According to SBI’s annual report for FY21, the size of its employee base shrank to 2.45 lakh as on March 31, 2021, from 2.49 lakh a year ago.
State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday initiates the process to recruit 2,056 probationary officers (POs), including for positions where there is a backlog of vacancies. In addition, the bank also sought applications for over 500 vacancies in its specialist cadre for its wealth management division.
Bank unions have been demanding the filling up of vacant positions at public sector banks (PSBs). During the Covid second wave in the April-May period, a large number of bank staff died after being infected by the virus. In a letter to the government in May, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) reportedly wrote that 1,300 bank employees had lost their lives during the second wave alone.
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Even before Covid, banks had started to go slower on hiring with the increasing pace of digitisation in the banking system. According to SBI’s annual report for FY21, the size of its employee base shrank to 2.45 lakh as on March 31, 2021, from 2.49 lakh a year ago. But, at the same time, large PSBs like SBI kept up hiring for specialised talent on lateral and contractual basis in the areas of wealth management, information technology (IT), information security, risk, credit and audit.
POs are not hired for specialist roles. Once recruited, they undergo training in basic banking knowledge before joining work. They remain on probation for two years, during which they are subjected to continuous assessment. Candidates who qualify in the assessment are then confirmed in the service of the bank. They may eventually rise to top management positions over their career. Recruitment for these roles typically take place once a year.
In recent years, large public-sector banks, especially those who have undergone mergers, are going for lateral hires in specialist positions at the senior level as the government has been nudging them in this direction.