Everyone knows there's a red-hot war on among U.S. startups to secure the best talent, but new numbers from U.K. startup recruitment event company Silicon Milkroundabout and job search engine Adzuna.co.uk suggest that the British climate for startup hiring has now moved from simmering to boiling as well.

For the research, the two companies combed through half a million job ads and surveyed more than 160 British startups to get a detailed picture of whom fledgling companies are looking to hire and at what sort of salaries compared with 2013. The topline takeaway? Job openings at startups are up 80 percent this year, which comes out to 8,554 positions on offer across the country.

"This data backs up the feeling those of us on the inside have had for a while--that the U.K. tech scene is exploding," commented Pete Smith, co-founder of Silicon Milkroundabout. 

More Cash, Higher Salaries

The hiring data comes on top of other signs that the U.K. tech scene is rapidly gaining steam, as well as attracting increasing interest from U.S. investors, including reports this week of a near $1 billion valuation for London money-transfer company TransferWise in the company's latest fundraising round.

The maturing U.K. startup ecosystem is putting this influx of cash, as well as increasing profits, to use boosting salaries to attract top talent, the new numbers show. Young companies are now offering higher salaries than the tech industry average--with developers earning 26 percent more, marketers raking in an additional 7 percent, and sales/business development folks commanding a 12 percent premium to work at startups.

"These new figures show tech startups in the U.K. are accelerating their hiring efforts and can offer exciting high-growth opportunities combined with top salaries," Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna.co.uk, said. "Just like in Silicon Valley or New York, well-funded and profitable startups have leveled the playing field and can compete directly on salaries with the City and big tech companies for the most talented people."

But while many British startups may now be able to compete on pay with more established players, they do remain startups, with all the offbeat character one would expect from young companies. The research also revealed plenty of unusual hiring requirements--including "must love beer" (at Craft Rebellion)--and quintessentially startup-style perks (like lunchtime talks with the likes of comedian Stephen Fry, courtesy SwiftKey).

If that sort of thing appeals to you, and you're a Brit with tech, marketing, or business talent, then you may want to give U.K. startups another look. There are plenty of openings, and startup quirkiness now comes with above-market salaries.

Published on: Nov 13, 2014