Balancing the Grind with Heike Lieber, Head of Talent at Fluent Commerce

Heike Lieber is the Head of Talent at Fluent Commerce, a cloud software company focused on smart order management for omni-channel merchants.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

After a life changing event I stood at a crossroads in my professional life and ended up joining my brother in Japan where I trained to become a recruitment consultant which was quite the challenge.

Japan is known for being the most difficult headhunting market in the world. It became clear to me quite quickly that my passion lies in the role as an in-house recruiter and that is what I pursued when I returned to Europe.

For the past 15+ years this has been my mission. About 10 years ago I was lucky enough to be able to help build a Munich start-up (hybris) globally to a successful company that was acquired by SAP.

Culturally, the team we had grown stuck together beyond that acquisition  and this is how, years later, I  joined Fluent Commerce, run by the CEO Graham Jackson who used to run APAC for hybris. I joined the team because they are great people with great values and a kind heart!

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

There is no regular workday in recruitment and that is what I love about it. But it is safe to say that I am fortunate enough to speak to many interesting people from across the globe daily and get to chat about our company, our values and amazing people and see if I can connect people’s dreams and ambitions with their next professional adventure.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine? 

Fluent is all about flexibility. In fact, it is one of our five company values: Flexy. We encourage our employees to work when and from where it best fits within their lives, especially but not only due to a pandemic. Mutual trust and respect is fundamental to running a business this way and that’s why it’s so important to hire the right people for the right roles. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

To me personally it means to keep my mood stable and balanced. When I feel I am getting too irritated with tiny things or imbalanced in any sort of way, I know it is time to breathe and clear my head. This is best done with my dearest little buddy, my doggie Filou, who helps turn seemingly huge issues into small bumps in the road to overcome easily.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life? 

I moved house. Still in Munich, but now I get to live right next to a river that runs directly under my balcony and enchants me with its beautiful sound. Moving house is often much more than just moving things. It is always a chance to get rid of old things (and habits) and start over. I love that. And it helps in challenging times like these.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Yuval Harari and all his books. Mind-blowing.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

WhatsApp or Signal. It helps me communicate with my friends and family out there, especially in times where we cannot meet. Stay connected.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?   

Yuval Harari.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

If you can, find a way to be able to listen to yourself, your body, your mind, how it is connected. I  get professional help regularly to help me understand how my body reacts to what is going on and what I could do differently. 

Reaching out for support to professionals of any kind should be encouraged, and at Fluent Commerce we do this actively by sharing a free counselling programme with our employees where they can access therapists and counsellors completely anonymously and at no cost to them. Looking after an employee’s mental health has become more crucial than ever before.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.