At this time of fear and apprehension over jobs, public sector banks are swimming against the tide to go on a hiring spree.
State-owned banks, ravaged by frequent poaching by private Indian banks and foreign banks till the other day, and given that a large number of their employees is in a gray age bracket, have chalked out sizeable recruitment plans for the next two years.
According to industry estimates, about 5 per cent of PSU bank employees retire this financial year, a figure that will increase to 12 per cent next year, and to 20 per cent the year after.
“During 2008-09, more than 30,000 people have been already recruited and over the next few months another 10,000 will be absorbed. This figure is likely to go up to 50,000 and 75,000 over the next two years, respectively,” said M N Gopinath, director on the board of Bank of India.
With the implementation of core banking solutions and advent of new-age banking in the public sector, new areas of employment have emerged, such as, tele-calling, direct marketing, and tech-support.
M Balachandran, director of the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), said commercial banking in India might not face an adverse impact of the economic slowdown. “We continue to get queries for engagement (assignments for recruitment) for banks and expect the situation to remain that way in future due to an expanding business and the need to replace retiring staff in public sector banks,” he said.
State Bank of India will recruit 28,000 in 2008-09. This includes 20,000 clerks, for which the process is underway. The bank will add at least another 20,000 employees in 2009-10, as it opens 1,000 more branches.
A senior executive of Bank of India said it was recruiting 1,800 people across categories in 2008-09, including 800 officers. About 19 per cent of the bank’s current staff strength of 40,000 retires by December 2011. “The business volumes are not down and they will only grow with expansion of economic activity,” he added.
Union Bank of India plans to recruit 5,000 by the end of March 2009. In addition, it will add a 60-seat call centre to support customer service.
Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank, IDBI Bank, Corporation Bank, Allahabad Bank and Dhanalakshmi Bank are also adding significant numbers to their employee strength.