Quicken Loans earns top ranking with first-time entry
Livonia, Mich. – June 27, 2005 – Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s largest online mortgage lender, announced today that IDG’s Computerworld, the “Voice of IT Management,” has ranked the company #1 on its annual list of the top workplaces for information technology (IT) professionals. This honor is part of the weekly IT publication’s 12th annual “Best Places to Work in IT” survey, which was published in the June 27 issue and online at Computerworld.com.
Since 1994, Computerworld’s annual “Best Places to Work in IT” feature has ranked the top 100 work environments for technology professionals, based on a comprehensive questionnaire regarding company offerings in categories such as benefits, diversity, career development, training and retention. In addition, this year Computerworld surveyed more than 20,435 IT workers for the list, and their responses factored heavily in determining the rankings.
“Our IT team members are the backbone of our entire mousetrap,” said Quicken Loans Chairman and founder Dan Gilbert. “They consistently go deep in their thinking. They don’t stay at the surface. They proactively come up with solutions for the extremely complex 50-state centralized home lending process that is our secret sauce and the barrier to entry for our competitors. The most impressive part about this unique and special group of people is their constant effort to stay close to our business. They do not look at themselves as an island of ‘bits and bytes’ but rather as business people who happen to handle the technology piece of what we do.”
“We’ve asked them to think simple; to think like a client who only gets a home loan every six years or so,” said Gilbert. “We’ve asked them to assume nothing when they develop a solution. And these folks have responded. We are proud of what they do every single day but more importantly, we are proud of who they are.”
“We’ve created a company culture and environment that encourages people to take initiative and recognizes them for their accomplishments,” Gilbert concluded. “We hire great people and give them the tools and resources they need to succeed and to take care of their families. We’ve also tried to create a fun workplace where people enjoy coming to work.”
Quicken Loans’ IT team members surveyed by Computerworld cited a number of benefits and perks. In addition to performance-based pay and annual bonuses, Team Leaders can grant individuals spot bonuses for exceptional performance or reward their entire team, such as the IT Team’s recent four-day trip to Las Vegas. Popular among IT team members, the company offers interest-free personal computer loans and discounts. Other fun workplace perks include summer barbeques; free cappuccinos, slushees and popcorn in our “Soft Rock Cafe”; and “Ticket Window Thursday” in which the CEO gives away free tickets to concerts and sporting events over the PA system. This year, Quicken Loans team members received more than 3,000 free tickets to headline concerts and sporting events, including the NBA finals and a road trip to Cleveland to watch the Detroit Pistons take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Quicken Loans also places a great emphasis on professional and personal development, with programs that include a personal empowerment coach, leadership training and tuition assistance for higher education. But while all agree these things contribute to a great work environment, most IT team members cite the ability to make a difference as key to their job satisfaction.
“I think our IT team members enjoy working here because they are given a great deal of responsibility and are empowered to make decisions that have an immediate impact on the company and our clients,” said Todd Lunsford, Chief Technology Officer. “Our team members derive a lot of satisfaction from knowing that Quicken Loans is committed to leading the mortgage industry in technology and innovation. Their accomplishments are frequently recognized and rewarded within the company, and externally in the form of numerous technology awards.”
Quicken Loans is one of the first mortgage lenders to build a loan origination platform capable of closing loans in all 50 states from one location via the Internet. The company was first to place electronic signature technology into production and has leveraged workflow automation in a way that not only speeds up the mortgage loan process for the client but also greatly increases internal efficiency. The company’s Web site, www.quickenloans.com, has been ranked a “Best of the Web” mortgage lending site. The IT team has received a number of technology awards, including a Computerworld Laureate for its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, and several Computerworld awards for “Best Practices in Business Intelligence.”
“This year’s Best Places to Work rankings represent companies across several industries that recognize how a strong commitment to and investment in employees is synonymous with creating a great IT work environment,” said Don Tennant, editor in chief of Computerworld. “Once again, we found that IT professionals are looking for rewarding and challenging projects, access to leading-edge technologies, career growth and development and a comfortable work/life balance. Our Best Places companies not only offer these benefits, but do so in a manner that goes well-above industry norms.”
To view the complete list of the “Best Places to Work in IT” please visit, www.computerworld.com/bestplaces2005.
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