You may have heard, Disney is in the midst of furloughing all non-essential employees from Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, as well as Walt Disney Studios. Just the other day the company reached an agreement with a workers union to furlough 43,000 employees. Wow.
On top of the furloughs, Disney executives are taking MASSIVE pay cuts, their Cultural and College Programs have been suspended, and third-party partners are laying off hundreds of workers in Disney Springs and Downtown Disney. With such monumental efforts going towards cutting personnel expenses, you might be surprised to find out that Disney is actually STILL hiring workers, too.
We know! It sounds crazy, but even in the midst of drastic efforts to mitigate a financial downturn, Disney is hiring — for SEVERAL positions! We promise it all makes sense. Let’s dive in.
Why is Disney hiring in the middle of all these furloughs?
Sure, the parks are currently closed but, as the world health crisis improves, they WILL eventually reopen — and Disney will need Cast Members. Disney has massively ramped down hiring, but there are a few positions that they’re still hiring for because they’re either difficult to fill or they include a long lead time.
Disney is hiring for roles that start later in the year.
First off, Disney is hiring for roles that start later in the year. MOST of the roles that Disney is looking for right now have start dates in August or later. It’s possible that even if they select a candidate from applications, that position won’t begin until things settle down in the health world.
One of these positions is for the Disney Culinary Program. Disney just sent all Culinary Program participants home, but they’re going to need folks in the kitchens when the parks reopen. So, the listing is active — with no specified start date.
Disney is hiring for roles that require a lot of international red tape (visas, travel, etc.).
The company is also looking for cast members to fill roles that require international workers. These kinds of roles can mean that candidates need to acquire visas and arrange for travel which can take a WHILE!
International Cast Members are an integral part of the Disney parks experience — all those friendly faces you see around the World Showcase are participants in the Disney Cultural Exchange Program. They actually come from the countries represented around the World Showcase, which is not only super cool but also a great opportunity for guests to learn about other cultures!
So, yeah, you can bet the Cultural Exchange Program is hiring for some positions. Disney is currently looking for participants from Australia and New Zealand, Norway, France, and Germany for positions that would start in August or later. This way any candidates who are hired have the time to work through that international red tape!
Disney is hiring for roles that require exceptional expertise.
The last type of hiring that Disney is doing is for roles that require exceptional expertise. These folks can be hard to find. It’s not everyone who can program a ride vehicle or speak fluent English and Japanese while practicing FLAWLESS customer service skills.
We’ve spotted a handful of positions that require a VERY specific type of person fill them, so it’s no wonder these are still listed. Disney wouldn’t want to pass up on the right candidate just because they weren’t hiring during the closures!
Walt Disney Imagineering is currently looking for a Project Controls Planner in Disney World and a Ride Control Software Engineer in Disneyland. These kinds of jobs require extensive education and a creative mindset on top of that. Qualified candidates are few and far between.
Disney also usually has a significant number of upcoming auditions for performers around the world at any point. Right now, there is only one online submission audition posting. With Avengers Campus opening in Disney California Adventure soon (we hope!), casting is on the lookout for the perfect General Okoye performer to join the Dora Milaje (from Black Panther). It can be challenging to find an actor who looks and acts the part perfectly!
The company is also looking for a Walt Disney World Guest Relations Specialist who is fluent in English and Japanese. In fact, they’ve been looking for someone to fill this position since last June! We doubt that any closures are going to get in the way of the search at this point.
So, IS Disney hiring while they’re furloughing?
Yes, of course, Disney is hiring right now. Sure, they’ve ramped down recruiting but they’re still going to need new employees moving forward, and when it comes to cast members with exceptional skill sets — good people can be hard to find. Don’t forget, Disney isn’t just the theme parks! They’re a HUGE multi-national, multi-faceted company. We didn’t even talk about the 512 other positions that the company is looking for OUTSIDE of the theme parks in the U.S. ALONE. Yeah.
Disney’s a multi-media powerhouse. Just because the parks are closed doesn’t mean that everything shuts down and waits for things to get back to normal.
As any good company knows, the right fit can be very hard to find! Why stop looking now? Yes, it can be tough to imagine so many Cast Members currently furloughed while new Cast Members are being considered, but we know Disney intends to bring back all furloughed workers once this resolves. We have faith that when this is past us, the Disney Parks will reopen better than ever.
What do you think of the positions that Disney is seeking right now? Tell us in the comments!