Young job seekers are increasingly veering to banking as the preferred career option.
This is underscored by the fact that in 2014-15 (FY15), the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) saw a 16 per cent increase in the number of candidates taking competitive exams for jobs in public sector banks (PSBs) and regional rural banks (RRBs).
In the reporting year, 52.04 lakh candidates (against 44.95 lakh in FY14) registered for the common written exam for recruitment in PSBs and RRBs.
The actual number of candidates who took the exam was at 37.47 lakh (32.24 lakh), going by the numbers compiled by the institute.
Good entry-level salaries coupled with job security are a big draw for job seekers. Going by the experience of PSBs, HR officials, engineers, management graduates, chartered accountants, law graduates, and those with graduate and post-graduate qualifications are trying their luck in the banking space.
Unrealistic performance targets and long work hours have led young employees to even chuck well-paying private sector jobs to take up employment in PSBs.
In the face of retirement of thousands of employees across clerical and officer cadres, PSBs have been on a recruitment spree over the last few years.
Big task for HR In a speech last year, former RBI Deputy Governor KC Chakraborty observed that the current decade is already proving to be both challenging as well as one holding out a lot of opportunities for HR professionals in banks, particularly for those in PSBs.
This is because of the significant number of employees retiring during this decade. This not only poses unique challenges but also presents opportunities for HR managers across the industry.
“The ‘retirement decade’ provides an opportunity, especially for the PSBs, to transform their workforce by hiring the right talent, right-sizing and right-skilling them and thereby bringing about a cultural transformation in the functioning of these banks.
“As the crop of the 1970s bids goodbye, banks have moved on to fast-paced recruitment to welcome the Gen-Next,” Chakraborty said.
He said the gap in knowledge and work experience between the outgoing and incoming employees is, however, significant and the impact of this transition could be potentially disruptive.
The former Deputy Governor suggested that this gap needs to be filled by ‘mentoring and coaching’ the new incumbents by senior executives. The transfer of knowledge from mentor to mentee should be fast.
Meanwhile, in FY15, the number of candidates who registered and took a test for various exams conducted by IBPS reached an all-time high of 1.54 crore (1.01 crore in FY14) and 1.03 crore (70 lakh), respectively.
Besides conducting recruitment exams for PSBs and RRBs, the institute also conducts exams for co-operative banks, private banks, central/ financial institutions, other financial institutions, public/private enterprises, and government departments.