Knutson Award Nominations Open

Danny Cahill

Describing recruiting as an “industry remarkably bereft of recognition,” Ted Konnerth says it’s time that the efforts of individuals who stand out for their ethics, their honesty and the excellence of their work be honored.

That’s why the International Retained Search Associates (IRSA), a global corporation of boutique search professionals of which he’s executive director, founded an award that Konnerth hopes will one day be to recruiting what the Heisman is to football.

The David Knutson Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Recruiting is given to an individual, Konnerth said, who has dedicated his or her professional life to making “significant contributions to the art of recruiting, and maintaining the highest ethical standards to serve both the client and the candidate.” Recruiters in all areas – corporate, retained, contingent, contract – are eligible.

David Knutson
David Knutson

Intended to honor its namesake, a NAPS Hall of Famer and co-founder of IRSA who died in 2011, the recruiter selected will be one who also best embodies Knutson’s principles, says the award criteria: “being honest, direct, ethical, and human.”

Danny Cahill was the first recipient of the Knutson award. He accepted the honor at the National Association of Personnel Services conference in September 2012.

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“(Cahill) embodies everything that a recruiter should be,” said Konnerth. “He’s a professional with the highest ethical standards. He’s trained thousands of other recruiters and he shares what he’s learned. As an iconic search professional, and a friend of Knutson’s, Danny Cahill was the perfect person to be the first recipient of the award.”

Now, the search for the 2013 award winner is underway. Every recruiter is eligible. “The boundaries are virtually unlimited,” Konnerth said. Individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by others. Details are available here.


John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.