Job hunters spend more than 10 weeks finding and securing a new post as they jump through "many more hoops" in the employment market, according to new research.
A study by recruitment firm Randstad also found that the interview process had increased by over a quarter since the start of the recession in 2008.
Jobseekers now spend an average of seven hours preparing, or taking part in, interviews, an increase of one and a half hours compared with five years ago.
It now takes an average of 10 weeks and five days to search for and obtain a new job, said the report.
Mark Bull, chief executive of Randstad, said: "Employers have become increasingly selective when it comes to interviewing staff. Prospective employees have to jump through many more hiring hoops today than they did pre-recession.
"Employers are often looking for more bang for their buck, and a skill set that was satisfactory for a job five years ago may no longer be now, as employers look towards the long-term potential of new hires.
"It's not enough to demonstrate you can do the job they're currently advertising for - you need to show you can develop in the role and bring something valuable to that organisation in the future."