SBI plans direct hiring from graduate colleges

Elina Mohanty

"The salary structure may not be as attractive as that in other corporates, but the public sector banks allow lot of exposure and provide a good training ground," says a recruit.

Mumbai, July 25

Encouraged by the outcome of campus recruitments, public sector banks have now set higher targets.

A couple of years ago, public sector banks made a foray into B-school campus recruitments. The decision has apparently proved beneficial. Though few in number, major public sector banks such as State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda are planning to step up hiring of B-school graduates as part of a move to bring in "fresh inputs".

"SBI, which recruits 30-40 candidates per year, is seeking to expand the number," said a senior official of SBI.

Public sector banks' foray into campus recruitments reveals yet another face of liberalisation in the banking sector.

Specialisation helps

The training of candidates in specialised subjects such as finance or marketing makes for a relatively quick induction. "We put some of the recruits directly on the job in niche departments such as treasury or project finance, since they have specialised in finance or marketing," said a senior official at SBI.

Traditionally, SBI has been recruiting Probationary Officers through an all-India exam, which remains the mainstay of bank's entry-level recruitment. "We are now contemplating doing a small percentage of this selection through on-campus recruitment at graduate colleges," said Mr Abhijit Datta, Deputy Managing Director and Corporate Development Officer, SBI.

For the past two to three years, SBI has been hiring a few management trainees from Tier-I and Tier-II business schools. "We employ them on a contractual basis at market-related salaries and place them in specialist departments, mostly at the corporate centre," he said.

SBI and Bank of Baroda employ recruits as Associate Managers or Managers.

Bank of Baroda recruited 50 candidates from campuses last year. "This year we plan to select 100 candidates," said Dr Anil K. Khandelwal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of Baroda. IDBI to hire more

The Chairman and Managing Director, IDBI Ltd, Mr V.P. Shetty, had recently said the bank was planning to hire about 600 officers through direct campus recruitment. In the first quarter, IDBI had hired 370 personnel.

Banks have also been visiting management schools such as Jamnalal Bajaj, SIES College of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Management, Symbiosis Institute of Management, among others.

"The average salary per year turns out to be around Rs 3.3 lakh, which is much less than the salary offered by the corporates and the basic pay is around Rs 10,000 per month," said a recruit.

Then, what motivates B-school grads to join public sector banks where pay scales do not match those offered by private banks?

More scope for work

According to candidates recruited by public sector banks, the scope for work in the public sector banks is large and unrestricted. "I was chosen from a management school. Public sector banks have been in business for quite some time so the customer relationship dates back to many years. This gives us a broad canvas to work on," said Mr Nilay Joshi, Officer, International Merchant banking, Bank of Baroda.

"The salary structure may not be as attractive as that in other corporates, but the public sector banks allow lot of exposure and provide a good training ground," said Ms Chhavi Kapoor, hired by a public sector bank from ICFAI campus.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 26, 2006)
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