Pulis is gearing up for his first taste of top-flight action but has yet to make a signing this summer with the start of the Premier League season less than six weeks away.
Tottenham defender Anthony Gardner, Sunderland goalkeeper Marton Fulop and Liverpool stopper Scott Carson have been touted as targets, and Pulis says his new arrivals must have the character as well as the talent to compete for a place.
Pulis, when asked about his recruitment drive, told BBC Five Live: “It has been as hard as I thought it would be.
“The important thing is that, when we make the signings, they are signings that will improve the squad. No disrespect to anyone, but I have to try to put a team together that will be competitive.
“I understand how difficult it is going to be and how relentless the season will be.
“It is important you pick, not only the best players you can get for the level you are at, but also the best characters who will stick in there and compete and fight for our lives every week.”
A relaxed Neil Lennon refused to reignite his war of words with Craig Levein ahead of the Edinburgh derby on Friday night.