State Bank of India (SBI) has kick-started its managerial recruitment drive for this fiscal with an announcement to hire 2,200 probationary officers (POs). The bank's managerial cadre strength has been on the decline over the years.

The state-run bank, which is also India's largest lender by assets, had 78,540 officers at the end of financial year 2014-15, down from 80,531 the previous year and 81,651 at the end of 2012-13, according to a presentation made by the company on its 2014-15 financial performance.

Starting salary for POs is in the range of Rs. 7.55 lakh per annum to Rs. 12.93 lakh, according to the bank's announcement that appeared in newspapers. The announcement to recruit more than 2,000 officers comes after the bank issued advertisements for recruiting 13,700 people in non-managerial cadre early last month.

Even in the non-managerial cadre (also referred to "assistants" or "clerks"), the bank has seen a steady fall in numbers, from 1,09,686 employees as on March 31, 2013 to 94,455 at the end of financial year 2014-15, according to the presentation.

Wooing youth to join SBI

On Wednesday, the bank launched a recruitment initiative, called "Grow Everyday," to create awareness among the youth about career opportunities at SBI.

"The purpose of this initiative is to raise awareness among the bright young minds and encourage them to apply for building a promising career with the bank. As first step towards this goal, bank has launched a brand new career website which captures its value proposition comprehensively," said SBI in a statement.

"Today we are launching a revamped website, with the hope that everyone will scan through this and spread the word that here is an organization which is the only Fortune 500 Bank in India which will give you diverse opportunities to work in teams and to lead," Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, SBI, said in the statement.

Besides in-house training, the recruits would also get exposure at global institutes, according to the bank.

SBI earned a net profit of Rs. 8,687 crore for the nine-month period ended December 2015, down 7.19 percent from the corresponding period in the previous fiscal. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) as a percentage of total advances stood at 5.10 percent and net NPAs at 2.89 percent as on Dec. 31, 2015.