Is Search Associates On Your Side?


As teachers begin to prepare to recruit and find a new job, one important choice they face is what services they will use for recruitment. The two usual choices are Search Associates and ISS (now known as ISS-Schrole Advantage). Many teachers, for convenience, stick with the choice they made the very first time they went overseas – a choice that was often uninformed and under-researched. It behooves you to understand a bit about how these recruiting companies operate financially so that you can understand where your agent’s loyalties may lie.

Here is the fee structure for Search Associates

  • Schools pay a $2000 membership fee and then pay $1980 per teacher hire
  • Teachers pay a $225 membership fee (membership lasts for 3 years)

Here is the fee structure for ISS-Schrole Advantage:

  • Schools pay a one-time fee between $5,300 and $20,000 dollars (dependent on school size), but do not pay any cost per hire
  • Teachers pay a $75 annual membership fee

Right off the bat, you can see that ISS costs schools more and candidates less. Being paid by schools on a per-candidate basis means that Search Associates real loyalties are going to lie with their schools. Like any free market, many of these schools will be great and many will be average, and many will be below-average or even bad. Search is going to be blind to this though, and encourage you to be open to any job because if they can get you placed in any school, they’re going to rack up the cash.

ISS, on the other hand, is charging both schools and candidates a flat fee. This gives ISS an advantage as it can act with a fiduciary responsibility to both schools and to candidates – there is not a cash incentive waiting for a placement. While a school recruiting companies reputation may go down if they place many candidates with bad schools, you better believe that the blow is softened then they get paid 2000 dollars each time they do it.

Search is basically acting like a real estate agent representing both sides of a deal – they get double paid. In this analogy, the real estate agent has an interest in keeping the price high as they get a percentage of the sale value. In teacher recruiting terms, it simply means that Search is going to work hard to get you a job, regardless of whether it is a good job or not.

Is Search Associates bad? No, they’re not. But when you recruit with Search Associates and your associate is pushing you to interview with schools outside of your stated comfort zone, you should at least be aware of why they are doing it.

Is ISS-Schrole Advantage immune to these problems? No, they’re not. You should do your due diligence for any school you recruit with as well as for any recruiting agency you choose to use. You should be aware that nobody is going to look out for your own interests better than you will, and that you owe it to yourself to make careful decisions, especially when they are of this magnitude.

Source for ISS Data

Win a Trip to Paris!!


We just found out that during Teacher Appreciation Week (which was last week), you could have won a trip to Paris! We feel remiss that we didn’t mention this sooner. In addition to multiple tickets to Paris, gift certificates to local stores were also given out.

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Update: Sorry folks, this was only for teachers at AUS, not ASK. Maybe next year?

Update on Job Vacancies


A quick post to update you on ASK’s hiring status. According to their website:

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At the rate ASK hires teachers in the fall of their first year, it may be a good idea to hire one extra teacher in each department. Plan ahead, guys. In any case, it looks like the Middle School and Elementary school are close to being full, so maybe their principals will be able to rest a bit over the summer. We wish Dr. Hazel luck with her recruiting – she has worked very hard during her first year and also has earned what must be a much-needed break.

Update on Readership (May 20, 2019)


May has continued to garner a very large number of views, and is officially the 3rd most viewed month here at American School of Kuwait Reviews. So far, over 8,100 views have been recorded from more than 824 unique visitors.

It is quite possible that, if this trend continues, it could become the 2nd or 1st most viewed month. We will try to keep you updated with the relevant happenings at ASK, and we appreciate the trust you put in us to do so.

Congratulations to Mrs. Ness


If you subscribe to the thought that things aren’t official until they’re posted on Facebook, then you can officially congratulate Mrs. Rebecca Ness on a long career, and wish her a happy retirement. Mrs. Ness has been with the school since before the Iraqi invasion and has served the school in a multitude of roles, culminating with a long term as superintendent.

Mrs. Ness has been going through an apparent gradual transition with Assistant Superintendent Michael Murphy, gradually turning over control of the school, all the while maintaining an active role recruiting for ASK, even after breaking her femur several years ago. Please make sure to send Mrs. Ness your warm wishes – after decades of tireless service to the school, she certainly deserves them.