We’ve all seen the hiring struggles across the professional world this year, but this might be the final straw: there’s a Santa shortage!

Seeing the jolly old elf at shopping malls or at holiday parties is a classic part of the season every year. Unfortunately, 2022’s labor shortage is hitting even the cheeriest of professions, leaving many organizations without a Santa for their holiday celebrations.

Mitch Allen, the founder and “head elf” of HireSanta.com told Entrepreneur that overall demand for Santas is up 30% year-over-year. According to his website’s analysis, the ratio of open jobs in their database to available candidates is somewhere around 20 jobs per one candidate. That leaves approximately 2,250 unfilled job ads for Santa Claus, and counting!

The “Santa shortage” is a seasonal problem, but it’s far from an isolated situation. Recruiting and hiring has been a challenge for the last couple of years, especially with a labor market that heavily has been favoring job seekers. Simply placing an ad doesn’t guarantee that the right candidate will see it, be interested, and actively apply. Many great candidates aren’t necessarily looking actively for new jobs; add to that the challenge of finding the right fit for the job while also being the right fit for the salary range, and it’s understandable how recruiting can be a struggle.

Those candidates, however, might be more amenable to making a career change when have the chance to talk to someone who knows how to best position the job opportunity. Money isn’t always the only concern (though it certainly is a significant concern); workers are looking for a good reason to change, and that can mean something different for each person.

Expert recruiters are the answer to many of these conundrums. Professional recruiting firms spend their time building up resources and candidate pools, which most companies won’t have on their own or at the same level. Whether you’re looking to fill a relatively “ordinary” role or a “unicorn” role – yes, even Santa Claus! – they’re more adept at locating the right people to fit any unique position.

At Aspen Associates Group, we specialize in recruiting to fill roles in senior living and long-term care professions. Our expert recruiting team works to find the right person for every role, creating a match between employer and employee that can hopefully lead to professional relationships as long-lasting as the ones between Santa and his elves!

By Tom Zeleny, NHA