As an employer without a lot of credibility, I have been known to pay for interviews. (Now, usually these were interviews where I asked for work to get done, but those are the best kind of interviews, no?)
I don't understand why more places don't pay for interviews; it seems to make a lot of sense all around; I mean, this idea that a recruit will sacrifice the better part of a day to each potential employer speaks to a larger power imbalance between the two than I think exists, at least at the higher end.
I totaly agree with this. Instead of wasting time building generalizing filters take the ones you feel good about on as contractors first. Get a feel for their competency and whether they fit your environment before you buy the cow!
Anything else just seems so ineficient and risky at least when it comes to programmers. Think long term.