The World Bank

  www.worldbank.org
  www.worldbank.org
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The World Bank Reviews

Updated August 18, 2014
Updated August 18, 2014
294 Reviews
3.5
294 Reviews
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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
98 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance is great, together with the benefits and people (in 19 reviews)

  • The work environment differs greatly within the Bank (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • Consultants comprise over 60% of the workforce at WBG headquarters, with no benefits or job security (in 13 reviews)

  • No benefits and little job security (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

26 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    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 for 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
  2.  

    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 for 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
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Difficult to get secure work

    • 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 as a contractor for 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
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  5.  

    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 for 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
  6. 3 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 for 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
  7.  

    Consultant

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    good number of holidays/time off

    Cons

    not many opportunities for job advancement

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Terrible

    • 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 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The people are great to work with, friendly, committed to delivering a good outcome.. Senior management is another deal entirely ( see below)

    Cons

    There are literally 1000s of demoralized short term consultants working here. The classic 'dual labor' market theory applies here: insiders with long term contracts who dont do much work or are over extended in an organization that has been on a flat budget or budget cutting exercise while trying to increase lending activities to developing countries.The bulk of grunt work is farmed out to underpaid consultants, many whom do not get access to health care benefits.The result is poor quality control, no institutional memory and no accountability. For young people ( most consultants) trying to develop a career is almost impossible. Managers do little strategy development, very little human capital or staff development....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If the only way to get ahead is to network rather than ' work' the organization is doomed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    compromised and uninspiring work under the cover of international development

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

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    challenging, important and interesting issues to tackle

    Cons

    There's no system to truly evaluate the effectiveness of the work (very different from the private sector where profits are at stake), and the bulk of the client (developing countries, poor beneficiaries) don't really have any say, yet it's a monopoly in attracting donor money. The work is highly transactional, mostly about putting out reports and processing operations, regardless of many quality issues. A lot of money gets spent without value added. Many things get copied and pasted in the most shameful way just to show that there are new products to claim credit for.

    This organization doesn't work for the poor. It operates to feed the existing employees. Some of the employees are very talented and well-intentioned, but the majority that makes up the culture are among the most uninspiring, cowardly and sycophantic that I've met. And many people agree.

    Unfortunately I stay because I love the issues that are to be tackled, and the ability to work directly with governments and have large scale impact. The potential for large scale impact however makes bad work all the worse.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have more respect for yourself and be more honest about what is good work and good people. Stop covering up all kinds of quality issues and playing sycophant and fake democracy to win favors and get promoted.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    It's not all it's cracked up to be

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

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

    Pros

    Its overall mission of ending poverty, some interesting projects, international environment, nice peers.

    Cons

    No benefits whatsoever to short term positions (consultants), professional growth is painfully slow, consultants are usually assigned to do the groundwork and have no voice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of useless staff employees (only there because of the benefits) and empower young professionals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    5 stars if you are staff. 1 star if you are a consultant

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

    I worked at The World Bank as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing international exposure. Employees are from all over the world and that can teach one about so many different cultures. Heaps of seminars, workshops and events.

    Cons

    Consultants work hard, get no recognition for their work and most get nowhere. Hiring process is not transparent at all. No clear path for professional growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat consultants like they are human beings. Hire staff based on their actual qualifications.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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