Quicken Loans

Seeing is believing for visitors to this three-time top-ranked firm.

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On his first day of orientation, David Polidori, a senior technical support analyst, recalls how he met and talked at length with Quicken Loans' top three executives Gilbert, CEO Bill Emerson, and President and Chief Learning Officer Patrick McInnis. Like all Quicken Loans employees, he went home that day with the executives' office and cell phone numbers, as well as a firsthand explanation of the mortgage market, the company's business, and where and how he fits into it.

That knowledge helps employees such as Melanee Findley, a software engineer, feel genuinely empowered to make suggestions or take action without first jumping through a lot of bureaucratic hoops.

No matter what your role or title at the company, "everyone is empowered to do whatever it takes to make things work or work better," Findley explains. "It's about going ahead and fixing things that you see need to be fixed, but not having to go through a chain of command."

Project managers also have the latitude to make major decisions and act on them. For example, team leaders can reward exceptional performance with spot bonuses as high as $10,000.

Why It's A Top Pick

3 days of training offered to IT workers last year

8% of IT employees were promoted last year

Ranked No. 6 for benefits

Ranked No. 3 for retention

There also are plentiful opportunities for skills growth and overall career advancement, employees say. Laura, for example, was promoted to CIO in January from his previous post as director of software engineering.

"It's not at all your typical corporate culture," says Chris Risner, a software engineer who has been with the company for two and a half years."I get medical and dental and the same benefits you get at most other companies. But where Quicken Loans really shines is in all the other things. It's easy to be happy here."

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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