When it was me doing it. I just made it up as I went along. Only later did we sit down and anylise what choices I had made. We knew they were at least acceptable choices by the fact I was having the discussion with the blanket wrapped survivor of going overboard into cold waters in 25knot winds.
I basically decided not to screw around with trying to sail it perfectly and fired up the motor, depowered the sails and came back on a reciprical compass course because they were not immediately visible (or wearing a PFD). I drifted down on them sideways so that I could work from the middle of the boat and the boat provided some calm form the wind and waves. As an added advantage, the wind was causing the boat to heel over in that direction as even de-powered sails provide a ton of windage and so it was easier to lift the now totally weak-as-a-newborn-kitten and exhausted rescuee on board with the boat flopped over by about 15-20 extra degrees.
As to the tool used to assist the rescue. I found a boat hook was effectatious and close to hand on deck. I was not going below to grab something and risk loosing site of the MOB again. The boat hook got slipped down the back of the persons shirt while they were floating uproight and holding to my other arm. I then had some leverage on their centre of gravity in order to help them into the boat (head first, face down).
I found the lifelines to be one of the most annoying and problamatic aspects of the rescue, and have since replaced mine with Spectra, which is as strong as steel, softer to fall against, and can be cut with a knife if you need to recover someone from overboard. I would have needed to bring some rope, improvise a harness, attach the person tot he side of the boat, go forawrds and unhook the pelican hook, come back and THEN enact rescue if I was going to lower the steel lifelines. Not a great option, so spectra is better as I always have a knife in pocket whilst sailing.