I'm rewriting my post. So here's what has worked for me:
1) Define selection criteria: education level, skills, experience, competencies, personality traits, motivators, etc.. I would be rather careful with things like organizational fit to avoid creating a monoculture.
2) Pre-screen candidate resumes/online profiles for education, skills and experience. You might also want to send a pre-selection questionnaire via email upfront to eliminate those who don't fit.
3) Screen individuals (telephone, video conference) to narrow down candidate list. This is also a good time to check for project experience, relocation needs, salary expectations and total comp.
4) Optional: Have short-listed candidates fill out a personality questionnaire (I recommend HOGAN) that will help you prepare interviews. Use that info to formulate hypotheses for each candidate. You can then try and falsify those when meeting with them.
5) Organize several interview rounds with key-stakeholders. Have each stakeholder group focus on different aspects of selection criteria. I had good success with using a process that includes a) candidate self-presentation, b) behavioral interview, c) solving a relevant case and d) handing a job-related situation (gleaned from real life). Remember to read in between the lines and listen to what is not being said.
6) Organize a key-stakeholder meeting (telco) immediately after each interview. Compile observations against selection criteria
7) After all candidate interviews, organize key-stakeholder meeting to review all documentation on all candidates and take votes on who gets the position.
8) Reference checking has not yielded much information as most companies do only give employment dates and no further feedback for liability reasons.