HESS International Educational Group

www.hess.com.tw
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HESS International Educational Group Reviews

Updated August 17, 2015
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43 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    ESL Teacher

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at HESS International Educational Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    My co-workers were great and my branch was very well-organized. I had excellent support from my direct manager and co-teachers and because I stayed longer than one year, I had some negotiating power with my schedule and the classes I got to teach. I was always paid on-time and my managers scheduled subs for any time off that I took.

    Cons

    I realize my experience was exceptional and a lot of people were unhappy at their branches for whatever reasons. The company is large and its primary concern is the bottom dollar, so as I was leaving, I noticed decisions being made for the bottom line and not in the students' best interests. The head of my branch was reluctant to speak to foreign workers directly, which resulted in irritating and unnecessary lapses in communication. For about 6 months I was doing Saturday classes in addition to Monday-Friday, and it felt like I didn't have much of a weekend. There was no pay for grading and any time off taken (I was in a serious accident and was supposed to take a month off of work - I wound up only taking a week because there was no sick pay).

    Advice to Management

    Communicate directly with foreign teachers instead of relaying messages through others. If you expect more work to be done for ESL classes than for EFL classes, pay accordingly. Give PTO and sick pay. Essentially, treat your workers like they are not completely expendable.


  2. Helpful (4)

    Decent Support, Lots of Bait and Switch

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English Teacher
    Current Employee - English Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at HESS International Educational Group (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Training and support on arrival, helps total rookies. Pay is OK.

    Cons

    Bait and switch on promised location, unnecessary amount of stress from short training period. Inconsistent training methods between central and local branches and dysfunctional teacher support at some branches. Burns out beginners with long hours.

    HESS International Educational Group Response

    Jun 23, 2015 – English Human Resources Department

    Thank you very much for your post, your feedback is very important to us. I am sorry you are dissatisfied with the way we placed you in your location. We try to make it very clear to people that we ... More


  3. Positive work environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - NST
    Current Employee - NST
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at HESS International Educational Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    My branch was well organized and balanced. I was only at one branch and had good hours and stable classes. The staff was a lot of fun and I was also called to sub at other branches often.

    Cons

    For me, I would not want to work there long term because of the constant turnover. It was good for a short term, post college job.

    HESS International Educational Group Response

    Jun 23, 2015 – English Human Resources Department

    Thank you for your post, I am glad that you had a positive experience. It is unfortunate that you experienced high turnover. We work very hard to have people stay longer, and currently the average ... More


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Not a great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Entry-level position. Doesn't require experience. Gives you free training. Picks you up at the airport. They don't discriminate against ABCs.

    Cons

    Your co-teachers will generally act as if they were your bosses. You will work very hard for very little money. High turnover, as you can get better jobs elsewhere once you have some experience. Very little control over teaching style or methods. Keeps you from quitting by having a high monetary penalty for leaving before contract expires. Expect to work Saturday mornings too.

    Advice to Management

    This is their business model. They expect high-turnover and a continuous stream of new employees. However, they could at least look at modern research for language acquisition and try to make their teaching methods more effective and not based so much on mindless repetition.


  6. Easy Job to Support Travels Abroad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Native Speaking Teacher in Taipei (Taiwan)
    Current Employee - Native Speaking Teacher in Taipei (Taiwan)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    They are up front about what to expect starting with the description on the website and the online application. During the interview process, you are allowed to ask anything you couldn't find on the website or when applying. When you arrive, there are minor details they add on, but they pretty much reiterate everything you should have known. Teachers are expected to grade homework, tests and quizzes outside of paid hours. You have to create performances for some classes, but I enjoyed them because I created them around my interests, and made them for my amusement. Many people complain about these requirements. I don't particularly like teaching, but this is a cake job and I get to see the world. Starting pay is just over $18 USD/hour. It goes up more than a $1/hour every new contract. That's pretty decent compared to the cost of living here. Everything you need to teach is laid out for you in the Teacher's Guides. If you have any questions, you can ask your coworkers. I've never taught before, and was extremely nervous, but after a few weeks of teaching, I really didn't have to spend a lot of time planning lessons. Especially for Kindy and Treehouse classes. They are so repetitive. You can make friends easily and create a supportive network quickly. It can happen in training. My training group was awesome. I made great friends right away. Plus, you get to meet cool people everywhere. You can learn Chinese, and you get to experience an amazing culture, in the second safest country in the world. There is so much to see and do here. You get to play with adorable kids if you teach Kindy and lower HLS classes. Sometimes, you get to give them cool English names.

