There has been a lot of commentary (a couple of examples are here and here) on Google in the blogosphere spurred on by the article in the New York Times (subscription required). At first glance, I thought there was nothing that innovative about what they are doing. Assessments are not new. Assessments for knowledge workers are not a new concept (see my previous posts here and here on what Gartner is doing with assessments). They may have built a slightly, better mousetrap, but that is about it.
I found Dr. Sullivan's post on ERE enlightening though. I think he put it in the proper perspective. It is innovative because of the breadth of factors assessed (though again that is something that has been possible) and how they were leveraging the core competencies of Google in creating this assessment approach. Also, one should not look at it the context of just this one thing that Google is doing in recruitment and talent management in general. It is part of a broader innovation strategy to ensure that it can bring in quality talent to support the business strategy. Is that not what we all want to do?