Historically, when encountering blatantly off-topic questions (usually programming questions) here on Meta.SE, I would raise a Close flag (usually off-topic: This question does not appear to be about the software that powers the Stack Exchange network, within the scope defined in the help center.).
With the recent "flood" of off-topic questions that suddenly seemed to pick up this fall, I started to wonder if I should be using the Very Low Quality (VLQ) flag instead. Guidance on Meta.SO indicates that VLQ is "for things that warrant immediate deletion". I noticed that off-topic questions here tend to get deleted rather quickly. George Stocker, a mod on SO, mentioned that:
By flagging something as very low quality, you're asking for a straight pass to moderator deletion. No editing, putting 'on hold' by 5 members of the community, deleted by 3, or voting allowed. You want a moderator to skip that entire process because the question is so terrible that there's no way it could ever be salvaged through that process.
This seems to describe the actual behavior I see here on Meta.SE - since off-topic questions get deleted quickly (within two or three hours), I began to wonder whether the speedy deletion is actually signaling to me that there is a real desire to get these questions gone from this site as quickly as possible, as opposed to leaving them around in a closed state waiting to be improved (or not), gathering further downvotes. In other words, off-topic questions on Meta.SE really are considered so "terrible" that they deserve a "straight pass" to deletion.
I'm not really concerned about declined flags - my helpful rate for flagging these kind of posts is very high, and doesn't seem to vary based on whether I raise Close or VLQ, so I'm really asking about best practices. What's the consensus here on Meta.SE? Are off-topic "omg my code no work" questions bad enough to warrant a VLQ flag, or should I use Close only? Which would be more efficient to the particular processes used on this site?