Guaranteed Rate plans on laying off approximately 180 employees as part of a move to “rebalance” its organization, Crain’s Chicago Business reported this week.

But in a statement provided to HousingWire, Guaranteed Rate said the layoffs, while unfortunate, will position the company to grow even more this year.

The company told HousingWire that it plans to hire more than 1,500 employees in 2018, which would make this year the largest growth year in terms of hiring in the company’s history.

“We recently made the decision to rebalance our organization in areas where we were overstaffed, resulting in some positions being eliminated. Overall, less than 5 percent of our total workforce was affected,” the company said in a statement.

“The move improves our competitive positioning and allows us to be even more aggressive in providing the best mortgage rates for our customers,” the company added. “It’s our expectation that 2018 will be the company’s largest year in total funded loan volume.”

To reach record loan volume, Guaranteed Rate would have to reverse last year’s decline.

According to the Crain’s report, Guaranteed Rate saw its origination volume fall from $22.9 billion in 2016 to $19 billion in 2017.

To aid in its growth, Guaranteed Rate recently hired Quicken Loans’ director of mortgage banking, Craig Lombardi, to lead its online lending division.

In this role, Lombardi will oversee the company’s loan origination from leads generated by the company’s online marketing and advertising channels.

Previously, Lombardi served as Quicken’s director of mortgage banking for nearly six years.

And as stated above, Guaranteed Rate has big plans for growth in 2018.

“Guaranteed Rate remains committed to its employees and in positioning the business for future success,” the company said in its statement.

“We have had two consecutive months of our strongest recruitment efforts in the company’s history and continue to recruit and hire aggressively in growth areas across the country,” the company concluded.

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