1H2023 Recap

July 19th, 2023

By Rumiko Matsumoto, Founder & CEO

As we enter the latter half of 2023, we wanted to reflect on the results from the first half of the year here at KIMARU Talent. It was an incredible (and incredibly busy!) start to the year, as we’ll soon discuss. In this blog post, we’ll share a brief recap of 1H2023, including: 

  • Our most noteworthy placements
  • Highlights from the many conferences and events we took part in
  • The three most important startup hiring trends we’ve observed amongst our clients and candidates.

KIMARU Talent 1H2023 Recap:

First, a brief recap. In the first half of 2023, we were able to secure a number of exciting placements for our clients, as you’ll see in the infographic below. We also had an amazing time catching up with friends and colleagues at several major industry gatherings, including the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the D.I.C.E Summit and MAU conference in Las Vegas, and Pocket Gamer Connects in Seattle. Finally, we hosted the first of what we hope will be several “Omakas3” Dinners, bringing together executives, investors, and founders for a unique dining and networking experience. 

Startup Recruitment Trends to Watch for in 2H2023:

In working closely with our clients and speaking with a variety of experienced candidates from across the industry, we noted several trends that emerged as recurring themes across our many interactions. These three trends will be important to watch as we move forward into the latter half of 2023:

  1. Increased demand for remote work: Most candidates we work with have expressed a preference for companies and roles that allow for remote work and/or flexible working arrangements. Enough employers have expressed a willingness to hire remotely that compromising on a role that doesn’t meet the candidate’s requirements – even if it is an otherwise fantastic opportunity –  isn’t something that most are willing to consider. Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, we have not worked on any searches requiring daily on-site presence.  
  1. Conservative hiring practices: Despite a decline in global venture capital funding in 1H2023, startups are still hiring, though in a more cautious manner. Candidates still want to join startups, too, but they are also being more cautious. We have observed that candidates are being diligent about asking detailed questions to assess a potential employer’s stability in this market. In order to land great hires, every interviewer on your panel must be able to clearly articulate your startup’s stability and upcoming growth plans when conducting interviews. 
  1. Growing hidden job market: Startups are becoming increasingly selective in their hiring process due to a high volume of applicants and the costly impact of mis-hiring in a market where venture capital funding is harder to come by than it was in recent years. By not posting jobs, startups are avoiding the overhead associated with screening resumes, sifting through large candidate pools, and working with hiring platforms. Instead, they are relying more heavily on referrals and external firms for outbound recruitment support.

Looking Forward to 2H2023: 

Finally, here is a quick look at what’s ahead for KIMARU Talent in 2H2023.

Below are some of the searches we’re actively working on now:

We are constantly expanding our network of highly qualified candidates, enabling us to effectively and efficiently meet your hiring needs. 

If you have any open positions or upcoming searches, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can also follow us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on all the latest developments. We look forward to continuing our partnership and helping your company achieve your business goals by way of hiring great talent.

Thank you,


Founder & CEO – KIMARU Talent

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