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Top 8 Best Practices to Build a Better Dei Strategy

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or DEI is no more just a trending topic but rather a mandatory training that companies from every industry take up seriously when building their teams. It is a societal spotlight on racial justice and equality that aims to eliminate biases toward people who are familiar, who look alike, or share similar backgrounds. Company leaders are now prioritizing and putting in the effort to build inclusive teams in every facet of their organization.

There are various stats that prove diversity within an organization correlates with innovative and creative employees who work towards achieving better results. It only makes sense that when you bring people from diverse cultures, races, and backgrounds of vast differences with unique strengths and weaknesses together as one, it'll contribute to better overall performance. People will collaborate and contribute unique and diverse views to help solve problems and push innovation.

Needless to say, companies across the globe are building DEI strategies to make their teams more diverse. However, it is more than just business results and benefits. It is a humanitarian and noble cause, and business leaders should ensure that they are hiring professionals without any biases in gender, background, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

That being said, it takes calculated and deliberate work to build such teams. That's the reason companies need to build and keep effective DEI strategies in place. These strategies assist you in launching a DEI hiring initiative at your own organization or can improve your existing strategies for better outcomes.

Before we dive deep into building DEI best practices, let’s first talk about what DEI is and what values it brings to an organization.

What is DEI?

Diversity - A diverse work environment is one that follows a variety of social and cultural characteristics. Diversity in teams brings the employees together as one and ensures a thriving workplace which in turn correlates with a great work culture.

Equity - Equity means all the employees in the organization are given the same opportunities and treatment. It is basically leveling the field for every employee where they feel empowered regardless of their background, culture, gender, physical ability, or sexual orientation.

Inclusion - Inclusion means when a mix of people can come to work and feel comfortable as part of the larger group. It ultimately makes each employee feel valued, brings engagement and a sense of belonging.

The importance of DEI hiring

If you’re an organization without a DEI strategy in place, then you’re missing out on opportunities to tap into various skilled potentials. Take a look at the benefits of DEI which make it crucial for businesses -

  • Improved revenue -

Inclusive and diverse companies with already implemented DEI strategies are more likely to achieve their financial goals. After all, innovation and productivity can bring in more sales revenue, more customers, and higher profits. When you have a diverse workforce, it’s far easier to be more reflective of the people you’re trying to sell to.

If you have a diverse customer base or if you cater to clients globally, employing such professionals will help you service existing clients better and will be helpful in reaching newer markets effectively.

  • Amplified innovation -

DEI not only boosts financial results, but also boosts innovation. Companies with DEI strategies have a competitive edge over their peers. It is also a key component in driving a successful business on a global scale. Various research and stats have already proven that companies with diversity and inclusivity out-innovate and out-perform others. Hence, companies with a DEI strategy are more likely to have better opportunities to grow their market share and capture new markets as compared to companies that lack diversity in their teams from top to bottom. This establishes the fact that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth.

  • Strong company culture and higher employee satisfaction -

Culture has many dimensions that include various aspects of an organization and is one of the major factors that contributes to business success. If your employees don’t feel included and engaged, it can cost you heavily. When you publicly celebrate differences through DEI strategies, it helps you make the workforce feel empowered and respected. Diversity and inclusion bring a strong culture that ensures employee satisfaction and helps retain top talents, ultimately driving innovation, productivity, and growth.

  • Better brand reputation -

Today, it is absolutely necessary for companies to highlight and acknowledge DEI on their platforms, be it online or offline. When you have good publicity due to your DEI strategies, it always results in more clients or customers and easier employee recruitment and retention.

Do you already have DEI recruiting strategies set up?

Do you already have DEI recruitment strategies in place? What about your candidate pool? Is it diverse enough? If not, it is high time that you start working on building DEI best practices that can effectively help you build teams that are diverse and inclusive. Understand that it serves an extremely critical function and should be prioritized by every organization. Until and unless you have enough commitment towards fully integrating DEI into your strategy, your recruitment is not moving in the right direction.

But where do you start?

You start from the beginning, that is with how you recruit.

That's why we have curated a comprehensive list of DEI hiring strategy tips just for you.

