Good luck retaining employees now: We hear Google has ended a perk that provided free "runners" to handle basic chores like cooking, cleaning and errands.

We're told the benefit, which we reported on last week, was a trial run by Google and that the company has elected not to continue offering it. Google had paid through a company called TaskRabbit to have odd jobs done for employees who worked in certain Google offices. The perk was apparently curtailed at some point since Wednesday, when TaskRabbit's founder confirmed to us that "Googlers are enjoying TaskRabbit as a sponsored service."

Maybe Google didn't like the public image of hiring low cost servants, and it does still have concierges for things like dinner reservations and theater tickets, but now it has to find some other carrot to retain employees amid fierce competition from Facebook and other startups. Three high-profile staffers have left in the past four days alone. Better start brainstorming new ways to coddle your employees, Google brainiacs. (Three words: Google Pot Garden.)

[Image via Jason Stitt/Shutterstock]