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McLaughlin & Harvey

700+ employees

Construction and Civil Engineering

“Our business has many complexities and Natural HR offers so much flexibility making it the perfect fit for what we needed.”

Alison Reilly, Group HR DirectorMcLaughlin & Harvey


McLaughlin & Harvey is a family run building and civil engineering business which has been operating for over 165 years across the UK and Ireland. Employing over 700 staff based throughout the UK with offices in six locations – Belfast, Glasgow, London, Bristol, Liverpool, and Birmingham.

The company works across a variety of sectors – including healthcare, industrial, retail, transport infrastructure and leisure – to deliver quality construction projects from start to finish.

The business takes immense pride in its reputation and traditional values, achieving excellence through its innovative approach to construction.

The Challenge

With a large workforce working up and down the country, McLaughlin & Harvey relied on multiple different HR systems and complex spreadsheets to manually store and manage all employee data.

Personal information, absences and annual leave requests were disconnected across several platforms, making it hard for the HR team to piece together information. When it came to reviewing or updating this data, manual processes were a burden on time and made operations overly complicated.

This only added to the intricacy of managing the 700-strong workforce. McLaughlin & Harvey needed one system to do it all – to merge a multitude of services into one place to save time and reduce costs to the business.

The Solution

The senior management team, including Group HR Director Alison Reilly, developed the aim of finding one HR IT system that could record and manage all staff data and transform the HR team’s daily operations. This platform needed to record absences, manage annual leave, store all employee personal information, timesheet and expense submissions, and recruitment and selection – a vast range of actions.

After researching the HR software market and being shown the full potential of what the platform could offer, the management team knew Natural HR was the ideal fit for its complex business. Alison thought “Jason Dowzell (Natural HR CEO) was extremely knowledgeable and learned about our business, constantly managing our expectations.”

The flexibility that could be provided to McLaughlin & Harvey’s needs was of the upmost importance to the business and Natural HR was able to deliver to the highest level.

The Benefits

McLaughlin & Harvey worked with Jason and the Natural team on the implementation stage from March 2018 – ensuring the system did exactly what the company needed it to. The platform was launched in January 2019.

Alison has found “the system provides HR and management with great reporting capabilities and drives efficiencies into our processes.” Most importantly, less time is spent creating complex spreadsheets to record data.

As well as this, “the employee self service facility reduced the number of questions asked to HR and the training module has had a positive impact on the ability to create departmental training matrixes and decreases the time spent manually preparing this information,” Alison continued.

“We have developed a strong working relationship with the team at Natural and we work together closely to overcome any issues that arise.”

The Future

Alison and the senior management team will continue to collaborate with the Natural team to ensure the system delivers on every aspect of HR and management the business requires – improving workflows and increasing efficiency.

Alison finished “we will continue to work with our Account Manager to develop the solution, taking advantage of technological developments.”

To find out more about McLaughlin & Harvey, please visit