I investigate whether the presence of customer-oriented employees benefits firms in a competitive environment. Employees are defined as customer-oriented if they are interested not only in their wage but also in the well-being of their customers. I find that firms may obtain higher profits by hiring self-interested rather than customer-oriented employees. This is because the employees’ customer orientation has opposing effects on the profits obtained by the firms. On the one hand, customer-oriented employees provide a given level of quality for a lower wage. On the other hand, the employees’ customer orientation increases competition reducing prices. If the second effect dominates, firms find themselves trapped in a prisoners’ dilemma as the strategy of hiring self-interested employees is strictly dominated by that of hiring customer-oriented employees. Hence, the very presence of customer-oriented employees may hurt firms. If motivated employees are merely interested in the quality of the good provided, the effect on the price outlined before disappears.