Higher wages, phones, flexible working hours and company vehicles are just some sweeteners tradies are being offered to take on a job.
The incentives have increased due to a continuing skilled labour shortage with one expert saying it was ''pretty cutthroat out there'' when it came to securing staff.
And the region's biggest recruitment agency says qualified tradespeople are being snapped up instantly.
Tauranga Master Builders president Todd Grey said the skills shortage was right across the board.
He had been running a job advertisement for a skilled builder for a month and only received two applications from tradespeople who were looking to relocate.
The government apprenticeship initiative introduced last year to attract apprentices and give employers a one-year cash incentive was welcomed.
''But that is going to take three or four years for those apprentices to filter through.''
Grey said a lot of knowledge was lost several years ago when the new licensing scheme was introduced and ''a lot of the older guys couldn't be bothered''.
''So they gave up building and we really noticed a big gap where they just stepped aside because it got too hard. It's challenging times at the moment.''
Meanwhile, staff retention was a constant battle as employers struggled to keep up with demand.
''It's pretty cutthroat out there,'' he said.
1st Call Recruitment managing director Phil van Syp said any tradie on its books was being snapped up instantly.
''If they are a builder or plumber or electrician, it's where would you like to work? The trades are extremely busy.
''Personally speaking, I am trying to get some stuff done around my house and they (tradies) are booked out for six weeks.''
Every company van Syp knew of was looking for staff.
Building, in particular, was always a solid industry but it had gone to new levels in Tauranga.
"It's nuts and still going crazy.''
Supply and demand meant employers were offering different incentives to attract qualified staff.
''You have to be competitive and it's not just salary it's the package. The salary is the easy part... some companies can't afford the number but will say I can do this and I'll do that.
''It's about what makes that environment good for the person.''
Flexible working hours, vehicles and phones with data were just some of the incentives on offer, he said.
Last year was 1st Call Recruitment's busiest year and he said ''we have jobs coming out of our ears''.
Master Plumbers chief executive Greg Wallace said the biggest issue was an ageing workforce.
That combined with the labour shortage had caused problems and a flow-on effect.
The average age of a plumber in New Zealand was 50 plus and because it was a physical job and some people chose not to continue into their late 60s because of that, he said.
According to its statistics at the end of 2020, there were only eight plumbing apprentices in the Bay of Plenty.
''That is not enough and we are only scratching the surface.''
The labour shortage could drive up wages and charge out costs to consumers, he said.
When it came to feedback from members initial conversations were always about labour, Wallace said ''they want to know of any available plumbers''.
Master Electricians Waikato/BOP/Hawke's Bay regional manager Bruce Haycock said most trades were busy.
There was no magical solution to the labour shortage and most tradies had got their head around the fact they needed to train apprentices, he said.
Master Builders Association Rotorua president Martin Dobbe said he agreed about the labour shortage although he understood there were a lot of apprentices currently training in the city.
Dobbe used contract builders in his business and said it was harder for them to map a plan ahead.
''We are lucky we have good relationships with our guys and that means you have people working for you on a continual basis but you only need to drive around Rotorua and Tauranga to see the changes that are happening.
''There are more people coming into the building industry.''
Last year the Government introduced a subsidy to pay employers up to $16,000 for each new apprentice they trained.
The $390 million Apprenticeship Boost would pay businesses $1000-a-month for each apprentice in their first year of training, and $500-a-month for apprentices in their second year.
The scheme started on August 5 and was set to run for 20 months.