The Square
News and perspectives from Covia.

Covia and Jobvite have been recognized for their partnership in talent acquisition by the 2020 Brandon Hall Group Human Capital Management (HCM) Excellence Awards. The two organizations were awarded Silver for Best Advance in Talent Acquisition Process, and will be recognized at the HCM Excellence Conference in January, 2021.

For the past three years, Jobvite, a comprehensive talent acquisition suite that offers a marketing-inspired approach to recruiting, has collaborated with Covia to streamline Covia’s workflow and automate recruiting tasks. Covia also worked with Jobvite to launch a new career site in an effort to better market company culture and simplify the application process.

“By integrating with Jobvite, we were able to save a minimum of 600 recruiting hours per year with the HRIS integration, and elevate the talent acquisition team as a strategic service for attracting higher quality candidates,” said Prab Brinton, Covia VP of Human Resources. “Jobvite has reimagined our recruiting efforts and made us nimbler and more effective, and I’m so thrilled that our partnership is being honored by Brandon Hall Group.”

“We are so proud Covia is being recognized for its work, and the Jobvite team is excited to be along for their talent acquisition improvement journey,” said Aman Brar, Jobvite CEO. “Covia has always strived to hire the best candidates who support its mission of cultivating healthy communities for aging adults. We just made it easier for them to engage with a larger pool of high-quality applicants and achieve their talent goals.”

Since the inception of its partnership with Jobvite, Covia has achieved a 33% increase in applicant numbers and a remarkable 90% automation of the hiring process using Jobvite services, including digitization, easy-apply, AI technologies, and more.

“This award shows that the Covia organization is open to new ideas that will help move our business forward in a constantly changing world,” said Wendy Dugan, Covia’s HR Business Partner for Talent Acquisition. “Our culture continues to evolve and adjust to new environments and I’m excited that we are able to stay on top of our game and recruit top talent.”

Having an automated recruitment process in place before the start of the pandemic has allowed Covia to continue recruiting without missing a beat. “We didn’t have to think about a ‘socially distanced’ application process as we had already implemented it with Jobvite’s easy-apply, electronic screening forms, automated calendaring and video interviews. With these systems in place, we didn’t lose any time as the pandemic created new job openings,” said Brinton.

“Building the system before the pandemic was invaluable,” said Dugan. “From my vantage point, it really has been business as usual when it comes to recruiting.”

The HCM Excellence Awards is the most prestigious and longest-running recognition program in human capital management. Brandon Hall Group’s industry-standard awards program recognizes organizations that successfully deployed HCM programs achieving superior and measurable results.

Award entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts and executives based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation, and overall measurable benefits. A full list of the winners for the HCM Excellence Awards is available here.

In addition to receiving this award, Covia is presenting at Recruiter Nation Live, sponsored by Jobvite, on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. To learn more about Jobvite, visit www.jobvite.com.

The 8th Annual Celtic Cup Golf Tournament and Gala Reception brought together more than 220 guests to raise a quarter of a million dollars to support services for seniors in need. Thanks to our many sponsors, golfers and community friends who joined us at Berkeley Country Club and made this year’s tournament the best yet!

“The energy of the day was truly remarkable,” says Katharine Miller, Executive Director of the Covia Foundation. “We couldn’t do this without the enthusiasm and involvement of the many people who partner with Covia to promote life-changing services for seniors.”

Over 200 corporate and individual participants, including our title sponsor City Building, Inc., supported the event. The sold-out golf tournament on the cool and sunny course provided scenic bay views throughout the day. Mike Acosta, Vince Baldwin, Steve Baldwin, and Bob Giarusso won the tournament in a playoff against Barry Johnson, Jenny Noymany, Mark Marshall, and John Durham.

The evening auction, hosted by Liam Meyclem from KCBS’ Eye on the Bay, provided its own entertainment as participants tried to outbid each other for a Farm to City Private Dinner at San Francisco Towers or an evening with Covia CEO Kevin Gerber. The auction raised more than $80,000, with almost half coming from fund-a-need bidding to support Covia Community Services and Covia Affordable Communities as attendees learned the stories of seniors whose lives have been touched by Covia through a video created for the event.

