In our current R1 search we received 50+applications. Of these ~25 were from outstanding, totally acceptable, 'hire on the spot', candidates. A long-short list of ~10 for phone interviews was created on the basis of the most minor of considerations primarily relating to fit: do we have the resources to support their research, are we particularly interested in their research questions, is there too much overlap with existing strengths, is the research compatible with the longterm strategic plan of the dept? Only one candidate was included on this list whose research was not a particularly good fit but whose application was SO outstanding they simply had to be considered. The phone interviews were all outstanding but enabled the list to be narrowed down to a largely consensus top 5 (that does not include the standout) who will likely be invited for campus interviews. The primary consideration in this last cut was the degree to which the candidates could clearly and enthusiastically articulate their research program, highlighting how the research would add to rather than overlap with existing strengths in the department. In general, because productivity was so high across the board, fit of the research program was the #1 determining factor, although less of a factor overall who the applicant received their training from seemed to carry more weight than the names of the Universities they received their training from.
Based on the caliber of the applicants, the job offer will likely go to the first person who does not decline it. ie. if #1 says no, the offer will be made to #2 etc… thus it is very unlikely that we will send out official rejections until an offer has been accepted.
This process has been somewhat depressing as the applicants getting weeded out are of outstanding caliber. If only the university were wise enough to hire them all.
Good luck all!