Hmm.. not an easy question to answer universally just yet because companies and their communication patterns are changing and companies have wildly different policies.
My thoughts for approaching the problem would be to try to figure out (this may be impossible) what the most common source of the barrier may be. For example:
- Is the barrier with the interview process?
- Is the barrier with the perception of your ability to communicate with the team once you are hired?
- Is the barrier with tools currently permitted by the corporation in their policies regarding business communication?
Those are three different potential problems that all produce the same reaction - a lack of response from recruiters or managers.
Thoughts for each problem:
First interview barrier
Ideally the first round of interviewing is easy and cheap to arrange. Both the candidate and the manager should be able to attend very easily, with minimal extra time required to set up the communication and/or travel to the point of meeting. Phones have traditionally been the ideal here because they are a lowest common denominator - it's a safe assumption that everyone has one, calling a phone number is very reliable, and the hardware is cheap, ubiquitous and covered by every corporate policy.
It's also fast and high feedback in terms of execution - email has a higher time delay and gives less insight into tone, body language or other cues. IM is fast, but still low in the richness of information. And many companies have limitations in terms of which clients they are willing to support in terms of Skype or other video chat, IM client connectivity or other mechanisms.
The only way I can think of to lower the barrier here is to provide ways that accommodate an employer's lack of flexibility - for example:
- offering a selection of options for video chat that allow for limitations within the company
- this might include video meetings that use web clients, so that the interviewer does not need to install a client on the desktop (a common challenge if IT tightly controls machines)... not sure if that's feasible but it might be...
- finding a way to help a technology challenged manager or recruiter make use of modern tools - sad to say, but a barrier may simply be the perception that setting up video chat is hard.
Team communication barrier
This is a lot harder. I'd like to think that most managers would make the reasonable accommodation of doing just a little bit extra to help a candidate with a specialized communication need. But there may be a gut reaction of "this won't work" in terms of the team communication.
I'm doubtful that it's true in every case, but I'm not sure at all of what the reasonable workaround would be for a geographically distributed team that communicates by a lot of conference calls. I know that there are TTY systems and other ways to translate speech for the hearing impaired, but I'm less certain of their viability for team communication purposes. This is where "reasonable accomodations" get tricky - a company with enough money could set up conference rooms with video, and give you a laptop with video - but the options are more limited when the team is 10 people in 10 different places - I've tried a 10 person video conference call on a quite reasonable corporate network - the technology isn't ready for that yet.
If this is the actual barrier, I'm stuck.
This is the real wildcard and I expect it to change over time. Companies are starting to embrace all sorts of video communication, as well as IM - but the ways of communicating are evolving with each company and it's business needs as well as its corporate identity.
The best I can think of is to be willing to be as flexible as possible - recommend clients and tools that work well, but be open to virtually any video or IM client that meets your needs. I've seen corporate limitations on:
- client installation of any sort - but often web based clients are workarounds
- limitations in connectivity - that IM be only used internally, for example, or that video streaming is limited or forbidden for bandwidth reasons.
Anything you can do to make it easy for the interviewer to work within his own limitations would be a win here.