With half the workforce in public sector banks set to retire, lenders gear up for challenges

With close to 50 per cent of the workforce in public sector banks set to retire in the next few years, the banking industry will soon be among the top employers offering five-seven lakh jobs.

India’s largest lender, State Bank of India, will recruit over 7,200 employees in this fiscal. “We intend to hire about 1,837 probationary officers and 5,400 assistant officers in FY15,” said JN Misra, corporate development officer at SBI.

About 40,000 staff will be retiring in the next four years and the bank expects to recruit about 35,000- 40,000 employees during the period. Similarly, in Bank of Baroda, 16 of the 32 top management personnel will retire by March FY15. The third largest public sector bank will hire 7,500 probationary officers and clerks this financial year, with about 2,500 employees due to retire.

“We have a good succession plan in place and have completed our promotion exercise in the first month. The people who will be replacing the seniors were groomed and trained as well. While the challenges of senior management retiring will remain, we are better prepared this year,” said SS Mundra, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank.

The banking industry needs to match the capabilities to bridge the talent gap in public and private sector banks, according to Anil Khandelwal, former CMD, Bank of Baroda. According to him, regulators always talk of financial assets but not about those who create those assets. He added that PSB boards today spend less than one per cent of human resources to train and make their employees competitive.

“Barring three banks, no PSBs have set up a committee on HR within the bank. Succession in key positions is not being discussed. The rigour that private banks display in developing key leadership positions is not visible in PSBs,” said Khandelwal, who was chairman of the committee to look into the HR issues of public sector banks.

About 75 per cent of the general manager level posts will be vacant by 2020, according to Akash Lal, Partner, McKinsey and Co.

Aditya Mishra, President - Staffing, Randstad India, said: “Apart from core banking jobs, there will be an increase in backend jobs, including those in processing and outsourcing to third parties.”

(This article was published on June 30, 2014)
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