Reframing talent acquisition, retention practices for organisational commitment in Malaysian SMEs: a managerial perspective

Mathew Abraham, Maniam Kaliannan, Mohan V. Avvari, Susan Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores whether employee commitment to the organisation is influenced by talent acquisition and retention practices. How do SMEs retain talent and encourage commitment and job embedding when their very existence is in doubt? The talk these days is about layoffs, terminations, reduced pay, no-pay leave and redeployment; how will SMEs fare in this scenario? This qualitative study includes in-depth interviews conducted using a social constructivism approach in order to gain a better understanding of the world in which we live and work. Individual meanings are formed not entirely within the individual, but through interaction with others, the social, where meaning is given. The template analysis method is used to analyse the interviews, which include specific themes. The findings point to a misalignment between talent acquisition, talent retention practices and organisational commitment. There has been no clear development in terms of how both can complement each other. As a result, the dimensions of person-organisation and person-job fit serve as a link between talent acquisition, retention and commitment. This contributes to higher levels of employee commitment, job embeddedness and an internal culture that may influence employee retention decisions. At the interpersonal level, SME owners must understand, nurture and motivate their talent. As an effective employee retention tool, monetary incentives play only a minor role. Talent retention is based on implementing a structured talent acquisition practice that includes a highly targeted cost-effective hiring plan. Talent acquisition includes fit dimensions that demonstrate a nuanced perception of individualised consideration, such as flexible work, belonging, career growth and interpersonal relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of General Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • organisation commitment
  • person-organisation and person-job fit
  • qualitative study
  • SMEs
  • talent acquisition
  • talent retention
  • template analysis

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