Monday 11 December 2017

Airbnb checks in here with 200 extra jobs

The online accommodation booking service Airbnb is to hire almost 200 extra people in its Dublin operation, bringing its total Irish workforce to 500.
The online accommodation booking service Airbnb is to hire almost 200 extra people in its Dublin operation, bringing its total Irish workforce to 500.

Adrian Weckler Technology Editor

The online accommodation booking service Airbnb is to hire almost 200 extra people in its Dublin operation, bringing its total Irish workforce to 500.

The move comes amid a boom for the company's services, with over 600,000 European listings and 4,500 listings in Ireland.

Airbnb acts as a broker for people who want to rent out their room or other accommodation to holidaymakers.

The company is also planning a new customised 40,000 square foot building in the Silicon Docks neighbourhood of Hanover Quay.

However, despite the sharp increase in employment here, only a minority of the new jobs will be in professional technology roles.

Most of the additional people required will work in customer service, human resources and finance, where salaries are lower than high-end engineering jobs.

"It's been almost one year since we officially opened our Dublin office and we have been really pleased with our progress so far in terms of talent and growth," said Aisling Hassell, Global Head of Customer Experience and Head of Airbnb in Ireland.

"Our Dublin operation is a core part of the company and we are very excited to be in a position to build on our current success," she said.

Although still a private company, Airbnb has raised over €600m in venture capital funding in the last three years and has been valued at over €10bn. The cash-rich firm is seen as one of Silicon Valley's most influential technology start-up firms of recent years, alongside taxi-booking service Uber and instant messaging firm Snapchat.

The company opened its Dublin office in April last year. It currently has over 1,000,000 listings in 190 countries.

However a recent note from the Revenue Commissioners here warned that people renting their property out through online services such Airbnb could not avail of an annual €12,000 'rent-a-room' tax exemption. The Revenue said that such relief was designed to help those encouraging "residential purposes".

Nevertheless, Airbnb's move is the latest in a series of expansions among Dublin's booming tech sector. In the last six months, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook have all announced more jobs here.

And Google's newly-crowned European boss, Matt Brittin, said last week that the search giant now employs 4,500 people in Dublin, up from the 2,500 that the company has previously stated.

However, the swift growth in tech companies here is starting to cause a crunch in office space in the city, with some estimates putting vacancy rates as low as 1pc in key sectors.

Last month, the head of the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI) said that the current shortage of "prime" office space "poses a threat to our international competitiveness in terms of attracting foreign direct investment".

And a recent report from property agency Jones Lang LaSalle says that the "prime" office market in Dublin is now the "strongest ever recorded", with severe shortages being experienced.

Irish Independent

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