Considering all the Americans who are out of work--the unemployment rate has held pretty steady at about 9.1%--you would think that small business owners would have plenty of suitable candidates to consider. Yet, entrepreneurs consistently cite finding the right talent as their biggest challenge. 

Whether you're a one-man shop seeking a No. 2, or a 100-employee firm doubling in the next year, you can learn a thing or two from the process--and mistakes--of the man who is in charge of filling the open positions at Ideeli, the daily-deals site that has grown more than 40,000 percent in the last three years and ranked No. 1 on the 2011 Inc. 500 list. Joel Greengrass, Ideeli's senior vice president of people, speaks from experience. Since he joined Ideeli 18 months ago, he has spearheaded the headcount growth to 250 staffers, up from 75.

In a conversation with Inc.com’s Allison Fass, Greengrass covers how he did it--including how he uses social media tools, outlines job descriptions new hires will grow into, and his trick to uncover a true personality fit. 

In this week's TrendWatch Facts & Figures, employment facts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • In September, the unemployment rate was “essentially unchanged” at 9.1 percent. Since April, the unemployment rate has fluctuated between 9 and 9.2 percent. 
  • Approximately 14 million people are unemployed today. 
  • Of the 14 million unemployed, 44.6 percent have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. These are the so-called long-term unemployed.
  • September did see some job creation, with about 103,000 positions added. But those include the 43,000 Verizon workers who went back to work after the strike.