At TakeLessons, we've hired twice in 2009. The first time, we posted ads on Craigslist and Monster, sifted through 400 resumes, and invited 35 candidates to come wow us at an evening open house. It took a lot of effort for our team to meet the candidates, and even more time to narrow the candidates down to the final three. We eventually ended up hiring a person and found out within a couple weeks that we'd made a mistake, as the person didn't seem to share the same values we did.
It was a lot of wasted time, and we were right back where we started.
Recently, we hired again. This time, our team members used Twitter and Facebook to gather 15-20 solid resumes from our network. What I liked about this process is that my network knows how hard we work and that we require someone willing to give 110%. I had a few people who had initially emailed me with someone, then retracted because they could not, in good faith, recommend this person to a friend. To me, this social filtering was extremely useful.
In the end, we spent about 10% of the time and was able to hire a rockstar for our team. She started yesterday. Another benefit is that we now have another three solid candidates when the next position comes up. Perhaps they might not be available, but it allows us to start with people we've already vetted.