management
Employee Onboarding
Internal Recruitment
Employer Branding
Hire planning
HR Software
HR Tech Trends
Interview Questions
Job Advertisement
Mobile Recruitment
News & Updates
People Analytics
Recruiting Stats
Recruitment Agencies
AI in Recruitment
Recruitment by Industry
Recruitment Content
Recruitment Marketing
Recruitment Process
Recruitment & HR Software
Recruitment Trends
Remote Work
Resume Screening
Candidate Assessment
Social Recruiting
Talent Sourcing
Successful Recruiter
Talent Acquisition
Tech Recruiting
Employee Retention
Video in Recruitment
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Your hiring teammate

TalentLyft is an intuitive recruitment app made for successful hiring.