Ten entities have been granted approval to set small finance banks (SFBs) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and are now scouting to hire youngsters.
Jitesh Kothari, a 23-year-old commerce graduate had not received any job proposals even after registering with two employment exchanges in Gujarat. Now, he has three small finance banks offering him a role with competitive salaries.
Ten entities were granted approval to set small finance banks (SFBs) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2015. This includes Utkarsh Micro Finance, RGVN (North East) Microfinance, Au Financiers, Capital Local Area Bank, Disha Microfin, Equitas Holdings, Ujjivan Financial Services, ESAF Microfinance and Investments, Janalakshmi Financial Services and Suryoday Micro Finance.
Human resources experts said that while all the entities are scouting for young talent, there is a gap in demand and supply. A senior HR consultant explained that while there are several institutes specialising in producing banking talent, most of them get absorbed into big banks, leaving little room for smaller banks to employ them.
However, with most of the SFBs all set to begin operations in the next few months, hiring process is on at full swing across cities with walk-in interviews. A mix of requirements have been posted, ranging from experienced hires to freshers.
Ashwani Kumar, Head Training, Utkarsh Micro Finance, said that most of our human asset (around 60 percent) consists of front line officers at branches, the age band for whom is 18-28 years. He added that in the past 1 year, they have already hired over 1,000 employees and plan to recruit another 1,000 in next 12 months as they go live with more number of branches.
“The incentive policy at Utkarsh always encourages healthy client interaction/engagement. It is performance based with due focus on quality parameters,” added Kumar.
Apart from walk-ins, the career portals of the SFBs have also been used extensively to attract younger talent which is more technology-savvy.
Some of the SFBs are also attracting talent by offering candidates the opportunity to work in their home towns. AU Financiers, for example, has advertised for candidates to send in their resume, mentioning their city and profile preferences. They are offering a job role across 10 states including Delhi-NCR, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, among others.
Recruitment experts are also of the view that getting local talent will not only help them save costs in the initial stages, it would also help serve the masses in that region without any barrier of language. Hence, an individual who is paid 2X in a different city may even agree to come at a lesser salary if offered a position in their hometown, since they save expenses on accommodation and food.
Rituparna Chakraborty, Executive Vice President, TeamLease Services said that while it is a challenge to find huge numbers which these SFBs are looking at, it is a bigger opportunity for young talent. She added that there could even be situations where some poaching from big banks for supervisory roles will take place.
However, she added that majority of talent in the mid and junior roles would be hired fresh from the market and in the short-term it will put pressure on the market since SFBs, payment banks as well as wallet companies are picking up people from the same pool.
Large private sector banks like ICICI Bank have tie-ups with institutions like the Manipal University where they have programmes to attract young talent into the banking system. This programme has a mix of faculty from the university as well as the bank to train the students. On successful completion of the programme, the students are absorbed into the bank.
It is expected that even the smaller entities could opt for such niche initiatives at a later stage wherein a selected pool of talent would be trained in particular skills like sales, marketing and compliance. When the SFBs get bigger, Human Resource managers said that it will be critical to have a bank of talent to be deployed across cities and such courses would help aid it.