It’s that magical time of year again. If you’ve gone to a mall over the past few weeks and managed to find parking (congrats), you know we are in the heart of Christmas and holiday shopping. And nothing is more synonymous with the Christmas season than mall Santas. You know them. You love them. You might have been terrified of them as a kid. But where do these jolly ol’ guys come from?
It’s easy to assume that they just appear the day after Thanksgiving rosy cheeks and all, but there is more than you might think that goes into the Santa hiring process. This is a staple of every mall in December. Its easily one of the most important hires of the year. Let’s explore what goes into hiring a Santa year after year.
Requirements for being a mall Santa go well beyond a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Santas need excellent communication skills in dealing with up to 17,000 children per year. And although it may not seem this way, Santas do need to stay in very good shape. They are constantly lifting up children, and can work up to 12 hours every day. It takes impeccable health do this constant heavy lifting and deal with such a long sedentary job. Background checks must also be very extensive for obvious reasons.
Santa positions in malls are almost all filled by the time October rolls around. Most malls go through photo companies or agencies such as Cherry Hill Photos or Noerr Programs. These organizations send their Santas through several interviews, and even through their very own Santa University. These programs aren’t all gumdrops and candy canes. While in school, these Santas learn everything you need to from how to deal with feisty children to the roots of Saint Nick himself. They also need to learn how to improvise quickly when faced with tough questions. You never know when you’ll need to know that Santa is 1,700 years old and comes from Turkish roots.
So consider yourself informed next time at the mall finishing up (or starting, we don’t judge) that holiday shopping. There’s a good amount of work that goes into the Santa hiring process. Overall, most Santas report that the job is incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. They get paid to make children’s day and give them truly memorable experiences....it’s a tough gig to beat. If you’re in the Santa hiring game next year and want to make your life considerably easier, consider TextRecruit to streamline your hiring funnel.
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