NEW DELHI | MUMBAI: Two of the country’s largest private sector banks said they will hire a total of about 5,000 fresh graduates, with a greater emphasis on tech talent. Design skills, earlier not a focus area for banks, are now in demand too.
Kotak Mahindra Bank said it would hire around 2,600 fresh graduates this year. The group’s chief human resource officer Sukhjit Singh Pasricha said they usually hire around 2,500 fresh graduates on an average every year through multiple channels, and this comprises about a quarter of its total annual hiring.
“Around 60% of fresh graduates are generally absorbed in frontline acquisition roles, 20% in service roles, 15% in our in-house contact centre and the rest are hired by operations and various other roles across segments,” said Pasricha.
Axis Bank said it would be hiring more than 2,300 fresh graduates, with 2,000 of them for entry-level roles, 200-plus from B-schools and about a hundred from IITs and NITs.
“This year, we have also focused on hiring in risk, compliance and cybersecurity roles,” said Rajkamal Vempati, HR head, Axis Bank, adding that like last year, IT and analytics remained a focus area.
Kotak Mahindra’s Pasricha said there has been a sudden increase in the demand for highly specialized talent in fields such as analytics, digital banking, artificial intelligence, and information security.
However, the surge in requirements for core banking roles like acquisition, relationship and service continues at an ever-growing pace, he said.
For the first time this year, Kotak Mahindra has started including engineering colleges in its campus outreach activity. Axis are also seeing a shift in the deployment of new recruits with increased emphasis on taking digital banking to the underbanked sections of the economy.
“There has been continuous disruption in the financial services sector, mainly due to digitalization… While banks are fast adapting to digital ways, these new services require manpower to reach deeper pockets, to engage with customers and provide them with seamless banking experience,” said Alok Kumar Choudhary, deputy managing director (HR) and Chief Development Officer, State Bank of India.
In the financial year 2019-20, the bank has already hired 11,000 employees, up 10% from last year for different operational roles in verticals like retail banking operations and marketing, different processing cells, IT, corporate banking, wealth management, and international banking, Choudhary said.
While the availability of talent is not a problem, according to banks, there are still challenges faced in managing expectations of the workforce.
“For jobs requiring basic skills sets like frontline acquisition, while the availability of numbers may be high, mobility of the workforce is extremely limited, coupled with resistance to roles that involve the sale of banking products,” said Pasricha. “On the other extreme of the skill set, the challenge lies in the expectations of the millennial workforce to immediately get into a strategic role at the onset of one’s career without any exposure to ground realities.”