Top 8 DEI tips to build a better DEI strategy

Here are the 8 DEI strategies that can work as the foundation for hiring diverse new talents and building a diverse team-

Step 1: Assess where you are

This is the very first step towards building an effective DEI strategy. Lack of DEI in your organization can lead to employee turnover. You can also lose the ability to compete in the marketplace due to a lack of diverse perspectives. You should first get an understanding of where your organization stands in terms of the DEI journey. The best way to do so is to take a survey of your current workforce and get a sense of your employee's sentiments towards inclusion, equity, and diversity at the workplace. This report can help you understand how the culture is and where the gaps are, so that you can start to build DEI strategies.

Step 2: Exercise practices that attract diverse talent to your organization

When you’re building your DEI strategies, you should assess everything ranging from your web presence and image, to job descriptions that you're listing to on various platforms. When you have analyzed all the gaps, you should make enhancements and adjustments to make them more inclusive and diverse. You can consider taking advantage of a microsite on your main career page. You can also highlight equity statements and various affinity groups within your company on your web pages, specifically the career page.

Furthermore, you can add gender pronoun options to your application process. When you showcase your commitment towards building and nurturing a diverse workforce through relevant content, it compels talents to apply to your job postings. You can also consider including DEI-based interview questions. These can give an idea about what compelled the applicant to consider an opportunity with your company. After all, you don’t want to bring in talent who doesn’t align with your workplace culture and values.

Step 3: Ensure your DEI strategies lines up with your organizational goals

This step is basically the DEI tip of the day.

Metrics, benchmarks, KPIs, and milestones are extremely crucial to accurately and seamlessly understand and track any organizational goals. Any action taken without setting any standards and practices can only lead to failure. That's why when you start with building your DEI strategies, you should make sure that your DEI initiatives are seamlessly aligning with your organizational goal and not blocking it. You can do so by ensuring that the implementation and success are monitored and tracked by a senior executive regularly to report signs of progress.

Step 4: Facilitate inclusive onboarding and employee engagement

When you hire and onboard a new candidate, it is important to explain your DEI strategies and efforts already in place. You can consider including and implementing training sessions in your onboarding process that introduces the value and impact of diversity in an organization and lists the various DEI strategies and practices that the company follows to build and maintain workplace diversity. You should make sure that each hire has been communicated about this by one of the team members. You can also implement this a little early in the hiring stages. For instance, your prospective candidates must be apprised of the organization's DEI efforts.

Step 5: Educate upper-level management regarding DEI benefits

Workplace inclusiveness starts with the behavior of senior executives and business leaders. If the higher management doesn’t take action towards setting standards and guidelines to ensure company-wide diverse staffing, pay equality, and promotion, then it is likely they're not serious about DEI. It is extremely important to ensure the leadership and high-level executives are aware of the importance of diversity and inclusivity. There should be a set communication channel between the DEI manager and leaders to continuously communicate DEI strategies and expectations while ensuring that the set expectations are circulated with the rest of the organization.

Step 6: Inform employees on diversity and inclusion

It is not enough to just educate the higher management, but it is equally important to educate the employees on diversity, equality, and inclusion. After all, it will be the employees who would leverage the benefits as well as support the initiative for its success. That's why, you should consider implementing timely sessions to keep your employees aware of what diversity and inclusion mean for business success and the organization's reputation. In addition, it can be a way to listen to your workforce, ask them questions, and find gaps in your DEI efforts. This two-way communication can help you fill in the gaps and build agile and robust DEI strategies.

Step 7: Consider taking an individualized approach

Even though a broad approach is not inherently flawed, it doesn't leave much room when individual employees are concerned. Whereas an Individualized approach focuses on the needs of each individual. You need to understand that there's no such one-size-fits-all strategy.

That's why when building DEI strategies, make sure it's not just in papers but rather it reaches to the people it's created for. You should make sure to create awareness of the different types of diversity while making sure to consider every employee in the company. When you understand DEI benefits and costs on an individual basis, it automatically becomes much clearer to each team and as such, to the entire organization.

Step 8: Make DEI a part of your organization’s DNA

It's quite clear now that DEI is an integral part of any of your workplaces. It should be a good enough reason to put dedicated efforts into ensuring that DEI is taken seriously and becomes a part of your organization's DNA. Always be clear on the outcomes you expect and establish a new and more inclusive way or should we say DEI strategies of working together.

To sum it up

Today, no professional wants to join a company that does not stand for diversity, equality, and inclusion. Companies that care about their employee's well-being have a higher chance of onboarding a competent talent. That's why it is absolutely critical for organizations across the globe to keep calculated DEI strategies in place.

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