Livonia, Mich. – June 19, 2006 – For the second consecutive year, Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s largest online home mortgage lender, has earned the #1 position on the list of the “100 Best Places to Work in Information Technology,” compiled annually by IDG’s Computerworld. The list appears in the June 19 issue of Computerworld magazine and online at Computerworld.com.
Computerworld’s annual “Best Places to Work in Technology” feature ranks 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. This year, Computerworld surveyed more than 27,000 technology workers for the list and their responses factored heavily in determining the rankings.
Quicken Loans technology professionals cited the ability to take ownership of ideas and projects, and the company’s focus on building technology in-house versus buying it off the shelf, as key factors leading to their job fulfillment.
“We’ve assembled the most talented group of people at any company and given them a tremendous amount of responsibility,” says Chief Information Officer (CIO) Todd Lunsford. “Our Technology Team is responsible for building, maintaining and constantly improving our 50-state loan origination platform and about 200 different business applications. They are empowered everyday to make decisions that directly affect the company and our clients. I think it says a lot to a person when you tell them their goal as a team is to lead the industry in technology and innovation, and that you are asking them to create and design that technology, not just implement some other company’s software.”
“Having a lot of smart people doesn’t automatically guarantee success,” says company founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. “You have to create a culture and an environment that encourages people to go deep in their thinking, way below the surface, so they can find better ways to do things. Then you have to give them the freedom to implement and execute those great ideas. We don’t let bureaucracy get in the way of innovation and improvement here. We hire smart people and then we trust them to make the right decisions. As a result, our Technology Team has developed many industry-leading technologies that have made our business simpler and easier for our clients, and in doing so, they have had tremendous impact on our company’s growth.”
“We have a company culture that’s very strong, rich and entrepreneurial,” agrees Lunsford. “Culturally, people take ownership and have the ability to make an impact. Every day they determine the inches that will make this company even more successful and they are empowered to execute on their ideas. Our Technology Team understands our business and they think like the client, whether it be an internal client or a client who is in the process of buying a home or refinancing their mortgage. We’ve attracted great people who ‘get it’ and they have helped us build the foundation for other great folks who also want to be part of something very special.”
As a result of this focus on innovation, the Quicken Loans Technology Team has earned 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.” The company’s web site, www.quickenloans.com, has been ranked “Best of the Web” by Forbes PC and Money magazines.
In Computerworld’s survey, Quicken Loans’ Technology Team members also cited many benefits the company provides. For example, employees receive performance-based pay and annual bonuses. Team Leaders can grant spot bonuses for exceptional performance or reward their team with trips for their hard work and productivity. The company also offers team members home loan discounts, free computer loans, and tuition assistance for team members who are enrolled in college courses.
Quicken Loans also provides a fun work environment. The team member lounges are stocked with free cappuccinos, popcorn and slushies. The company’s in-house rock band “The Loaners” performs at meetings. For the company’s 20th Anniversary last year, more than 5,000 team members and their families were transported to Cleveland for an all-weekend celebration that culminated with a free concert by Grammy award-winning group The Black Eyed Peas and an appearance by Kid Rock. (Company founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert also is majority owner of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers and operator of Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavaliers play.)
Great perks like these help make Quicken Loans a fun place to work, but it’s the company’s culture that vaulted them to the top of the rankings.
“In recent years, Information Technology executives have been faced with a number of issues that have made their work environments increasingly challenging,” said Don Tennant, editor in chief, Computerworld. “Those represented in the 2006 Best Places to Work program have cultivated an environment that recognizes the value of Information Technology workers within the organization.”
To view the complete list of the “Best Places to Work in Technology,” please visit www.computerworld.com.
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