Before applying for a vacancy at an organization, it is important to understand which staff profile it employs and looks for in its selection processes. This will help you to: understand if your professional profile fits with what the organization is looking for; to get ready, in order to have greater chances of success in future selection processes, and prepare better curriculum and application documents required for your application.
Therefore, an overview of the AfDB staff profile will be presented in this section, so that you will be able to gain a better understanding of what this organization looks for in its human resources.
1) Educational Level
In the AfDB selection process, the candidate’s academic background is a crucial attribute, having at first an eliminatory character, and later a classificatory one. The work normally carried out at the institution possesses a high level of complexity, demanding skills that are commonly obtained through higher education in areas such as economics, finance, accounting, and computer science, among others.
As they work for a bank, naturally, most of the AfDB staff’s daily activities involve topics directly related to finance, such as macro and microeconomics, investments, and sector analysis. However, the complex dynamics of the institution, with its several fronts of action, result in an expansion of the professional qualifications needed of its staff.
A good example of this is ADB’s recent substantive focus, which goes beyond economic analysis, on issues of gender, environment and urban planning. Consequently, these themes, as well as those related to the economic sphere, also require a high level of qualification.
While not a requirement, AfDB highly recommends that its staff, in addition to a bachelor’s degree, hold degrees at the MBA or a master’s, or doctoral degree in another field. However, the excellence of candidates who participate in the selection processes makes recommendation the rule, since in most cases, candidates with CVs considered average already possess one of the above-mentioned degrees.
2) Areas of Specialization and Expertise
Since AfDB’s creation, its core functions have expanded greatly throughout the years. Consequently, new thematic and sectorial knowledge became fundamental for the IGO’s operational day-to-day. Currently, AfDB has the following 14 sectors and thematic areas:
- Agriculture and Agro-industries
- Climate Change
- Human Capital Development
- Economics & Finance Governance
- Information & Communication Technology
- Energy & Power
- Private Sector
- Water Supply & Sanitation
3) Professional Experience
Generally speaking, candidates who are successful in the various AfDB selection processes have had some prior work experience. If your dream is to work for AfDB, you should look to gain work experience in areas related to international development.
These experiences may take place at other international organizations, non-governmental organizations, in the government, or in the private sector. Your role may be as a consultant, volunteer, intern, researcher, or staff member. You should prioritize experiences linked to your area of expertise and contribute to the wide range of development topics, since the bank focuses on addressing development challenges.
Another aspect to consider is the importance of gaining work experience in developing or under-developed member countries, as most of AfDB’s work focuses on these locations. This is not a requirement but could make a significant difference. Therefore, if you live in a developed country, do not miss an exchange or internship opportunity in a developing country.
4) Competencies and Skills
It is not just educational background and professional experience that are important in ADB’s selections. The organization rigorously assesses candidates’ competencies at all times during the process.
Therefore, you should aim to develop the desired competencies, as they will be evaluated and tested during the various stages of the ADB selection process and have significant weight in the recruiters’ evaluation.
Below, we list the most common competencies and skills required by ADB professionals to prepare for the different selection processes:
- Technical Expertise
- Strong academic background
- Prior experience in your profession
- Multidisciplinary experience
- Dynamism, innovation, creativity, integrity, teamwork, results-orientation and problem-solving capability
- Sense of judgment, demonstrate a passion for working in a multi-lateral development institution and for working towards the development of Africa]
- Proficiency in written and spoken English
- Capability to adapt to a multicultural environment
- Working knowledge of Microsoft operating systems (PowerPoint, Excel, Word, SAP, etc.)