The World Bank Reviews

Updated July 24, 2015
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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
13 Ratings

Pros
  • The work is interesting and the work-life balance is great (in 23 reviews)

  • The work environment differs greatly within the Bank (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • Consultants comprise over 60% of the workforce at WBG headquarters, with no benefits or job security (in 18 reviews)

  • Very tough place for short term consultants (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

42 Employee Reviews

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  1. Information Analyst

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Exposure to people from varied backgrounds who are sincerely dedicated to the mission of fighting poverty.

    Cons

    The environment is balkanized into fiefdoms where there is no check on people in power who discriminate against different races.

    Advice to Management

    Think outside of the box: make managers accountable for their actions and give employees access to dispute resolution alternatives outside of the institution.


  2. Helpful (3)

    My experience so far as a new ST

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

    I have been working at The World Bank part-time (Less than a year)

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I don't share many of the grievances voiced by my fellow short-term peeps. Sure, it'd be nice if I could work more than 150 days. If I had health insurance. If I had paid sick leave. Buuut I knew all of this before I signed a contract, and I'll be okay with this until I'm not. Then I'll leave.

    Cons

    As an ST, I feel more like a tool than I feel like human capital. On my first day, I found out I had been assigned to assist a staff member, who very quickly revealed themselves to be mentally ill and absolutely toxic. Sometimes I feel like throwing up before I come into work, I dread it so much. The worst part is that I don't have a team, it's just me and this one person, and I feel completely isolated and alone. I talked to the individual who's technically my manager, but they didn't do anything. Because I don't matter. I'm not staff. If I quit, they can get a hundred candidates beating down the door to replace me in a heartbeat. I guess if this drives me to a breaking point, I will eventually quit, but I'm lucky because I don't need visa sponsorship. If I were dependent on a G-4 visa to stay in this country? I'd probably keep my mouth shut.

    Advice to Management

    The short-term contracting system is broken and abused. Can't you just give people the option to take a one-year contract? It's better than nothing...


  3. Short-Term Consultant

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Access to some of the top minds in development, always opportunities to learn more, and a cohort of short term staff with a "we're all in this crazy situation together" mantra that make is bearable.

    Cons

    No job security, no benefits, we're the lowest on the totem pole so there is very little agency in the work that we do.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out your staffing situation so that short-term staff can't start planning their lives!


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  5. 4 years of experience

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Diverse colleagues with experience from all over the world. Truly global organization with projects and presence all over the world.

    Cons

    Poor management, incompetent IT department (hundreds of IT staff that can't get one system to work properly), clumsy procurement (pay delays are common), lack of transparency in terms of HR, hiring and promotions. Merit is the last thing that matters. It is common not to hear back for few months after interviewing. Unnecessarily complicated procedures for even the smallest task.

    Advice to Management

    Start with providing a clear manual of procedures. revamp the whole IT department - they are way to many that do not contribute anything and they hire contractors for everything anyway. Have transparent hiring and promotion procedures and focus on career development as oppose to creating additional layers in the already unsustainable reverse pyramid structure


  6. GF LEVEL at the bank

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    Good exposure if in the right team

    Cons

    Contracutal issues if not a staff


  7. Helpful (2)

    Not a Place for a Career

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent travel opportunities, generous salary and benefits. Spacious offices, not a lot of work pressure

    Cons

    Has not been able to maintain professional standards and becoming more bureaucratic, political and mediocre. The absence of a proper recruitment process means the place is full of short term consultants with limited qualifications looking for nepotistic hiring opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    limit contracts to ten years. Establish professional standards. Limit individual short term consultants to no more than 60 days per year.


  8. Underpaid

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting work, multicultural environment, fabulous coworkers.

    Cons

    Consultants are expected to work 240 days a year but only get paid for 150 days. No health insurance or any other benefits. Basically, the World Bank is doing what it tells its clients not to do.

    Advice to Management

    The Bank must stop hiring consultants to do work that should be done by staff. To do so, it must, of course, increase its payroll.


  9. Short-term consultancies with the World Bank

    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor

    Pros

    There is always plenty of work, it is rewarding and interesting. There is a lot to be learnt from colleagues, and the environment is stimulating.

    Cons

    There is a 150-day limit per year for consultants. Moreover, once you accept a given rate, you are locked in at the rate, even if the nature of the work changes. But perhaps the worst thing about short-term consultancies at the World Bank is that they do not always involve short, concrete assignments as the name implies. Many short-term consultants are hired to do staff work and, due to the 150-day limit, end up working for free.

    Advice to Management

    Lift the 150-day limit (or risk getting sued over forcing consultants to work for free). More importantly, ensure that no consultants are doing staff work.


  10. The future may be bright

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Inspiring mission, highly educated staff, international reach and experience, convening power and strong voice in impacting development agenda.

    Cons

    1) The stretched re-organization basically froze hiring now. 2) a large part of technical work is out-sourced to academics and private consulting companies, 3) little opportunity for junior professionals unless they can accept a consultant position with no full-time job and no benefits and very basic work that doesn't help you learn much.


  11. Helpful (1)

    A very bipolar atmosphere

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

    I worked at The World Bank full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Family-like environment, real work, and a desire to make a difference.

    Cons

    Heavy workload, the need to undermine those above and below, and no real respect for those below.

    Advice to Management

    Give respect where it's due, let go of the egos, and set realistic and fair pay grades. Stop the underhanded racism.



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