Some Bay employers are ''feeling exhausted'' as they redirect staff into different jobs, or make them redundant because they can't find workers to fill existing gaps.
Business leaders say the pressure was being felt across every industry and people ''are stretched across all levels''.
The news comes hard on the heels of increased vacancies which has seen job hunters move into ''the drivers seat''.
Talent ID Tauranga/Rotorua director Kellie Hamlett said the job market was moving really fast.
''It's a candidate-driven market and good people are finding work quickly. They get alternate offers and we lose candidates to other roles.''
However, she said, there was a lack of skilled candidates and Hamlett had noticed employers were advertising vacancies differently.
''They are putting jobs on notice boards and on banners outside their businesses because the traditional advertising streams on Trade Me and Seek were not working as well. I think that is because of the sheer number of people looking for employees.''
''It's very competitive which is also driving salaries up.''
Hamlett said it had a variety of roles including everything from infrastructure design to chief executive and government department positions.
Success Group Ltd managing director Graham Rodgers said one of its clients offered a man $27 an hour with no skills required to work in a timber yard.
''He said 'no it's too hard I'm just going to go home and go on the dole'.''
That is what we are facing, he said.
Rodgers said he was working with a roofing company and had to make the quantity surveyor and the office administrator redundant.
''It's not because they haven't got any work. It's because they haven't got the staff to do the work to support the administration overheads they have got. I've got another painting company I am working for and they are having to restructure down to a leading hand because they have lost that many staff to Auckland and everywhere else.''
He said those companies were in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.
Prime Hotels group general manager Nicolas Caffardo said it was ''blessed'' to have a low turnover rate but it had job vacancies in Tauranga that had received a good response.
He said they had a specific approach in the way it managed their properties and staff were considered to be family.
Caffardo acknowledged the hospitality industry had faced tough times but he was confident the future looked bright.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said nearly every industry was facing shortages - both low and high-skilled vacancies.
''It is both the general service industry and highly technical industries.''
Staff shortages were putting pressure on other team members and the business owners to take on more jobs.
''People are stretched across all levels, which has caused many people to feel exhausted. Some are investing heavily in automation and robotics to remove the risk of relying on human labour, and their ever-increasing costs.''
There was obviously a disconnect between the record number of job vacancies and fairly normal percentage of Kiwis on the jobseeker benefit, he said.
''The government has presumed Kiwis would fill those jobs. Either Kiwis are not attracted to those jobs, or the training and development of our workforce cannot keep up with the pace of change.
''It's like the Government expected the labour market to quickly adjust by clicking their fingers – it hasn't and there are many stressed people out there.''
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said businesses were very concerned about the labour shortage, ''we're seeing this across most sectors''.
He said there were also more people on the job seeker benefit than a couple of years ago, and it's to everyone's benefit that they are employed.
''Employers will need to adopt some different approaches to hiring to get those people in the workforce.''
Ministry for Social Development Bay of Plenty regional commissioner Mike Bryant said its experience showed the majority of people who received a benefit wanted to be self-reliant and have the dignity of work.
When people were on a benefit, there were responsibilities and obligations they needed to meet, he said.
''If they fail to do so, they can have their payments reduced or stopped. This applies to job interviews arranged for jobseekers.
''To ensure a jobseeker can realistically meet their obligations, their individual circumstances are taken into consideration before they are referred to a job for example their health, childcare needs, or physical fitness.''
The ministry also had many initiatives involved in moving people into work which included working with a range of employers and industries.
To the end of May 2021, 18,663 people in Bay of Plenty were on Jobseeker Support.
Trade Me Jobs sales director Matt Tolich said job hunters were now in the ''driver's seat'' and Tauranga had experienced a 25 per cent jump in job vacancies in the second quarter of 2021 compared with the same timeframes in 2019.
The biggest increases in job vacancies were seen in hospitality and tourism (up 63 per cent), IT (up 54 per cent), and manufacturing and operations (up 46 per cent).
Tolich said the average wage in Tauranga also increased by 9 per cent on 2019 to $62,901.
"On top of this, Kiwis appear to be sticking it out in their current roles until our borders are open, and the world begins to return to normal.
''We know that job security is highly important to employees at the moment. In a recent survey we conducted with 1400 Kiwis, just 17 per cent said they were looking to move roles in the next 12 months. That's down from 27 per cent in 2020.''