Public sector banks outpace civil services in job applications

With Corp India on a hiring slowdown, PSBs have become the largest recruiters.

With Corporate India on a hiring slowdown for the past few years, public sector banks (PSBs) have become one of the most sought after employers and largest recruiters. While State Bank of India?s received 17 lakh applications for 1,500 posts of probationary officers (PO) recently, its earlier recruitment drive for 20,000 assistants or clerks had got 30 lakh responses.

This is even higher than the number of aspirants for the civil services examinations. Over 4.72 lakh people had applied for the Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2011, from which only 910 candidates were finally selected for the Indian Administrative Service and allied services .

Meanwhile, the Common Admission Test (CAT) that opens the doors to a high profile career in corporate India had 2.14 lakh applicants registered in 2012 for about 3,500 seats in the 13 Indian Institutes of Management across the country. ?This was our highest response ever. It was largely because we re-positioned our advertisements, showcasing the profile of the bank as well as opportunities for officers such as foreign postings,? said Pratip Chaudhuri, chairman, SBI.

While earlier advertisements for PO jobs in the bank listed a salary of Rs 32,000 per month along with house rent allowance, it has clarified the remuneration now, Chaudhuri said. The advertisements offered a maximum salary of up to Rs 69,000 a month.

The Khandelwal Committee report on human resource issues in banks had pointed out that banks will hire over 10 lakh people due to retirement and natural attrition. A large number of the mid-management is expected to retire as banks had put a virtual hiring freeze in the 1980s, analysts said.

?With the job market in the corporate sector unable to absorb all of the qualified graduates, bank jobs are promising. Further qualification for a PO require just a simple graduate degree and no particular skill sets. So it?s like an open marathon,? said Robin Roy, director (financial services), PricewaterhouseCoopers, adding that public sector banks require more people also because they are venturing into new products.

According to industry estimates, PSBs are expected to hire about 50,000 personnel (officers and clerks) this year. While Central Bank of India is in the midst of hiring about 3,000 people for clerical posts, others like Canara Bank have announced plans to hire 5,000 people in the coming years.

?With the goal of financial inclusion, public sector banks have tend to be big employers as they require more personnel to man new branches. Further, with signs of some recovery in business, they will continue to hire more,? said a senior government official.

According to official data, public sector banks have hired over 1.72 lakh people and opened 11,887 branches in the last three financial years. ?As many as 25 PSBs in new bank branches recruited 58,900 personnel in 2009-10, 57,758 persons in 2010-11 and 55,632 in 2011-12,? minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena told the Rajya Sabha.

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

First published on: 13-03-2013 at 11:26 IST