Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

  www.international.gc.ca
  www.international.gc.ca

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Reviews

Updated December 13, 2014
Updated December 13, 2014
11 Reviews
2.6
11 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
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John Baird
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    International exposure

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    - Diversified job package
    - International travel
    - Interactions with various departments and businesses
    - Interactions with different cultures
    - Building contacts in different countries

    Cons

    - System not always merit-based
    - Lack clarity in terms of planned HR opportunities

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - HR road map
    - Enhanced technology tools

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Work culture varies a lot from division to division.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time

    Pros

    Salary is decent, benefits are good, colleagues are generally kind and considerate. There is a lot of opportunity to move around within the organisation and try new positions.

    Cons

    Can be very process heavy, bureaucratic. Too many internal communication, collaboration and data management tools, none of which are particularly effective. Job rotation is built into the system, but handover processes are inconsistent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The organisation would benefit as a whole if senior management showed no tolerance for repeated poor behaviour from senior/middle managers.

  3.  

    wonderful place to work at

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

    I worked at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

    Pros

    good environment, good pay, good people

    Cons

    no parking in the area, so public transport remains only mean to get there

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Interesting place and work, but resources are being cut and administrative work on the rise

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

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    People, work, files, open minded place

    Cons

    Too bureaucratic and centralized, no flexible work from home in spite of secure technology availability, those who leave are not replaced, staffing freeze, job cuts or job overburden

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People need to be motivated rather than overworked. There is too much public service bashing these days from politicians, media or private sector.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't plan on retiring if you are locally engaged

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

    I worked at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    It's a very conformable place to work and get exposure to the world of foreign affairs. It's basically a mini version of Canada in a box.

    Cons

    If you are hired on in a foreign mission as a locally engaged staff expect the following;
    1) Do no plan on retiring. Rarely do people make it to the point of retirement before being let go.
    2) Do no plan on advancement. Work here for about 5 years, simply for the experience, and then leave. After that it's a dead end job (see point 1)
    3) The Canadian foreign service officers will treat you poorly at best. There are two cultures at a mission. You are either entitled as of Foreign Service Officer, or a lowly servant as Locally Engaged staff. Humane rights are often forgotten.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None really. We provided plenty of advice over the years, only to be ignored. Try treating the locals as you would a Canadian.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Job satisfaction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Passport Officer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Passport Officer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, Workplace health and safety, Education, Challenge

    Cons

    Very little room for advancement

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    The longer you stay in it the less employable you could become elsewhere.

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

    I worked at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you can be there for a couple of years to get the exposure to international issues do it. Do not delude yourself into thinking you'll move up the totem pole or that the work environment could improve over time.

    Cons

    Dazed and confused bosses, procedures never followed except when attempting to lay blame on somebody else, petty and constant infighting for crumbs, bitterness among staff and a feeling of toxicity due partly to management's systemic refusal to engage even the most basic forms of originality or innovative thinking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The issues I'm flagging here are well known to management. They know quite well what cultural and organizational changes need to take place to find and retain talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work - lots of opportunity and interesting files.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Policy Officer in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Senior Policy Officer in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - challenging work with opportunity to travel
    - great training offered at the foreign service institute
    - wide variety of files and opportunity to engage with a wide variety of cultures and organizations

    Cons

    - can be challenging if you are not an FS
    - harder to advance than other departments (but can be worth the wait)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reconcile the balance between the value/needs of all occupational categories

    Recommends
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hold off for joining another 5 years or so

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Deputy Director in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Deputy Director in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Amazing experience. Very unique work and life experience. Travel opportunities, as well as living abroad representing Canada. Decent salary and pension (although changes for newcomers may negate that).

    Cons

    There's a 20 word minimum here, but since I'm currently employed here I'm not particularly comfortable going into that much detail. That should actually tell you a lot already. One word: bureaucrazy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not a place for career advancement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Policy Officer in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Policy Officer in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Stable and predictable job environment if you have an indeterminate position. There are a variety of jobs and sectors to chose from.

    Cons

    Retention of employees is not a priority for the Department. It is currently (as of 2012) focused on cutting human resources. Promotion opportunities (which are a competitive process) become available on average every two years at best. If you do not pass a competition, you will have to wait or apply to another department. There is a focus on French language skills but no funding for training for those who do not have advanced level French.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on retaining younger employees with strong performance reviews through mentoring programs and opportunities to advance,

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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