What makes BPTW's long process worth it is that at the heart of their recruitment process is a pure goal: get the best people possible in the spots where they will be happiest. This seems to be an incredibly smart time investment to me because, for the most part, a company's most important aspect is going to be its people. Whether the cornerstone of their profits is in new products, better products, consistent products, customer service, et cetera, it is their employees who are going to make this happen.
It always blows me away when recruiters are distant, or nasty, or just plain clueless. In a roundabout way, the hiring process can be seen as the most important mechanism in a company's success. They should have the best interests of both the company and the job hunter in mind, striving toward finding a good balance for the two. In my searches, and in Nick's, we have not experienced this. From our experiences (I realize they are limited) the average recruiter seems more interested in the bottom line: filling X position with whoever fills Y qualifications for the least amount of money. As the hiring world is going to have to go more service-based in order to attract the best and brightest, it will be the idealist hiring mechanisms coming out on top.
My recruiter called me yesterday to tell me a story, about a girl who was interviewing for a role similar to the one I am looking to fill. They found her FOUR teams to interview with before everyone felt as though the best match had been made. Moral of the story, according to my recruiter: the important part is not only finding a job, but finding one where you will be happy and extremely successful. And BPTW will not make a hire until this happens.
It might be that I now have a rather large crush on my potential future employer...