The World Bank Reviews

Updated August 31, 2015
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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
14 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

47 Employee Reviews

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  1. Worth having name on CV but don't stay long

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The organization's mission is tremendous, the range of exposure you'll get to various fields/experts is fascinating and the people are all interesting and capable.

    Cons

    As a consultant, you're taken advantage of in order to subsidize the tremendous benefits afforded to permanent staff. Even though you're expected to work essentially full-time, be permanently "on-call" and are responsible for staff-level work that's vital to keep the organization functioning, you're a "day laborer" in their eyes. It's a storied organization that's worth getting on your CV but a terrible employer with limited/zero options for career development.


  2. Consultant

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

    I worked at The World Bank part-time

    Pros

    flexible scheduling; if lucky with a team you might be working on very interesting projects &assignments. ..

    Cons

    Attempts to use consultants pro bono.. no job security and benefits; nepotism at the WB structure; zero professional development opportunities ..


  3. Consultant

    Current Employee - Investigator in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Investigator in Arlington, VA

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

    Pros

    Good salary and life balance

    Cons

    Insecurity for young professionals


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  5. 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    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.


  6. Helpful (6)

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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...


  7. 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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!


  8. 4 years of experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time

    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


  9. GF LEVEL at the bank

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

    Pros

    Good exposure if in the right team

    Cons

    Contracutal issues if not a staff


  10. 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time

    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.


  11. Underpaid

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    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.



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