Some really good points in this, however trying to decide which way is best isn't a 'one size fits all' approach.
I think often people get caught up in the "red tape" instead of trying to interpret them and apply your own skills, knowledge and gut feeling... one should not be in place of the other.
Policies, frameworks and procedures are put in place, in the main, for the best interest of the company, however it doesn't mean you can't apply some common sense and instinct to this.
Usually the most successful hires, are those that satisfy both the line manager and the company standards, the skill lies within the strategy for recruiting...pretty sure there aren't many places that have the "This is not up for discussion" caveat!
Guidelines are just that... they are there for guidance!
Whilst I appreciate, there must be company 'standards' this shouldn't get in the way of extracting talent to join our organisations.
Final point and a nod to Zoltan "see for the extraordinary" "...be the one who realises potential"
Just do not blindly follow competency frameworks, standard question-sets, politically correct, equalised/generalised questions about soft skills, usual bla-bla. Listen to your instincts. Do not ask questions that does not reveal anything but the general, and pictures the "average employee" by the HR talent-mining handbook. Have the guts to take advices about the candidate from trusted friends, colleagues, references - and accept them. Try to see the person behind the bullet points of the lists of experiences. When reading the application, ask the question: who is this person? Try to understand why he/she has follow that path willing to join. Don't listen to statements, wonderfully phrased "HR-proof" expressions, take the extra mile, see for the extraordinary, the unusual, that little piece of info that convinces you that you're dealing with someone special that little sign tells much more about the candidate.