For going above and beyond in their service to seniors and senior living, and their generous support to Covia over the years, the team from Morrison Community Living was the recipient of this year’s Celtic Cup.

“It was a successful event,” says Miller. “But more importantly, the funds we raised make a difference, ensuring that seniors have a safe home and remain connected with the greater community. We’re grateful for the generosity of all who attended.”

You can see photos of the event in an album on our Facebook page.

As Jennings Court, a Covia Affordable Community in Santa Rosa, celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer, its first residents are reflecting on their initial impressions.

“I was one of the first 8 people to move in,” says Fred Campbell. “And the day I walked into the facility, I fell in love with the structure, the ambiance.” Campbell, who had lost his business as a hairdresser in San Francisco during the AIDS crisis, had been cleaning houses in Southern California when he learned that Jennings Court was being built. “I always thought [low income housing] was bad stuff because that’s how the movies always show it,” he said. Instead, “On a scale of 1-10, I’d say my first impression was an 11.”

“It was a rural setting then,” when Jennings Court opened in 2008,  says Penni Colley. “Across the street were horses grazing around a barn. Of course, that’s not there any more, but it was so beautiful.”

Colley had been surprised there was still room in the new building when she received a letter saying there was an apartment available for her. “At my age and being low income, I didn’t think I would ever have a new apartment. You just kind of have to forget that because the chances of me having a brand new apartment were slim. When I saw how beautiful these were, I just couldn’t get over it.”

Colley explains that the apartments hadn’t filled due to the strict qualification requirements. Residents must be 62 or older and “very, very, very – three veries – low income,” she says.

“They were offering me such a sweet deal on the rent that I figured it would be a dump. And I was very pleasantly surprised to find how nice it is,” says Roger Hanelt, who had been homeless before moving into Jennings Court. “It’s been a very healing environment for me. Because I’ve gone through highs and lows and this place was definitely a rescue.”

Campbell remembers, “The day we got in, I stayed most of the time looking at the courtyard, so beautiful. Now I watch the seasons change with all of these trees outside my front door.”

Jennings Court has 54 apartments that look out on a central courtyard that contains a garden tended by the residents and a fountain donated by Spring Lake Village, another Covia community in Santa Rosa. It was built through a partnership between Covia and Burbank Housing with funding from HUD and the city of Santa Rosa. Along with housing, Jennings Court provides service coordination and programs such as a weekly Market Day and monthly visit from the Bookmobile.

Colley remembers “When we had our very first welcome party out in the patio out there, I just ran around to anyone who looked like they were a suit and said, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’

Before she moved in, “I remember thinking, ‘oh, well, I’ll have to let that thought go. I’m never going to have my own new place. And then God blessed me with this. And I just have a wonderful new apartment. Everything in it was new. It smelled new. There were no residual crumbs in the drawers that anybody had missed. So. Gratitude.”

“I kept telling myself how fortunate I was. I’m still poor as a church mouse but I’m not unhappy,” says Campbell. “Every time I think about Jennings Court when I’m away from it, it’s home.”

Leaders in senior affordable housing will share the story of the Openhouse Community, the Bay Area’s first LGBT-welcoming senior affordable housing project, in a free event on June 1 at 3:00 at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. Pre-registration is requested.

LGBT Housing – A Community Conversation About Lessons Learned and Future Directions will be moderated by Karim Sultan, VP of Affordable Housing for Covia. The panel will include: Marcy Adelman, co-founder Openhouse, a San Francisco non-profit exclusively focused on health and well-being of LGBTQI elders; Karyn Skultety, Executive Director of Openhouse; and Ileah Lavora, Housing Developer at Mercy Housing. 

“Hopefully, the panel will motivate like-minded parties, whether it be in San Francisco or in the greater Bay Area, to build more LGBT housing,” says Sultan. “Obviously, there would be a lot of work between this initial conversation and a building going up, but we would like to start a larger conversation.”

After the panel, participants are invited to take a tour of the housing community at 55 Laguna, which provides Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender-welcoming housing for seniors age 55 and older. Though open to people of all sexual orientations or gender identity, 68% of the residents identify as LGBT.

The LGBT Community Center is located at 1800 Market Street. To register for this event, please visit this eventbrite site.