Probationary Officers (PO) are the bank staff members who are appointed in the officer level in various nationalised banks through recruitment process conducted by either individual banks or through IBPS, every year. The manpower for the banks of national stature is mostly recruited by Indian Personnel Banking Selection, under which 19 member banks recruit. Probationary Officer post is given to the applying candidates for the examinations after passing the prelims and mains written examination and ultimately clearing the personal interview round. These officers carry out the official day to day work of the bank and handle quite a lot of work pressure on a daily basis. These officers are selected through intense selection process and are absorbed for probation period of two year in banks. This period trains them to learn the crafts of banking and its related terminologies as many of the people applying for the posts might not have any prior idea about the banking sector.
Allure of a Job: The luring aspect of job security, provision for future promotions and a better salary structure attracts quite a lot of young enthusiasts to join banking sector as probationary officers. The candidates need to work hard as well, to get into the banks being a PO. After completing the two years of training the candidates become eligible to take further promotion opportunities. Candidates need to undergo internal examinations held for promotion by the banks in order to achieve the higher position. It is not possible for the candidates though to direct apply for managerial position, as the post requires adequate knowledge of banking operations and ability to run a branch on their own, taking the decisions on a daily basis that make or breaks the performance of any branch.
Career progression in banks:
The guidelines on public sector bank promotions, issued by the Ministry of Finance, provide for a bright and ambitious officer to head a bank by the time he is in his mid-to-late-40s if he proves himself to be an ‘all-rounder'. What the Ministry is envisaging is that an exceptionally bright probationary officer, joining a public sector bank at 22, can become a general manager at 40 if he gets promotion once in three years under the ‘merit channel' and go on to head a bank at 45. However, the climb-up in the organisation ladder — from Scale I (officer) to Scale VII (general manager) — is not going to be easy.
It calls for some tenacity on the part of an officer. He has to have worked across the country; done rural and semi-urban stints at an early stage in his career; have experience as a branch head; have headed or worked in regional, zonal, or head offices and handled various business verticals at higher levels.
Promotions are mainly decided on the twin factors of performance and potential. Promotion exercises are regularly carried out by the Bank every year in all grades / scales and hence, sufficient progression opportunities are available to deserving officers.
Individual can rise upto the level of a General Manager, subject however to his/ her being deserving and having potential for the higher position.