Should I Look at My IT Candidate’s GitHub?

If you’re searching for a top quality IT candidate, you might wonder whether to take a look at GitHub, the well-known social coding site. Like so much in life, the answer is “it depends.” Here are some things to consider.

What Is GitHub?

GitHub is a sort of social media site for developers. They use open source frameworks to develop various projects and share it on the site. Anyone can change the code, and the site uses its proprietary Git revision control system to track all the changes.

How Do I Use GitHub?

The beauty of GitHub for hiring managers is that it allows you to search through users’ public profiles. You can find all sorts of interesting information—not just name and location, but also preferred coding language and even number of followers. A good rule of thumb is that top talent generally has somewhere between 25 and 75 followers. However, having any followers at all is a respectable accomplishment, and any number over 10 is excellent. People with more than 75 followers are at the very top of the industry and likely unattainable.

You’ll also want to look at candidates’ repositories. This is where the actual code they’ve worked on is stored. Code marked as Sources is their original work, while code marked as Forked is someone else’s code that they’ve copied and incorporated into a project.

Is It Really Worth It?

If you’re not a techie, your head may be spinning by now. You might be wondering whether GitHub is worth it. The truth is that the site can give you some valuable supplementary information about a candidate, and it can even be a good place to start looking for passive talent. But just like you wouldn’t hire a marketing candidate solely based on their Facebook profile, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on GitHub for your IT candidates.

If you’re not comfortable in the tech realm, there’s nothing wrong with skipping over GitHub altogether. Or you can use it at any level you like, from taking a peek at the GitHub of a candidate you otherwise like to actively recruiting directly from the platform. The choice is entirely yours.

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If you are looking for talented IT professionals who can help your organization achieve its goals in the new year, contact the experts at PEAK Technical Staffing today to learn how we can help you access cutting-edge talent.


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