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Welcome to The APA

The APA is a professional body devoted to serving the Accounts Payable/ Purchase Ledger professional community. Here at the APA we are committed to Accounts Payable being increasingly viewed as a separate and distinguishable profession and having a set of certifications to recognise and support this.

Discover the APA certifications and join thousands of likeminded AP professionals across the globe becoming APA certified Technicians and Managers. As an APA member you will also gain access to various tools, resources, surveys, events, jobs and careers advice.

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Karen Young, Director at Hays Accountancy & Finance


In today’s highly competitive recruitment world, the fight for top talent is harder than ever. Employers are turning to increasingly sophisticated assessment methods to ensure they secure the best candidates – not just to secure high performers for the longer-term, but also to cut the costs associated with high candidate turnover.

The varied means of candidate assessment

In earlier days, a candidate was often hired on the strength of a single, unstructured interview and a ‘gut feel’ from the hiring manager. Today, the array of tools available is quite staggering. Typical corporate recruitment tools and techniques include assessment centres, telephone, video and Skype interviews, plus core face to face interviews, gamification methodologies and psychometric testing.

Of course, like all corporate tools, the success of using even the most advanced recruitment tools lies in the recruitment strategy underpinning the process and the correct interpretation of the results, without which, you are simply left with a set of numbers and indicators in useless isolation!

A closer look at psychometric testing

Psychometric testing is a structured, scientific psychological test which looks at behavioural styles, personality traits and competencies. Typically, the cost and resource involved to successfully use this type of test meant that it was typically reserved for senior hires, but we are increasingly seeing it used for more junior appointments across the board – particularly for specialist roles and graduate recruitment.

Tests will measure everything from intrinsic attitudes through to perceptions and decision-making preferences – often based on the highly popular Myers-Briggs model of personality type. Other test types will include individual responses to varied stimuli based on response theories, such as the Rasch model.

This form of testing is generally viewed as being expensive, and certainly it can be a costly exercise requiring specialist administration, assessment and interpretation of the results. However, even with this investment, many companies are not getting the most from the results generated, and the usage of the data is being limited to the selection process point, rather than being applied more broadly and with greater value.

Other uses for psychometric testing

You’ve only been back from leave for a week and on your PC are tabs upon tabs of emails, documents, and spread sheets. The emails you should’ve responded to days ago remain unanswered, the documents you were supposed to proofread remain riddled with grammatical errors, and the spread sheets lack critical updates. The panic sets in and you start to rush.

This situation is all too familiar to a lot of people; in our 24/7 culture overworking has become a way of life for many of us. However, rushing around will backfire – you and your team will become stressed and the quality of your work will suffer. Here are 6 tactics to help you finally stop rushing and ultimately be more productive at work:


1. Stop saying yes and start pushing back

It’s all too tempting to take on new projects or accept invites to unnecessary meetings, especially if you want to prove yourself. If this sounds like you, you must force yourself to take a step back and focus your energy into those activities which will deliver the most value for your career and for the business. Do you really need to go to that meeting or would your time be put to better use elsewhere?

2. Make prioritising a priority

At the beginning of each week and each day, write your to do list and concentrate on those tasks which will deliver the most value. Make a habit of blocking out time in your diary to get essential tasks completed. Stick to the timings you have allocated and you will feel calmer in the knowledge that, even if you are not due to action a task instantly, it will get done

3. Be ruthless with distractions

Don’t let valuable time get eaten up with distractions. Focus on one thing at a time. If necessary, shut down your emails and turn your phone off. Make sure you are tough when dealing with interruptions. Firmly tell your colleague who stops by your desk on the way to the coffee machine for a quick chat, that you are too busy.

4. Make every second count

Write a five-minute list – producing a list of low intensity tasks will enable you to make productive use of that spare five minutes before a meeting starts.

5. Don’t be afraid to delegate

You can’t do everything, sometimes you just need to let go of the control and trust others. Review your to do list and ask yourself ‘does this have to be done by me?’ Could you delegate the task to another member of your team? Don’t be afraid to delegate, your colleagues will most likely be pleased at the opportunity to develop their skills, whilst you save yourself valuable time.

6. Take breaks and get plenty of sleep

Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to get out of the office. Force yourself to take a break and get some fresh air – when you return you will feel refreshed and ultimately in a more productive and focused frame of mind. The same goes for sleep – get a full eight hours and you’ll arrive at work feeling invigorated and ready to take on the day.


Author: Susie Timlin- Global Director of People & Culture, Hays Talent Solutions.

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