Algorithm arms race
If we knew how the algorithms worked we would all write CVs designed to get selected, and then they're back where they started. HR then have to refine the algorithm and so the cycle starts again.
Having said that, the Data Protection Act contains rights of the individual when subjected to automated decision taking. The right of subject access allows an individual access to information about the reasoning behind any decisions taken by automated means. The Act complements this provision by including rights that relate to automated decision taking. Consequently:
1. an individual can give written notice requiring you not to take any automated decisions using their personal data;
2. even if they have not given notice, an individual should be informed when such a decision has been taken; and
3. an individual can ask the organisation to reconsider a decision taken by automated means.
These rights can be seen as safeguards against the risk that a potentially damaging decision is taken without human intervention.
The rights in respect of automated decisions only arise if two requirements are met. First, the decision has to be taken using personal data processed solely by automatic means. The second requirement is that the decision has to have a significant effect on the individual concerned. I suspect the firms would all argue that not getting an interview is not a major impact. It would be interesting for someone to take such a case to the ICO Compliance Officers for a ruling...