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Sales and marketing professionals are hot items, according to a recent hiring survey. Sales Consultants International, a division of Management Recruiters International (MRI), surveyed 800 executives from a broad range of industries, asking about their hiring plans. Of those polled, 60 percent indicated they currently plan to increase their sales and marketing staffs.

What industries will be doing the most hiring? The MRI survey indicated that 88 percent of executives in retail plan to increase their sales and marketing staffs. Roughly 80 percent of telecommunications execs and 70 percent of pharmaceutical execs indicated they will follow suit. At the other end of the opportunity spectrum, only 31 percent of chemical industry executives indicated they were looking for bigger staffs.

According to the survey, most of the hiring will take place in the West, with 69 percent of those surveyed from this region indicating they would beef up their staffs. The South Atlantic and New England regions are the next hottest markets, with roughly 62 percent of those polled from these areas indicating their companies would recruit. The slowest area is the Middle Atlantic region, with only 47 percent of respondents saying they currently had hiring plans.

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