How's HESS today? (ISO advice)


I have recently received a pre-employment offer for HESS, and would just like to see if anyone has any recent experience with them, so I can make a more informed/reassuring decision. I definitely want to teach in Taiwan for at least a year with my boyfriend, especially because its the first job offer I’ve gotten since graduation/the pandemic. But my parents are incredibly skeptical of my choice to go overseas.

Yes, I have seen a lot of the reviews on Reddit, and on Glassdoor with mixed reviews. I am an American born Chinese that just graduated college June of this year, so I know it may be harder for me to teach English in Taiwan as 1. I’m Chinese (so higher ups/parents may think I look inadequate teaching English), and 2. As a recent college grad, I have less experience in the job field so I may be taken advantage of.

What branches/ locations would you guys recommend? And what other things should I keep in mind? Thanks.

Following. I have also been put on their “recommended hire” list. My situation is unique in that i am already in Taiwan and has an ARC thru gold card (not in education). Basically they are waiting for me to settle down to an area. They did mentioned that they prefer to hire within 45 min of their school.
I applied with HESS because i don’t have any teaching experience and they basically train you and hold your hand through your first class. I will have to work close to full time with schedules that i won’t have control. Did you see their sample schedule? I would prefer part time hours to start.

1 Like

No offence intended (honestly!), but I’m surprised you want to bother with Hess if you have the gold card. It seems that by being forced to do full time with a fixed schedule (if that’s not what you’re looking for, as your post seems to imply) you lose most of the main benefits of the card.

I do see the point about wanting to get experience/training though, and maybe Hess is good for that, but wouldn’t you be able to find something similar to that elsewhere? Like, by shopping around and maybe finding a place with a better rate and more flexibility, or doing some tutoring or something (which you can do legally with the card). I would imagine that it’d be quite easy to find places willing to give you a chance, even with no experience, once employers find out that they don’t need to deal with the work permit stuff.

I should note that I’ve never worked for Hess or taught English, so my opinion doesn’t count for much. (Although I did get an offer from there a couple of years ago when I was super desperate…or thought I was…then I realized I wasn’t desperate enough to be teaching kids all day :grin:)

1 Like

No offence! Yes. It would be a waste.
I’m in the very beginning of my research and stay here in Taiwan. It was for NHI eligibility, but someone mentioned a work around in the GC community, but with a fee and recognized income.
As i mentioned, i prefer part time (and flexible) hours to start and get my feet wet. I’m working remotely and this would be a back up to a back up.
I will try looking elsewhere who will be willing to train. But like the original poster, I don’t have the complexion that is preferred in the industry.

I’m currently a part timer with Hess, hold an APRC so can be a bit more flexible about when and where I work.
As far as I’ve seen your experience is totally dependant in which branch you’re at. There’s excellent branches which I personally would happily remain teaching at for a while, and there’s some not so excellent ones. Though for the most part I’ve seen efforts by the organisation to weed out managers and staff that make life difficult for people, though it’s a slow process.

The curriculum has been updated/is updating and is a vast improvement in some areas, and though the workload can be heavier (homework etc), it is in general getting better and lighter, though this can vary with management.

As for being ABC that shouldn’t be an issue (and I haven’t seen any issues while teaching) as long as you can do the job and are seen to be serious about it, then you should be fine.

1 Like

I should add for newbies, the support and training they give is great to learn how to teach and to get you comfortable in the classroom.

1 Like

That’s very interesting. Just looked up what a gold card is because I didn’t know what it was. I wonder if having a gold card would make it easier to get hired in Taiwan, and if so, that’s pretty cool to learn about!

I did see their sample schedule and agree with you, I think starting off with less hours then gradually doing more would be good. We will likely have to work 6 days a week (unfortunately working on Saturday), with a minimum of 20 hrs/wk guaranteed. I don’t think I would mind a schedule like the sample one they showed us, because it looks like they’ll be able to accommodate with grouping some days with both early and late classes and some days with a more relaxed schedule. When you said you would have to work close to full time, are you talking about the unpaid class prep time too?

That is my assumptions. If they guarantee 20 hrs/week, they will use that up definitely. Several recruiters I have talked to mentioned shortage in teachers with Taiwan being closed. So, you might be asked to stretch between several schools to cover. And yes, 20 hrs teaching is equivalent to 30-40 hours actual work. Especially for new teachers. You are compensated $3K NTD per month for outside work?

I think so too you would be fine with their schedule.

1 Like

Have you worked with HESS for a while? How did you get to be part time and how many teaching hours does that translate to?

Ahh I see, that’s very reassuring! Thanks :slight_smile:
I have heard from online that it would be less stressful to apply to branches away from greater Taipei and Taoyuan, due to management/micromanagement concerns regarding those larger city areas. But we are still not sure which three locations we should consider/would be a better bet… also since once we are placed at a branch I don’t think we can change if we get not so good branches.

Yea I’ve been on n off with them for a while, I’ve got other projects on the go so can’t do full time work. Part time for me is anywhere between 15-20 hours a week. Though as I know the drill with teaching their curriculum my prep time n grading time is very condensed. Minimum hours for a visa is 14 hours, though if you’re self sponsored you may be able to get a casual agreement with them which allows you to be essentially a sub with no guaranteed hours. Though this usually takes a bit of guanxi and networking to establish

I wonder how does HESS decide if you’re worthy hire, if they hold your hand through?

Does passport matter? I am a ROC citizen. I do not have US passports or anything.

Do they discriminate against Taiwanese who spent significant portion of their lives abroad but do not have foreign citizenship?

Maybe by the way you answer your questions during interview? I had to do a live demo. I am sure you can prove yourself worthy by your approach to the job and how prepared you are for the interview. Not necessarily your experience. HESS is obviously seeking non experienced teacher.

Sounds like passport doesn’t matter as long as you can work in the country legally. Discrimination may be obvious, but as long as you are confident and can prove that you can do the job then it won’t be a problem? I’m not sure as well.

I ask because I remember seeing ads from Hess on Tealit and they wanted people to have passports from those English speaking countries (USA, Canada, Aus, NZ, UK, and SA). So I wondered about that.

I’m also not a people person so I kept thinking I’d never pass the interview.

I did a demo at a kindergarten in Tianmu once, and they said I was too rigid.

They wouldn’t likely hire you as a native speaking teacher, but they might in a different staffing position. It would be local wage rates, though. You’d make about the same or more in any office.

1 Like

If I am going to make the same local 30k wage in Taiwan doing that, there’s no point for me to work in a language school. I’ll only do it if I can make over 60k.

I rather work as a machinist.

When was your demo? And what was it like? Was it for the interview?

I have also been put on their “recommended hire” list.

Hi pin2xbo, did they say you were placed on a waitlist? Just wondering, as I am in a similar situation. Also, mind me asking how long ago you applied?

They sent me an “Initial Waitlist Email”. Basically saying it is not an contractual offer. I interviewed in November.

Are you here in TW?