Wanted: Elves

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Business owners, wake up and hear the bells: If you think the improving economy is making it tough to retain employees in plum positions at your company, you ought to try recruiting at the North Pole.

Unprecedented employee turnover there has prompted Christmas, Inc., the world’s largest overnight distributor of gift items, to put out a holiday 911 jingle for help.

“We’re under-elfed in every department,” says S. Claus, CEO and Chairman of the Board. “Even the reindeer are flying out of here in herds.”

Mr. Claus, a jolly, bearded man nattily dressed in a double-breasted red Italian suit with white trim and a matching white tie, is at a loss to explain the mass defections. He says he believes in treating staff well. That’s why Christmas, Inc. offers such benefits as free toys for life, constant replays of Christmas music and plenty of time off during the slow season, which extends from January through November. Recruitment brochures also tout the company’s location in an area known for splendid winter sports. Thanks to year round sub zero temperatures, there’s an unending wonderland of snow and ice at corporate headquarters.

“Christmas is a merry business,” says R. Rednose, a former team leader who now lives in Alaska. “But the routine just burned me out. That stressful all-nighter every December gets old.”

Employment authorities agree labor markets will continue to tighten as the global economy improves. Still, they believe companies like Christmas, Inc. can find plenty of solutions to employment woes. For example, one expert recommended outsourcing the naughty-and-nice database file maintenance. Another suggested upgrading the reindeer-powered sleigh with a more modern hydrogen/electric model. (As an added bonus, this would also reduce the likelihood of lawsuits like the one filed last year by the grandmother who was run over by a reindeer.)

Mr. Claus says he appreciates the advice. But with his busiest day less than a week away, he’s feeling the pressure. “I’ve got to put the ho-ho-ho in motion,” he says. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

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