3 Tactics Quicken Loans Is Using to Hire Better

March 18, 2015

If you’re looking to fill a mortgage banking role in your company, the best way is to find candidates with successful mortgage banking experience, right? Not necessarily — at least according to Quicken Loans.

Increasingly, industrious companies are realizing that the perfect candidate for the job may not be the one that looks best on paper. And only looking in a narrowly defined pool will decrease your odds of finding that great fit. Instead, companies like Quicken Loans are looking outside the industry and job title to find the best match for a position. Here are things Quicken Loans is doing to find the right people for their company.

1. Finding out candidates’ passions

Michelle Salvatore, the Vice President of Recruiting for Quicken Loans, knows that for her company, recruiting the best job candidates means focusing on one major thing: How they would fit in within the company. And to determine that, recruiters don't focus on ticking off qualifiers on a job description. Instead, they focus on getting to know the candidate as a person.

“Our main driving force is culture,” Salvatore said. “We want to find the right match for the company, and we’ll train and invest in them if they don’t have all of the skill sets we’re looking for.”

What they are looking for is passion. Maybe not passion for banking or sales, for example, specifically, but a driving energy in their personalities that they can bring to the workplace. So, when Quicken Loans’ recruiters ask about hobbies and activities, it’s not just an ice-breaker.

“One characteristic we do look for is passion, and that can really be passion in anything—a hobby, an organization they volunteer for, or just for the work that they do,” Salvatore said. We’ve found that candidates who show passion in what they do bring that energy to our workplace and become great team members.”

And Salvatore can name an example of this, just recently, when a military veteran applied with Quicken Loans and thought the company didn’t have a specific job description that matched his experience, the company hired him. Salvatore credits his strong character and leadership skills that he honed during his military tenure, a passion he made clear during his interviews.

2. Personally following up with every candidate

On the flip side, Salvatore knows that if she and her recruiters and HR reps don’t also abide by the company’s culture, they won’t have as strong a hiring process as they currently do. On the company’s career page, there is a list of guiding principles the company abides by, what Quicken Loans calls their “-ISMs.” They’re as much for recruiters as they are for potential candidates


Client service is crucial to the culture at Quicken Loans. One of the ISMs is “Every client. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses.” And the recruiters use this mindset when they’re working with potential job candidates. Quicken Loans calls every single candidate that applies for a job with them. And even if a job-seeker doesn’t get the position, they call them to turn them down personally, too.

3. Humanizing the company’s CEO

When an individual does get a job, the onboarding and training process completely aligns with the strong culture Quicken Loans sets forth. Onboarding means one, long 7- or 8-hour day where every new employee is taught those -ISMs, the guiding principles that make Quicken Loans the company it is.

Bill Emerson, the CEO of Quicken Loans, actually gives out his cell phone number on the -ISMs day,” Salvatore said. “He really wants to know if something isn’t going right or if you have questions about something and aren’t getting the answers you’re looking for.”

Emerson and chairman and founder Dan Gilbert don’t just make cameo appearances during the onboarding process. The –ISMs day is an integral part of the process, Salvatore said, and Emerson and Gilbert make it a priority to spend the entire day with all the new hires.

And it’s working.

According to Glassdoor.com, 93% of employees report that they approve of the CEO. They also report high satisfaction with the company’s culture and work environment. But Quicken Loans already knows that. Another one of the company’s crucial ISMs is “We eat our own dog food.” And what does that mean exactly? “Here, we start with good people — who bring in other good people — who refer us to even more good people looking for home loans. We should be our company’s biggest fans.” And it’s hard to argue with success.

*Featured image from Herman Miller

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