Public sector banks are slowing down on recruitment, and the number of clerical vacancies to be filled this year have come down significantly. 

The number of clerical posts to be filled in through the Common Recruitment Programme (CRP) of Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) has decreased from 7,858 last year to 6,035 this year.

The clerical posts in regional rural banks ((RRBs) dropped to 4567 from 6898 last year.

State Bank of India, which conducts its own recruitment, is also substantially scaling down hiring. Though it had announced almost the same number of vacancies like last year at 5,486. 

Reason for cutting down hiring

“The clerical positions are being rationalised across Banks from last three years due to consolidation and lower requirement at branches. I don’t expect mega recruitment by PSBs in future unlike earlier,” said the MD of a major bank.

According to C S Vepa, Director, Vepa Academy and former director of National School of Banking, amalgamations and cost cut initiatives are leading to a dip in hiring by PSBs in recent years. 

“The increasing use of digital channels is also a factor as foot falls in bank branches have been dealing especially in urban areas,” he added. 

Decline in interest

Interestingly, despite almost steady recruitment of probationary officers/management trainees, the interest in this Cadre of posts has been coming down.

The number of candidates registered for bank jobs for the last two years shows an interesting trend of sliding interest among job aspirants in probationary officer/management trainee positions.

In 2020-21, the registered candidates for CRP and probationary officers was at 7.41 lakh and 6.78 lakhs respectively. 

In 2021-22, candidates registered for clerical positions have increased to 8.49 lakh while the same for the probationary officers/management trainees dropped to 5.74 lakhs as per IBPS data. 

According to Vepa, the work pressure, need to serve in rural areas, and better opportunities in corporates and IT sector are slowly weaning away job aspirants, especially engineering graduates, from preferring a career as a bank officer.  

“It’s true. The working hours are too long, and I found it tough to think of anything else other than office matters,” said M Srinivas, who recently left an officer job in a Mumbai-based public sector bank to take up a post in AP state assembly.

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