Airbnb could double Irish workforce to 1,000 within five years

Increase in Dublin workforce based on expected growth of Airbnb in EMEA region

Aisling Hassell, the head of Airbnb in Ireland: “I would hope we would replicate the success of Google, which now has about 7,000 people in Ireland, and Facebook, which has about 6,000.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Aisling Hassell, the head of Airbnb in Ireland: “I would hope we would replicate the success of Google, which now has about 7,000 people in Ireland, and Facebook, which has about 6,000.” Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Airbnb, the global accommodation sharing website, could double its employee numbers in Ireland to 1,000 over the next three to five years, the head of its operation here has said.

In an interview with The Irish Times, Aisling Hassell said: “Based on the growth we are seeing and anticipating, I can see Dublin, as our headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, getting to around 1,000 staff, which would fill our existing two buildings here.”

Over time, Ms Hassell believes that Airbnb could grow in size in Ireland to match the numbers employed here by fellow global technology giants Google and Facebook.

“I would hope we would replicate the success of Google, which now has about 7,000 people in Ireland, and Facebook, which has about 6,000. I would hope that over time we could do that. They’re here about 10 or 12 years now.

“Last year, the head of global IT support was put in Dublin, that team has expanded here. We are always looking to add new functions here.”

Airbnb’s website shows it is currently seeking to recruit for nine positions in Dublin.

‘Poster child’

Ms Hassell wants the Irish operation to be a “poster child” within Airbnb’s global network. “Everybody knows that we’re the top-performing site across the company from a productivity standpoint,” she said. “Dublin has been great for Airbnb and, as a business model, we can showcase to the world how Ireland has embraced new types of businesses and really grown with them.”

Ms Hassell, who is from Dublin, is global head of customer experience for Airbnb and head of its EMEA hub, which is based here.

Airbnb’s main office in Dublin is the Warehouse building in Grand Canal Dock, which was designed from scratch, a first globally for the company. It also has space in the nearby Watermarque building in Ringsend.

Ms Hassell said some 1.2 million visitors stayed with Airbnb hosts in the Republic last year, with 22,000 people booking accommodation through the website for the recent St Patrick’s Day festivities.