Villa appointed Smith this week, after deciding he was the man to replace Steve Bruce.
And in his first interview since taking charge, the Villa boss has suggested that he takes pride in finding value in players and developing them.
“You have to be on top of your game in recruitment and sign potential. When I sign a player, it’s all about attitude," he said.
“They’ve got to be talented — but talent is just one thing. They must have a great attitude.
“I signed James Tarkowski from Oldham and he’s gone on to play for England. Chris Mepham came through the youth ranks and is now playing for Wales.
“There are gems to find without breaking the bank."
The comments are in direct contrast to the sort of players that Bruce tended to sign while in charge at Villa.
Bruce spent big during his time at the helm, and Villa generally focused on bringing in proven Championship quality.
The claret and blues’ new owners are believed to want to bring in more youthful recruits, as they look to reduce the average age of the squad.
Bruce showed a willingness to do that in the summer, but it seems Smith will go one step further during his time at Villa Park.
Smith will be in the Villa dugout for the first time in two weekends’ time, when his side take on Swansea City.