Quicken Loans Named to Crain’s Cool Places to Work in Michigan List

  • August 29, 2005

Quicken Loans earns top ranking with first-time entry

Livonia, Mich. – Aug. 29, 2005 – Quicken Loans, Michigan’s largest mortgage company, has been named to the list of “Cool Places to Work” in Michigan in a first-of-its-kind competition jointly held by Crain’s Detroit Business and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. The list appears in the Aug. 29 editions of both publications.

Selection was based both on employee nominations and on numerical scores on a survey created by Southfield-based American Society of Employers, a membership organization that collects workplace data and offers training in human resource issues. Points were awarded based on responses to individual questions. Total survey scores were then derived by totaling the weighted scores in eight categories.

The 60 companies have “created work environments that attract and retain quality workers, especially younger workers,” Crain’s Publisher Mary Kramer said. “It’s very clear that employees prize a workplace that recognizes a balance between ‘work’ and ‘life,’ as well as one that offers training and opportunities to advance.”

“We’ve created a culture and environment that encourages people to take initiative and recognizes them for their accomplishments,” said Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Quicken Loans. “We hire great people and then provide them the training, tools and resources they need to succeed. We’ve also created a fun environment in which people look forward to coming to work each day.”

“We have more than 3,000 dedicated, hard-working people in this company who make this place great,” says Senior Vice President David Hall. “They come here every day with a passion to succeed. They care about each other. They care about our company and they care about our clients. They are really at the heart of what makes Quicken Loans a cool place to work!”

Some of the perks and events contributing toward making Quicken Loans a Cool Place to Work include: “The Loaners,” the company’s in-house rock band that plays at all company meetings and functions; free popcorn, slushees and cappuccino in the company’s Soft Rock Café employee lounge; and “Ticket Window Thursday” in which the CEO awards concert and sporting event tickets out over the company’s PA system. This year founder Gilbert, also owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, arranged for nearly 400 people from the company to travel to Cleveland to see the Cavaliers take on the Detroit Pistons. The company also sponsors contests that enable people who meet certain goals to earn trips to cool places such as South Beach in Miami or a recent-four day cruise to the Bahamas.

The company also places devotes extensive resources to training and development. Mortgage Bankers receive more than 250 hours of ongoing training each year. One of the country’s top personal development experts provides personal empowerment coaching and the company also has an intensive leadership development program. All newly hired people attend a world class, two-day orientation program to introduce them to the company, its history and philosophy. The company has been hiring more than 150 new people each month, and Gilbert spends nearly five hours with each new group, reviewing the company’s philosophies and values.

“Our folks are empowered to make decisions and take the initiative to do what’s right on behalf of the company or our clients,” says Hall. “They know what decisions to make because they understand our philosophies and our values. They aren’t afraid to act because we reward initiative and are tolerant of mistakes. The end result is a level of client service that is unmatched anywhere else in the mortgage industry.”

“Our culture and philosophy, in combination with our great people, have been the keys to our success,” Hall concluded. “As we grow, reinforcing this culture and these values has been our most important objective. We must ensure everyone who works at Quicken Loans understands and embraces our values, and applies them to their daily decisions and client interactions. It seems to be working. We are more than 3,000 people strong, which means more than 6,000 eyeballs keeping an eye on this place and striving to make it better every single day.”

Quicken Loans also has been recognized by FORTUNE Magazine as ranking #12 on its “100 Best Places to Work” list and was ranked #1 on COMPUTERWORLD’s list of “Best Places to Work in Technology.”

John Zwarensteyn, publisher and CEO of the Grand Rapids Business Journal said, “It was important to include nominations from companies throughout the state of Michigan, and the result certainly shows that ‘cool companies’ exist in every quadrant of the state. This effort also underscores that cool businesses are of many sizes, and include what we think of as ‘traditional’ types of businesses as well as those considered to be ‘information age’ businesses.”

Kevin Marrs, director of survey services at ASE, said the competition showed that even small companies, with fewer than 50 employees, can do “small things” that make a big difference in attracting and keeping good employees.

A thank-you note from an executive, an afternoon off with pay, a show of concern when a relative is ill, and trips, picnics and parties to recognize quality work are prized by employees. The competition also discovered that some of the smaller technology- and media-related companies credit team building as one of their greatest weapons to keep talent.

“One of the things we saw a lot was an emphasis on work/life. Companies are realizing that there’s got to be a better balance. The good companies are leading on these types of features,” Marrs said.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth also promoted the competition to support Gov. Granholm’s “Cool Cities” initiatives.

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About Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans is the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender and closed $16 billion in home loans in calendar year 2005. The company, which was founded in 1985, employs more than 3,000 people and was named to FORTUNE Magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” in 2005 and named top company in Computerworld’s “100 Best Places to Work Technology” for 2005.

For more information about careers at Quicken Loans, please visit http://www.quickenloanscareers.com or call 800-411-JOBS. For more information about the company, visit http://www.quickenloans.com.

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