MILWAUKEE — The explosion in digital devices has triggered a rush by companies to hire digitally trained employees to provide and deliver the content for all those smartphones and computer tablets.

John Komp has been working in the digital industry for more than 20 years. He was hired last year as a senior digital producer for Bader Rutter & Associates Inc., a Brookfield, Wis., marketing services agency. “Digital is just becoming so pervasive across all communication channels,” Komp said.

The adoption of mobile devices has become so widespread so quickly that it has forced companies such as Bader Rutter to think about how to use this new medium and how to balance it with traditional media.

In two years, Bader Rutter has hired more than 100 associates who focus on building digital development in all areas of the company, including public relations, social media, Web development and design.

The agency, with a staff of 224, has increased employment 40 percent since it started hiring more digitally savvy candidates. Not many other agencies are able to make that claim, boasts Bader Rutter Chief Executive Greg Nickerson.

“It’s been a blast,” Nickerson said. “Finding these folks isn’t the easiest, but we’ve really gone out to find them, and we think we’ve snapped up the best talent in southeast Wisconsin to even Chicago.”

Bader Rutter is just one of many companies putting more emphasis and money toward hiring employees with digital skills. Digital includes such things as Web programming, social media, brand management and design.

Bader Rutter’s clientele comes from diverse industries, including dairy producers, cattle ranchers and veterinarians. Nickerson said the company hasn’t abandoned traditional marketing strategies, because no one strategy fits all clients.

“There have been a lot of agencies saying, ‘We’re going to go completely digital; we’re not doing traditional anymore.’ But you can’t abandon all of those traditional vehicles while you bring digital into the mix,” he said.

The demand for digital-driven employees appears to be growing, according to Jeff Carrigan, founder of Milwaukee-based Big Shoes Network Inc. The online job board aggregates Wisconsin and Illinois employment opportunities in digital marketing including social media, advertising and public relations. The job announcements come from a combination of agencies, corporations, government and nonprofits.

In 2011, Carrigan said, the site saw a 40 percent uptick in job postings. So far in 2012, postings are up 50 percent from a year ago.

When she’s hiring, Bader Rutter recruitment director Megan Rouleau said she looks for people with experience using social media strategy or blogging for an organization, client or product.

In her hiring experiences, Rouleau said, many college graduates from business and communication schools have a sense of how to do this as professors get them up to speed.

“There’s still some room for improvement, as people think they’re social media experts, but more so personally than professionally,” Rouleau said.

Rouleau said job prospects could improve their skills by following people and blogs with an expertise in digital strategy. She also advised job seekers to understand how different social media platforms work and learn how to track metrics in terms of clicks per hour on links and even using Google Analytics.

Tig Tillinghast, a publishing consultant for Marketing Charts, a Vermont marketing and advertising trade publication, said candidates who can analyze data are important for online marketing, but there’s a shortage of people who meet the demand.

“What I would recommend is to go for the most data-oriented internships and entry level jobs because those are the things that are going to be impressive,” Tillinghast said. “It’s not like the marketing field is going to get less data-oriented over time. Data is what companies are climbing on top of themselves for to figure out how to reach their consumers more smartly before their competitors do.”