(This post was originally published July 2, 2009.)

Amazon is reinventing the book industry with its Kindle product and cannibalizing its own printed book market along the way.

You should be thinking the same way about your recruitment company.

As much as I’ve been a fan of Borders, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com itself, paper books are going the way of the rest of print media. Any doubt I had about that I rescued myself from this last week at the lake cabin by reading three entire books off my Kindle.

That same cannibalization is at play in the staffing software market. CannibalIt’s increasingly less about software and more about funding, back-office outsourcing and simply creating profitability in the staffing sector.

If you have any doubt in my belief in that, check out the latest versions of TempWorks Freemium, which in many ways is a cannibalization of the core TempWorks software market.

This last week, we’ve been having many discussion not about how to position the Freemium product, but how it will fit in the TempWorks ecosystem. Just like the Kindle may well end up displacing many suppliers and employees of Amazon, a cannibalistic offering like Freemium is having a big impact on who does what at TempWorks.

We’re facing many of the same dilemmas as others who have been down this road like  Steve Singh, CEO of expense-tracking company Concur. Singh sees beyond the technology market that drove Concur to initial market success and gives a transparent view of how his cannibalistic strategy involved much more than offering a product “on-demand” or “Saas."

I see several of our staffing customers doing the same and can’t give away their secrets here, but at the end of the day they start from the same realization:

If you don’t cannibalize your own market, someone else will.

Tags: Advice, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Cannibalize, Concur, Kindle, Leonhard Kern, Print media, SaaS, Staffing Software, Steve Singh, TempWorks Freemium