    Cons

    Culture shock. I thought I wouldn't get it because I have moved around a lot, and I adapt to new places easily. I definitely experienced culture shock. Just take it all in, it will fade, maybe it will come back. Just breathe and be patient. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you have a poor attitude and work ethic, you will not survive. I understand that people get placed at branches that aren't so great, but if you are made to do things outside of your contract, then go above your branch managers. Many of the complaints seem to be about things that are required in the contract. You get what you put into it. There is a misconception that you are on a vacation and have to teach on the side. You come here for a job, and that job has the benefit of being able to travel a lot. You still have to work and put effort into this job. You will get sick. I was sick most of my first month. Expect it. You are in a new country with new germs, and you are around germ ridden kids all day. You will get frustrated in the beginning. I hated my Treehouse 4 class. They are about 8-9 years old. They were hyperactive and bouncing off the walls. Now, I love Treehouse and wish it was my only class to teach. I just asked for help with classroom management, and made the changes needed from my peer observations.

    Advice to Management

    Ask more questions in the interview to seek positive, high energy people.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Good for new teachers, not as great for experienced teachers.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Teacher (NST) in Taichung (Taiwan)
    Former Employee - English Teacher (NST) in Taichung (Taiwan)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    They generally train their teachers well and get them on their feet in Taiwan. The foreign staff were generally friendly and helpful. Many of the CTs were just as helpful.

    Cons

    The salary may not be as high as other English schools in Taiwan, given the pretty intense workload. Also, cultural differences between the Taiwanese management and the foreign teachers can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.

    Advice to Management

    Limit foreign teacher workload, especially when it comes to ESL classes and Open Houses. It may also be a good idea to limit the amount of self-promotion addressed to employees.


  8. Helpful (1)

    teaching pay also covers admin pay! CON

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Native Speaking Teacher in Taichung (Taiwan)
    Current Employee - Native Speaking Teacher in Taichung (Taiwan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at HESS International Educational Group part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    PRO- Good for first time educator, good training, good assistance finding accommodation

    Cons

    > experience differs by branch so expect to hear good stuff and horror stories > the pay states teaching hours- so you get paid for each hour in the classroom but nothing for any admin or prep or grading (so if you have 20 teaching hours you'll also have around 20-40 mins of admin per class depending on class size) > you have to fight to get vacation > management will discuss you during training and refer to you as stupid/crap/thick and some expletives as an unqualified teacher assesses you. > Only a very small % of staff here have a teaching certificate > lots of 'experienced' staff who haven't been developed properly

    Advice to Management

    > stop talking about people behind their backs- it gets out > take an interest in development > don't lie > give compensation for all the extra hours worked!


  9. Helpful (3)

    Almost worth it

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Native Speaking Teacher
    Current Employee - Native Speaking Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Guaranteed minimum of 20 teaching hours per week. Able to sub classes for other teachers.

    Cons

    A lot of extra work will be thrown your way that you didn't sign up for, especially if you teach kindergarten, which is most people. You also do this extra work for no extra pay or appreciation.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent with incoming teachers, and more people would stay and complete their contracts.


  10. English teeacher

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at HESS International Educational Group full-time

    Pros

    It's been a great time to be an English teacher in Taiwan.

    Cons

    Currently work in Hess International Organization.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Fell apart over the past decade

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Teacher, Head NST (Manager of Foreign Teachers) in Taipei (Taiwan)
    Former Employee - English Teacher, Head NST (Manager of Foreign Teachers) in Taipei (Taiwan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at HESS International Educational Group full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    -- Curriculum is easy to follow for newbies, and as long as you stick with the Teacher's Book, you won't screw up too badly. -- English ability of students graduating from Kindy to Treehouse is generally high.

    Cons

    -- Chinese Teachers (your co-teachers) will be terribly underpaid. Full-time CTs only earn about 30,000 NTD ($1,000) per month, but they're generally expected to work 40-50 hours per week. -- Part-time CTs only earn 300-400 NT per hour, while other chains like Kojen pay starting pay of 600+ per hour. This results in a high turnover rate for CTs, which results in inconsistent quality of classes. -- NSTs are paid poorly with big gaps in their schedules. For starting pay of about 500-600 NT per hour, you can expect to do a lot of unpaid work: homework, prep, meetings, etc. If you have a kindy+cram school contract, expect to work a few hours in the morning, get an awkward 4-6 hour gap in the afternoon, then work at night again. -- Hess has poor hiring standards for NSTs and CTs, since it's desperate to fill positions (due to the high turnover rate). As a result, managers generally let all sorts of offenses (disrespect towards other staff, refusal to take classes or grade homework) slide to hold on to teachers for awhile longer. -- Hess will eventually force you to give up your weekends, even Sundays, to participate in mandatory "award ceremonies" (which basically give an award to any sucker who was willing to give up a Sunday), and unpaid hiking trips where you will take kindergarten students and their parents for outdoor adventures! -- When you come to Taiwan, be prepared for completely inconsistent branches. Some Head NSTs (like myself) will spend a lot of time securing your housing and training you. Others won't care, and basically leave you to fend for yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Start paying the Chinese staff what they deserve, instead of trying to scare them into submission with lame threats. Take a look at all the experienced teachers (including me) that you lost over the past decade due to your refusal to deal with these issues.



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