The Changing Face of Talent: Q&A with Alex Smith, CHRO of Memphis, TN

Author avatar
Paris Armstrong 7 March 2023
The Changing Face of Talent: Q&A with Alex Smith, CHRO of Memphis, TN

Kicking off our 2023 in-person US Event series, Government Innovation Georgia is coming to Atlanta on Wednesday, March 29th.

Ahead of the event, we were grateful to have had the opportunity to interview Alex Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer from the City of Memphis, to learn more about her DEI initiatives, her approach to innovation, and her upcoming Panel Discussion: The Future of Work: The Changing Face of Talent.

How would you describe your role in the City of Memphis, and how it affects the general public?

I am currently the Chief HR Officer for the City of Memphis. I lead the HR division which provides HR policy, strategy, and administration for 7,800 City employees within the City of Memphis. 

How would you describe the culture of your team?

We focus on accountability, service, innovation, and collaboration.

How do you think the public sector workforce will be different in 5 years compared to now?

We continue to evolve as we hire more talent across multiple generations. Within our workforce we have four generations and have more diversity.

Can you explain the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the context of public sector talent?

This is about creating spaces for people to connect across divisions and serve in our community. We have diversity recruiting strategies, employee resource groups, and community events.

In what ways are you working to ensure that the City of Memphis’ workforce is representative of the communities they serve?

We have diversity recruiting strategies, employee resource groups and community events. We intentionally recruit at our community centers and host local job fairs.

What’s one major way you help employees feel connected at work?

Our employee resource group program (we have 9 ERGs) and paid volunteer time help with gathering employees together through service.

What’s your approach to innovation in your department today? Is there a way you measure progress?

We explore innovation through problem solving and thinking creatively how to address key challenges within our organization. We have a HR Dashboard that has specific metrics to help us with accountability. For example, when we started it took us 120 days to fill our general recruiting positions, through our innovation, we now recruit general positions in less than 50 days.

Who or what are your must-reads for folks wanting to learn about workforce equity?

Getting Serious About Diversity: Enough Already with the Business Case (

Join Alex at Government Innovation Georgia for her insightful panel discussion on 'The Future of Work: The Changing Face of Talent'. The live learning & networking event takes place in Atlanta on March 29th, and will feature 20+ expert speakers & 100+ government peers who are empowering Future-Ready initiatives in the Public Sector. 

We look forward to meeting you in person.

Technology & Transformation
United States United States

Published by

Author avatar
Paris Armstrong TEST2, Public Sector Network