December 16, 2005 07:00 AM

Donald Trump has a new employee, his fourth hiree from The Apprentice: Randal Pinkett, 34, founder of a New Jersey consulting firm.

On Thursday night’s two-hour, live finale of the NBC reality series, Pinkett bettered Chicago-based financial journalist Rebecca Jarvis, 24, of whom Trump said: “Rebecca, you’re outstanding.” The entrepreneur then turned to Pinkett and said: “Randal, you’re hired.”

Trump also told him, “You’re an amazing leader. Rarely have I seen a leader as good as you, and you lead through niceness.”

Niceness has landed Pinkett a position with the Trump Organization for a “hefty six-figure salary.” Pinkett chose to work on Trump casino expansions in Atlantic City, N.J.

Though it has slipped in the ratings – currently averaging 10.7 million weekly viewers, down several million from the last go-round – The Apprentice will return for a fifth season and already has plans to shoot a sixth season in Southern California. This version also trumped this season’s The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, whose disappointing Nielsen numbers made it a one-shot wonder.

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