News  & Insights

Fight Club: Internal vs External vs Interim Talent


The market for top Accounting and Finance talent has always been competitive and with the current background of a strong Australian economy and the ever-changing demands on the modern workforce, there is an increasing fight for top talent.  Leading businesses are aware of this dynamic and the gloves are coming off. They are closely looking at which of the 3 types of contenders is best for them.

The 3 contenders are:

  1. THE INTERNAL: The talent you create and develop from within your current team
  2. THE EXTERNAL:  The talent you bring in by partnering with external providers to help you construct your dream team.
  3. THE INTERIM:  The talent you use as an interim solution to enable a flexible workforce that can scale up and scale down as needed whilst bringing in the right skills at the right time.

What are the pros and cons of having each type of contender in your corner? I’ve outlined the key considerations of each strategic choice so you can pick the best talent for your business and avoid getting beaten to the punch.


Creating high performing accounting and finance talent internally enables staff to have a strong understanding of the culture, internal systems, service standards and products. This requisite knowledge can be invaluable when a business is going through change or growth. By investing in people internally, companies are making sure that they are creating the talent they need with incumbents who already have a certain level of knowledge, loyalty and dedication to the business. The key to success here is good career management and providing your employees with guidance on their career and opportunities to grow professionally within your business.

This contender, while highly effective in the long run, requires a lot of investment by the company in terms of training, time and money to create a solution from their current talent. Slow and steady may win the race but, if the needs of the organisation are imminent, creating talent internally may take not be practical. Another hurdle can be an organisation’s lack of knowledge and experience in developing accounting and finance talent internally. If the organisation doesn’t have any heavyweights with the framework and track record of developing internal talent, this strategy will only create more problems. It would be wise to partner with professionals to manage your career and that of your team


Constructing a talent pool from outside resources allows companies, in theory, to acquire the perfect contender for their exact needs. These strategy suits situations where there is an urgent and permanent requirement due to resignations, promotions, unanticipated business pressures or where a business needs to supplement internal talent and doesn’t have the time to create it internally.

To get the right contender externally involves adopting a “buying” strategy.  The market is extremely competitive for top accounting and finance talent, especially for business critical roles. This means to win the war for talent you need to be boxing clever and have competitive remuneration and incentives; compelling opportunities; a point of differentiation from your competitors and, above all else, a capable recruitment partner. With this in mind, we have created a recruitment system that helps us provide our clients with insight and tools to maximise their ability to get the right talent for the right seat in your organisation.


The interim workforce is becoming a larger share of the overall employment market than we have seen previously, as flexibility becomes more attractive for both employees and employers.

This contender is beneficial for niche or less critical roles, as well as situations where a business has unforeseeable, cyclical and/or short-term requirements. There are some pros & cons to hiring a contractor that all businesses should take into consideration when deciding if hiring contractors is right for them. Pound for pound, contracting talent may appear to be a more expensive strategy initially, but the initial costs can be outweighed by the flexibility it can offer companies. 

The trend of “muscles for hire” is on the rise. Interim solutions are expected to continue increasing in popularity with Accounting and Finance professionals as they start to become more entrepreneurial with their careers. Employers are going to be faced with constantly changing business environments and they will require a more fluid talent solution who can roll with the punches. 


The best contender will always throw their hat into the ring, be up for the challenge, but most importantly address the business’ critical needs. For the majority, no one type of contender will provide the perfect solution every time. For the majority of Blue Chip corporates, the right blend will be a combination of all three for them to win the battle. What the perfect mix is between the three contenders really depends on your business and you should NOT rule out any without careful consideration.

Need assistance to select the best team from the Talent “fight club”?

At [axr] we have advised and supported our clients in determining the best talent for their specific needs for over 15 years. Find out more about our bespoke services here.

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