It’s that time of year again, where rosy-cheeked, heavy-set men with long hair and beards thrive. While many people may be imagining their uncles from this description, we are, of course, talking about Santa Claus.
However, it seems this year Santa may be in short supply despite the assistance of his helpers world-over. That’s right, festive Santas are the latest job to be impacted by staff shortages in the US.
The issue comes as demand spikes, and previous Santas retire, are concerned about catching COVID-19, or have been impacted by it already.
The Santa crisis
The spike in demand has been felt by the likes of Courtney Bryant, an employee for a non-profit in Texas, who told The Washington Post that she paid $320 for two hours of Santa jubilation from gig economy site GigSalad.
However, demand was so high that she couldn’t meet the Santa she had ordered ahead of the event. Instead, the deal was he would just turn up at the event of 4 December.
What can people do to attract Santa?
The US-wide staff shortages have evidently impacted every industry of work.
While many incentives that have been implemented to attract and retain employees may not be applicable to Santa (such as), could other changes that gig workers have seen help lure Santa from the North Pole more effectively than brandy and carrots?
Rates for Santa hires have already begun to multiply, and this looks set to continue as supply and demand factors become more prevalent.
Additionally, with the risks that COVID-19 presents to the age of those who typically wear red costumes, an even larger financial incentive may be required to balance risk and reward.
This point is punctuated by the likes of Mitch Allen who noted: “Several hundred Santas and Mrs. Clauses over the last 18 months have passed away, and it’s just a tragedy.”
Speaking about the current situation, Tim Connaghan, known as the National Santa, told The Washington Post: “I’ve had all my shots and all my vaccinations, and I watch myself very closely, but I want to remain cautious, you know, and I’m also encouraging other Santas to do the same.”
Interestingly, it has been reported that most major shopping malls have largely been successful in securing their Santas.
Given that organizations with over a hundred employers are required to be vaccinated in the US, working with large companies full of vaccinated workers may be a safer and more lucrative proposition for Santas.