Paris, Milan and Madrid were also contenders for the project, but the city of Marseille won through thanks to its location and workforce.

Eric Petco, chairman of Monster Southern Europe, said: “When our 2004 growth forecast was published, we observed strong growth in the remote sales sector, consequently introducing a problem of space for this sustained growth. At the moment, we only have one call centre, at our head office in Levallois-Perret in the Paris region, with six delegations of field teams distributed around the country.

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“As France is a large country, our development had to be organised in regions through remote sales, and in particular we needed to get geographically closer to southern Europe. It quickly became clear that Marseille was the obvious choice. Therefore, we decided to set up an office that will manage all French regional remote marketing, remote sales and customer service activities.

“We expect to employ about 150 people in a few years, since we intend to group our southern Europe (Spain and Italy) call-centre activities in Marseille,” he said. “This is another of the reasons why we chose Marseille, which is half-way between Milan and Barcelona. Its position is attractive to a large number of people from these adjacent countries. The Marseille employment basin is particularly attractive for our activities, as there are many call centres in the region and it is easier to find trained and skilled operators than it is elsewhere.

“Marseille has other advantages in terms of local and international transport, as a communications hub, a high-tech crossroads and obviously because of its lifestyle. Finally, the fact that many French and foreign companies are already in Marseille is another positive factor.”

Launched in May 1999, Monster.fr is the leading online recruitment commercial website in terms of audience in France, according to data from Nielsen/NetRatings.

This news is provided by Oxford Intelligence’s IPAWorld news service. For a

free trial of IPAWorld – the premier site for professionals involved in inward investment and cross-border business expansion – go to www.IPAWorld.com

For more information, contact peter.lemagnen@oxint.com (Tel: +44 1908 521477)