If you’re not familiar with GitHub, you should be. With more than 10 million users, it’s a community of active developers and software engineers who present their skills for all to see by posting code, commenting on the work of others, and contributing to the projects held in more than 24 million repositories. Approach it correctly, and you’ll get a sense of their strengths and interests, along with an inside view of how they go about their work. At the same time, it’s important to remember that GitHub is the tech professional’s home ground. It’s not a place to blast out form emails or blindly troll for candidates. Recruiters generally believe it works best as a sourcing tool, using it to establish one-on-one dialogues with candidates after diving into the details of their work and interests. In short, they focus on taking advantage of GitHub for what it is – an active community of tech professionals – and not on trying to make it an arena for blindly chasing down candidates who fall within certain parameters. Many recruiters use GitHub as just one of many tools. With practice, you can certainly identify candidates by technical skill and location, but its search options weren’t designed with recruiting in mind. Some recruiters prefer to conduct X-Ray searches of the site through Google or Bing in order to generate initial lists of possible candidates. Others use Dice's OpenWeb platform and Twitter profiles to identify prospects, then turn to GitHub as a way to study their work, interests and reputation. Using GitHub “is a bit of a long game,” said Casey Kugler, a tech recruiter for the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Va. Using it effectively requires you to set up an account and actively follow other members to get a sense of their skills and experience. In that sense, it’s a great tool for developing a pipeline. “There’s a lot of information if you look between the cracks,” added Robert Fleischhauer, senior technology recruiter at the InSource Group in Dallas. For example, following the projects can help you identify areas of technical interest that candidates might not have listed on their resume or social-media profiles.