Employers are offering a wide range of incentives to retain staff as workers search for the best deal in a hot labour market.
Potential candidates were often focused on workplace culture, flexibility and higher wages.
However, a recruitment adviser is warning the uncertainty created by the arrival of Omicron means employees should consider job security before making career changes.
''You want to be with a company that is going to be around tomorrow.''
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said staff retention was a key issue.
''A strong team culture, where people enjoy working alongside each other and progressing towards a common goal, is the best way to keep good staff. Many request greater flexibility [both in location and hours], access the right tools to do the job, career progression and to work on more fulfilling projects.''
He said the greatest challenge for businesses was proving to people they're a great place to work.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council people and leadership director Karen Aspey said it had strong organisational values that embraced courage, trust and integrity.
''We heavily invest in being an organisation that grows great leaders which in turn supports a great culture.''
Initiatives it offered included a gold-standard Workplace Wellbeing group, social clubs, flexible working options, Te Reo Māori classes and Te Ao Māori development opportunities.
There was support for annual eye tests, life insurance, five council days leave for staff a year, a sick leave bank that staff could apply to (made up of excess sick leave donated by staff) and long-service recognition including long-service leave.
Aspey said staff were provided with training opportunities according to their role.
It had six jobs advertised - for assets engineer, senior public transport planner, senior urban planner, biosecurity officer II, programme manager, and GIS analyst, emergency management.
She said the council actively reviewed its pay data every year against applicable remuneration surveys provided by experts.
''Our pay rates support internal pay equity which is important to us.''
The council had 487 staff (23 fixed term) and an additional 35 employees who were hired as part of its summer experience programme, which had been running for more than 20 years.
Rotorua Lakes Council people and organisation development manager Joe Akar said it offered learning and development opportunities for staff in a wide range of areas, including e-learning opportunities.
Staff received discounts for a range of local services like gym corporate discounts, free aquatic centre use, and staff policies that covered paid partners' parental leave, flexible working and sick leave gifting.
The council also offered employer contributions to superannuation over and above KiwiSaver and staff received five weeks' annual leave once they had been employed continuously for four years.
Akar said the council employed 357 staff members and had eight roles advertised - for a
data and insights manager, property manager, financial accountant, business support administrator – district development, digital technology support, communications adviser, systems engineer, and fixed-term senior communications adviser.
Tauranga City Council people and engagement human resources manager Tony Aitken said it had a range of initiatives focused on workplace culture and an extensive range of training opportunities.
The council had 18 advertised positions including library assistant, park ranger, scrum master, general manager, accountant, solicitor and planner.
''Candidates are doing due diligence about the organisation and being selective on where they want to work. Often recruitment interviews are a two-way interview, with it being as much about if the candidate feels comfortable with the people doing the interview as it is about us choosing the best person for the role.''
Pay rates were benchmarked against job evaluations, other councils and the general market using recognised and accepted processes.
''We are always looking at our employee value proposition and tweaking that where we can to attract people to work at council. At the same time, we are very conscious of the cost of salaries to ratepayers so it isn't always about the money.''
The council employed 830 staff, who filled 785 fulltime equivalent roles.
Red Stag Group chief executive Marty Verry said potential employees were asking about overtime opportunities, staff functions, and how the company contributed to the community and environment.
He said Red Stag facilitated a lot of staff social and sporting events and donated more than $500,000 annually to charities.
Good work culture was at the heart of business success, Verry said.
''It means employees are motivated, engaged, loyal and turnover is lower, productivity is higher and the site is safer.''
Leading by example from the board and senior management was important.
''We work hard on fostering a workplace culture of safety, healthiness and team fun, and doing the right thing right and on time. It helps to be a family-owned company that shares profits through bonuses too when you are up against corporate competitors which tend to think shorter term about relationships.''
Red Stag employed more than 400 employees and fulltime contractors. It had jobs up for grabs including machine operators, fitters, engineers and forklift operators.
Incentives it provided were $200 vouchers for gym memberships and sports events, $3000 to stay up to date with Covid vaccinations, and yearly bonuses.
Zespri chief people officer Edith Sykes said it had a team of about 850 people based across many global locations including its head office in Mount Maunganui.
''Our culture and purpose are really important parts of Zespri's identity, helping lift the performance of our global team as we focus on continuing to deliver value for growers and make positive contributions to our communities.
''We also invest in training and development, and talk to our team about how we can further support them.''
1st Call Recruitment managing director Phil van Syp said it was loaded with jobs, ''it's crazy, we can't keep up''.
He agreed workplace culture was the biggest drawcard for potential employees and staff retention was a major issue.
Businesses were open to discussing aspects of their job packages ''and you only have to ask, you can swap things out''.
However, in his view, the job market was very volatile due to uncertainty and some companies had retrenched and downsized.
''At some stage, the market will slow down. Somewhere along the line, Omicron will hurt companies and it's really up in the air at the moment in terms of potential job subsidies.''
''You want to be with a company that is going to be around tomorrow and sustain your wage and incentives.''