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Federal Bank to hire 5k employees: How to bag the job!

Last updated on: December 6, 2012 10:28 IST

Federal Bank to hire 5k employees: How to bag the job!

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Merril Diniz, Careers360

Graduates from any discipline can aspire for a lucrative job at India's fourth largest bank. Here's everything you need to know about the Federal Bank.

Core business: Banking and Financial Services
Turnover: Rs 87,000 crores
Number of employees: 9,300
Number of branches: 1,010
Number of ATMs: 1,101
Main branch: Federal Bank, Corporate Office, Aluva, Ernakulam
Representative office (for NRI customers): Abu Dhabi
Hiring plan: 5,000 employees in the next three years

Originally known as Travancore Federal Bank, Federal Bank as we know it today, got its name in the same year as India's independence ie 1947.

Its headquarters were nestled on the banks of the river Periyar in Kerala, and under the leadership of its founder KP Hormis, the organisation gradually transformed into a full-fledged bank.

Today, Federal Bank is the fourth largest bank in India in terms of capital base, and has plans to expand beyond its traditional strongholds such as Kerala.

"The Bank aims to grow its total business to Rs 1,00,000 crores from Rs 87,000 crores and increase profit from Rs 777 crores to Rs 1,000 crore," shares Jolly Antony, Head-HR, Federal Bank.

Hiring plans

In the last one year Federal Bank added 200 new branches to their network, in Gujarat, Punjab and other upcoming economic centres, and it plans to expand its employee base from 9300 to 10,000 by March 2013, and over the next three years take this number up to 5000.

The immediate priority is to fill up 2300 entry-level positions for clerks and Probationary Officers.

"As a policy, the Bank aims to hire local talent who can understand the culture and traditions at each place as we believe that business can be expanded only through understanding people at a micro level," shares Antony.

Like many banks, Federal Bank initially had a horizontal structure and all the employees were well-versed in all the aspects of banking.

Job seekers must understand that the banking industry environment is changing and that has called for a shift to a vertical structure.

Technology and international banking are two big game changers, and hence hiring is also being done across verticals.  

"Speaking of the talents required we focus on IT for IT-enabled marketing, where we market technical products. We also focus on developing talents who would cater to the requirements of the NRI, Retail and SME segments," Antony explains.

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Image: A Federal Bank officer counsels customers at New Delhi's Nehru Place branch
Photographs: Rohit Gautam/Careers360.com

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'Candidates must have an excellent customer acumen and people management skills'

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The Bank taps various channels to recruit entry-level personnel.

Advertising in leading national dailies is one route. The recruitment process for clerks and POs, two traditional entry-level positions in the banking sector comprises an all-India aptitude test -- Common Written Examination (CWE).

It is conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). Applicants between the ages of 21 and 26 can apply for a position with their CWE scorecards.

Based on the score, they are shortlisted for a Group Discussion and Personal Interview, that will be conducted by Federal Bank at various centres.

Job seekers can also keep a tab of the ads through the year, by visiting the "Careers" section of the Bank's website.

The Bank also recruits freshers for various verticals through placements. These include HR, Marketing and Finance at B-Schools, as well as international banking specialisation, which will be focused on the NRI customer base. For IT specialistions the Bank visits engineering campuses.

"We have recruited a large chunk of talent pool through the campus mode," shares Antony.

Since the bank is looking at massive expansion and wants to fill up various job roles, it encourages job seekers not to wait for the job ads but to proceed to post their resumes on their full-fledged online recruitment portal.

In this interview, Jolly Antony, Head of Human Resource, Federal Bank tells us what job seekers must know about the bank.

What are Federal Bank's expansion and plans?

We intend to focus on expansion in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab, and will be hiring fresh talents through campus recruitments, our job portal and the Bank exam procedure.

The bank may also consider taking in local talent by way of lateral recruitment if such a requirement is felt in certain remote locations.

What impresses you most in a candidate?

Excellent customer acumen, people management skills and ambition. If you have the passion and energy to build your career in a fast growing institution that knows its challenges and willing to invest in people, wait no further.

What must job seekers know about banking an technology?

Years back, everything was manual. Handwriting was important! Customers had simpler needs. But today, banking has become more sophisticated with the infusion of technology and the expectations of customers have also escalated.

So, we want more customer focus and require talents who are able to adapt to the changing and differential needs of different customer segments. S/he would have to cater to the needs of a highly tech-savvy and a not-so tech-savvy customer at the same time.

In your opinion, innovation or experience, which is more important in banking?

Innovation is a high-level requirement, as we need innovative services and products. At Federal Bank, 30 per cent of the employees are below 30 years and 30 per cent have over 30 years of experience.

This harmonious mix has the capability to bring out innovations in all fields and also the experience required to make them work in a fool proof manner.


Image: Federal Bank believes in customer satisfaction
Photographs: Rohit Gautam/Careers360.com

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Study at the Federal Manipal Banking School

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Another route for fresh graduates is to undergo a one-year job-oriented diploma programme instituted by Federal Bank through its tie-up with the Manipal Global Education Services (an initiative of Manipal University).

"The arrangement is that we will recruit suitable people from the general talent pool, and those selected will undergo a Post Graduate Diploma in Banking and Finance," shares Antony.

The aim is to create a job-ready task force from Day 1.

Candidates can apply without a CWE score and on successful completion be placed as a Probationary Officer with the bank.

The course includes a three-month internship at Federal Bank branches. The first batch kicked off in November 2012.

While the course is not free of cost, the Bank offers a loan at a concession al interest rates, and a stipend.

"On completion of five years at Federal Bank, Rs 1 lakh and the interest of the loan is waived off," shares Antony.


Image: Image for representational purposes only
Photographs: Courtesy Federal Bank

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Remuneration, perks and more...

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"The new hires are put on probation for two years where they are groomed by mentors and line managers who have loads of experience," shares Antony. 

New recruits receive on-job training in different areas of banking operations, and supervisory duties are allotted to probationary officers after job rotation and exposure.

"Our strategy is to leverage the expertise of our existing workforce to groom new talent," he adds.

During this period, the bank expects the  probationer to gain in-depth knowledge of the Bank's product, expertise in swift execution of day-to-day banking transactions, and to acquire the skills of a team leader. Clerks will be on probation for six months.

Remuneration

Freshers can expect to start with a basic salary of Rs 7,200 for the clerical cadre and Rs 14,500 for Probationary Officers.

Additionally, they are eligible for Dearness Allowance, House Rent Allowance, City Compensation Allowance as well as Medical Aid, Hospitalisation Scheme, Leave Fare Concession, retirement benefits and other perquisites, as per the Bank's rules.

"Our salary package is linked with the Indian Banks' Association pattern," shares the Head of Human Resource.

Additional perks

In the area of healthcare, employees and their dependents receive 100 percent medical coverage, as well as other allowances.

"We provide leased accommodation to our officers and have also bought several fully furnished flats in metros like Mumbai and Kolkata to provide decent accommodation for our officers," shares Antony.

Of course, the perks of working for a bank also include a host of subsidised loan schemes like housing loan, car loan, personal loan etc.

At the end of the probation period, the competency of candidates is assessed and aligned with the needs of the organisation.

"For instance, a person good in analytics may work in Credit Hubs, while someone with good communication and interpersonal skills may find an opening in Marketing, Sales or HR," shares Antony.

Armed with just a graduation degree, clerks and Probationary Officers can aspire to reach a top management position within a span of 15 years, based on performance and capability.

Hard work and innovation will go a long way.


Image: Image for representational purposes only
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters

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