As Part of Hiring Surge, ADB Seeks Public-Private Partnership Experts

By 2020, 50 percent of all Asian Development Bank lending will be targeting the private sector, Christopher MacCormac disclosed during Devex’s International Development Career Fair on March 12.

MacCormac, the resident director general of the bank’s North America office, is one of the architects of ADB’s 2020 strategy, which seeks to rebrand the bank as “a full-service development organization.”

In preparation for what he calls “the greatest unprecedented renewal the organization has ever experienced,” ADB is embarking on a massive recruitment effort.

Intent on effectively engaging both the private and public sectors, the bank is on the lookout for professionals with a proven track record in initiating and nurturing partnerships.

“We’re looking for those rare individuals that know how to build public-private partnerships,” the bank’s former senior director for interagency relations said. “That’s a tough, tough job.”

Qualified individuals with expertise in knowledge development and research, capacity building, training, and finance are also being sought.

With increases in ADB’s capital base from $55 billion to $165 billion, lending is expected to jump from $9 billion to $16 billion per year. In order to manage its loans, grants and guarantee programs, the Manila-based institution needs finance and poverty-reduction specialists.

“If we don’t end poverty in Asia, it will not end globally,” MacCormac noted. “But if we end it in Asia, it will be the single largest historical feat, economically from the development point of view, that we have ever seen.”

Program and project development experts are also needed as the bank seeks to foster regional cooperation and integration across Asia. Others in demand include education, conflict resolution and reconstruction, and clean and renewable energy specialists.

When it comes to applications, ADB takes its minimum requirements very seriously. Online applications that don’t “meet the essential criteria” generally do not make it past the human resources department, MacCormac disclosed.

Applications that do pass the initial screening test end up on the desk of the hiring department or are referred to other departments if applicants fit the profile for multiple jobs.

Since all positions are stationed in Asia, interviews are conducted using online video software. Successful candidates are invited to the resident mission or ADB headquarters in Manila for an in-person assessment.

ADB vacancies are announced on the bank’s career W ebsite as positions open up and the recruitment process generally takes about six months. Successful candidates are expected to take up posts 30 to 60 days after accepting an offer.

First-time offers are for two-year fixed periods with the possibility of extending for an additional year and joining the bank as a full-time employee.

Operations staff members generally work at ADB’s Manila headquarters in the Philippines for three or four years, followed by a resident mission appointment. They also have the option of cross-postings.

“Let’s say a person was to stay for ten or twelve years in the operations department. I would venture to say you do 50-50, between somewhere in the field and at headquarters, MacCormac explained. “It could be more in the field; it depends on what you’re doing.”

Positions at non-operation departments like the strategy and policy, treasury, and legal departments tend to be headquarter-based.

MacCormac described Manila, the Philippine capital, as a “family-friendly place” where the quality of life is “quite good in many ways.”

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