Qualtrics to expand Dublin workforce to 250 by 2016

Irish office to play integral part in development of US-based tech firm

US-based Qualtrics started out as a family business when it was founded in 2002, but more than a decade later it has grown into an international company with its sights on the European market.

Key to that expansion is the Dublin office, which is the company's European headquarters, and is, chief executive and cofounder Ryan Smith says, on the same level as the firm's Utah head office.

Qualtrics, which originally set up in Dublin in 2013 with the goal of creating 150 jobs within three years, is now looking to expand to 250 by the end of next year.

The company made the announcement at the official opening of its new offices in Dublin, an event that was attended by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.


Qualtrics has leased the building, which is close to St Stephen’s Green and has more space than it needs to accommodate the planned 250-strong workforce, but Smith said the firm wouldn’t be giving up any of its office space by sub-letting to other firms, despite expressions of interest coming.

There is the potential to add another 50 people on top of the already announced 250 jobs, bringing the total to 300.

“The best way to fill a building is keeping open space, so that’s what we’re doing,” said Smith.

With growth accelerating fast in Europe, the Irish office is poised to play an integral part in the development of the company.

“How critical is it? It’s our future. We need to make the same inroads over here that we’ve done over there and actually exceed it”,”said Smith.

Although at present the staff are mainly sales and marketing and support, Smith isn’t ruling out the possibility of some of the product engineering – currently located in the US – eventually happening in Dublin.

Besides its Utah and Dublin offices, Qualtrics also has offices in Dallas, Washington DC and Sydney, Australia.

The offices learn from each other, he said, with some things that work well in Dublin adopted elsewhere.

“From a CEO’s perspective how could you not be happy with [the team]?” he said. “These aren’t warm bodies; if you look around the office and you look at the calibre of people that we have, they fit our culture and they’ve developed a phenomenal culture here, which is what I”m most excited about.”

There are still some hints of its early roots. Four years ago, Smith persuaded his brother, a former Google executive, to join the company, a move that he said he would make again if he was given the choice.

“I recruited him probably harder than I’ve recruited anyone in the history of Qualtrics, and if I had to go back I would recruit him again. He was an executive at Google and you just don’t have that talent floating around anywhere right now,” he said. “We augment each other perfectly from the skill set standpoint.”

Qualtrics is now looking ahead to an aggressive recruitment approach.

“We have a culture of finding talent, betting on it and creating, growing it, which I think is a little different,” Smith said.

“A lot of companies aggressively look at talent but the won’t bet on it. They’ll seek someone else to validate it before they’ll look at it.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist