There are probably a ton of things you’d rather do tonight than leave the office and go to another office across town to attend a recruiting mixer. No one blames you—few people relish the idea of spending an hour or more standing around awkwardly with strangers partaking of wine and cheese (if you’re lucky) and a preliminary job interview thrown in for extra fun. The routine recruitment meet-and-greet event can be tortuous and probably not all that successful in terms of hires resulting from them, but many companies still throw soirées few really want to show-up for in hopes of expanding their candidate pools.

Getting the talent onboard that your company needs now and in the future is a continual source of angst for most organizations—ask any CEO about the list of things that keep them up at night—the talent thing will likely rate a mention.

But recruitment events need to do more than get people in the door for an hour. They need to be experiences that prospective candidates come way from feeling like a genuine connection was made, and that they got a glimpse of your culture and what it might be like to work for your company.

The good news is that you already have a deep well of talent resources in the form of the employees already in place—if you can get them to refer their friends to come to work for your organization. Social events are a good way to help make that happen, but only if those events give candidates more than appetizers and small talk.

The focus of a new i4cp case study is the story of how LinkedIn has taken the old recruitment event model and given it a fresh spin that results in a candidate experience that’s authentic and truly reflective of LinkedIn’s mission, values, and culture.

LinkedIn’s Open Mic Night is transcending the old recruiting event model in such a way that it’s a good example of a finding of i4cp’s recent research on talent acquisition that high-performance organizations (HPOs) are far better at employee referral efforts. In fact, HPOs are 3.5X more effective at getting their top talent to refer their friends. But it’s not the venue or how much you spend on refreshments that will inspire your employees to refer their friends—what makes a difference is their belief that the company is a good place to work and that the culture is a positive one. Recruitment events that are closely aligned to who your organization truly is and what it stands for is a good place to start.

Download the LinkedIn case study now (i4cp members only), and stay tuned for the debut of i4cp’s talent acquisition research this September.

Lorrie Lykins is i4cp’s managing editor and director of research services.