The World Bank

www.worldbank.org
Profile Unclaimed

The World Bank Reviews

Updated February 28, 2015
Updated February 28, 2015
31 Reviews
2.0
31 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
31 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance can be good if the travel schedule isn't too onerous (in 23 reviews)

  • Great internarional work environment and opportunities to travel (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • no benefits, cannot work more than 150 days per year so many end up working for free (in 18 reviews)

  • The culture does not favor the growth of junior staff, especially short-term consultants (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

31 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Reorganizational Mess

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    Solid benefits (though eroding) and a great mission

    Cons

    Current sr. management is changing the entire institution for the sake of change without any evidence that the new structure will be any more efficient. Driving talent away while politically connected stay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    So so

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    Multi-cultural environment - smart people. very international.

    Cons

    A bit stuffy and bureaucratic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the cons.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    What it's like to be a short-term consultant (STC)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    One of the only ways for young (under 40) people to get into the World Bank. There is no guarantee however that this will translate into more formal, permanent employment.

    If you look at other development NGOs, it generally pays better (but see my caveat below about maximum days you can work).

    Colleagues are generally very smart and worldly. This does not mean, however, that they are competent or caring.

    Interesting and important issues. It's a big institution so there is always something new to learn and there are lots of free talks, conferences, etc to attend.

    Cons

    The World Bank enjoys immunity from domestic judicial processes so this means that the terms of your employment is not, in any way, protected by US labor law.

    You are cheap, fungible and therefore disposable labor. You receive no benefits (no paid sick, vacation or holidays, no health insurance, no transportation, no pension, and as US citizens you pay your full tax burden as self-employed).

    You are paid on a time vs. deliverable basis (days) which means TORs are written very generally and even if they are not, you can be expected to do work that is not in your contract.

    While you can contractually only work 150 days per fiscal year, there is often an expectation that you work more-- for free. (i.e. a manager will ask that you work throughout the year but only with pay for about 1/2 of that time).

    Because historically STCs were the way to enter the Bank and get more permanent positions, you will feel pressured to take the abuse and exploitation with the elusive and non-monetized value of promise.

    Individuals are generally not bad but they are the product of the institution's system of incentives: your managers may understand it to be "unfair" but they have to operate within the system.

    But then there are those who really are bad and will use the systemic problems to screw you over (ie. give you a contract but randomly cancel it or change the TOR because again, you have no legal recourse and are replaceable.)

    If, after this, you are still interested in becoming an STC, you can safely know that there is zero transparency about the process and is highly founded on nepotism. Positions are probably 99% word of mouth and not posted publicly and even internally, most of them are not announced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Human capital is your greatest asset and yet it's the most underutilized. People are leaving in droves. You are losing your best talent and when you look demographically, the Bank is aging, and you won't have people you need in the future.

    Hire more ETCs and less STCs. Let the ETCs follow a clear predictable track to employment with a clear career manager and mentor. In other words, invest in people.

    Negative Outlook
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Officer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Financial Officer in Washington, DC

    I worked at The World Bank full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    International
    great place to learn if you are in the right team

    Cons

    a lot of confusion in long term strategy
    new leaders don't understand the bank
    not as good as it used to be

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop change the model and direction every few years, its been a repetitive circle

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Used to be one of the best employers - now losing ground

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Economist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Economist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Stimulating and intelligent environment, highly international, some very dedicated and great people

    Cons

    Two tiered labor system: Those that are staff and those that are consultants. STCs (short-term consultants) get no benefits and have the worst office environment. Many STCs work there in the hope of sometime in the future getting a staff position, so they are not really short-term. This makes them subject to almost abusive conditions, especially during a hiring freeze when no staff opportunities are available.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Worry about the working environment. Morale is down EVERYWHERE with the re-org.
    2. Think about how you can make the World Bank an attractive place to work at again. Currently, it is not.
    3. Think very carefully about making the World Bank into an American corporate-styled cubicle world. Many people have flocked to the Bank, including myself, taking pay cuts, in order to NOT be in that environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Mission carried out by talented and dedicated staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Diversity and experience like no other. Great purpose and mission, you do feel you are making a difference in the lives of others. Personal growth and compensation is the best I've experienced.

    Cons

    Reorganization is creating uncertainty of personal growth and career advancement. The mission is great and staff are onboard with it however there is a lot of change to contend with all at once.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Horrendous bureaucracy. Politics, patronage and cronyism rule hiring and rewards; OK if you have a decent manager.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Analyst in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Possibility of rewarding work, diversity, educated and sometimes very skilled colleagues.

    Cons

    Patronage, cronyism, inequality of opportunity for Americans vs most others.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retoric surrounding recent changes does not seem to be a reality; siloing and other negative behaviors springing from managerial short-term self interest are being reinforced rather than reduced; more differentiated salaries and rewards will strengthen patronage and cronyism. especially among newly entrenched mafias, which have multiplied. Invest in systems! Current cost-cutting trend vis-a-vis management systems will only multiply use of outmoded, error-prone spreadsheet work and ad-hoc local solutions to gaps in systems.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Difficult to get secure work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work, well paid, good people, strong social and environmental ethic, great food in the cafeteria, multi-cultural. Lots of travel. Working in a country office of World Bank is far more interesting and satisfying.

    Cons

    Difficult to get a full time position or secure work if you are an STC. In HQ there is no friendly atmosphere. Work at HQ is not as interesting - very bureaucratic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be re-consideration of having operations done by STCs, and a lack of staff opportunities for STCs who have been with the organisation for years

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Working as and STC at the World Bank

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work but at the same time very stressful. At the end of each fiscal year, you have to find another unit and contract to to be able to contunue to work. If you are luck, you will keep working.

    Cons

    No benefits (retirement, health etc)
    Impossible to get full-time position
    Relationships are very important to get a permament job

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Don't join unless you are a political animal

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The World Bank (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You feel you're a part of a greater mission and making a difference in the world. You feel proud to work with so many MBAs and PhDs. Salary and benefits used to be very competitive. Recent changes were for worse but they're still good.

    Cons

    HR is pre-historical and does not practice what they preach. As a general, appointments are biased by relations and hidden agendas, with managers manipulating normal recruiting processes to appoint preferred candidates. Very little opportunities to young staff, better join at a later point in the career, as it becomes stagnant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Transparency please. Don't burn out staff who disagree with you. There is intelligence and diverse perspectives/opinions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Work at The World Bank? Share Your Experiences

The World Bank

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.