The Square
News and perspectives from Covia.

Covia has been ranked as one of the 2020 Best Workplaces for Aging Services by Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE magazine. Covia took the number 17 spot on the list, the second time it has been rated in the top 50.

Kevin Gerber, President and CEO of Covia, says, “We have always been proud of Covia’s employees for their excellence. It is our employees who make us a Great Place to Work. We want to thank them for this honor, and for being part of Covia.”

In July, Covia administered the Trust Index survey, designed to measure aspects of trust in the organization, such as respect, fairness, pride, camaraderie, and credibility. With a participation rate of 94% of employees, Covia received an overall Trust Index score of 75%, and 83% of employees said Covia is a great place to work.

“Having a response rate of 94% of employees makes this year different,” says Gerber. “We can feel confident that we have a clear picture of our strengths and opportunities as an employer of choice.”

Covia scored highest on the statements “I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community” (88%); “When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome” (87%); “I’m proud to tell others I work here” (86%); and “This is a physically safe place to work” (86%) – especially notable this year as COVID-19 has disproportionately affected senior living.

The Best Workplaces for Aging Services stand out for excelling in a competitive industry. “In addition to physical safety, the overall well-being of our employees is important to us,” says Prab Brinton, VP of Human Resources. “Along with ensuring appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE), we created an Essential Support program to help with unexpected costs, adjust and accommodate time off needs, provide additional funds, and help make sure our employees were finding ways to recharge.” The program, which started in April, was developed based on feedback from more than 600 employees.

“Everyone knows the greater cause as to why we’re here and that is for the residents,” one employee commented. “Especially in the strange times that we’re all experiencing, I have witnessed how everyone pulls together to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for the residents and us as employees.”

“The value of creating great workplaces for all is a clear competitive edge in the Aging Services sector,” said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “When organizations like Covia treat their own people with care and respect, you can expect their staff to treat your loved ones with that same care.”

“The effect of engaged employees has magnified in the aging services sector, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Activated Insights, the senior care data analytics company for Great Place to Work. “We have found that organizations that have maintained or increased employee engagement during this year’s challenges have been able to be more resilient, provide enhanced care, and perform better.”

The Best Workplaces for Aging Services™ is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE based on employee feedback from Great Place to Work-Certified™ organizations.

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.

In September, Canterbury Woods received the Award of Excellence for Food Safety from the Environmental Health Bureau of the Monterey County Health Department – the only senior living community to receive this honor. 

“All operating food facilities meet regulatory food standards. Those who excel are recognized with our Gold Seal and those food facilities who have consistently demonstrated excellence in providing safe and secure food will be honored,” said John Ramirez, Director of Environmental Health, in a press release shared by the County of Monterey.

The Award of Excellence program began in 2016, and recognizes 3 locations every year as part of National Food Safety Education Month. This year, Nepenthe Restaurant and Sun Street Center were also honored along with Canterbury Woods.

The Monterey County Department of Health inspects over 2000 food service facilities throughout the county. The unannounced quarterly inspections review all aspects of food safety, from food sourcing, to employee health and hygiene, to safe storage practices. Facilities that meet or exceed health standards based on state laws are awarded the Gold Seal. Of those Gold Seal facilities, inspectors nominate 25 that demonstrate excellence in food safety year over year for the Award.

“We have received the Golden Seal at every inspection since I have been here,” says Robert Kershner, Director of Dining Services at Canterbury Woods. “Morrison Community Living prepares us and supports us in the best ways possible to set us up for an award like this.”

“This recognition is a big deal,” he adds. “It confirms to me and our staff that our efforts are focused successfully on maintaining a safe environment for our residents. Credit is really due to all of the department staff for their undying dedication to food safety.”