Are millennials too spoiled for the workplace?

The economic recovery has not been kind to millennials. They make less money than previous generations did, they're more likely to be unemployed and they're burning through cash without saving much of it.

Now comes more evidence that the economic odds are stacked against them: Many corporate executives are making no effort to attract workers under age 35, a new survey says. One reason: Millennials are developing a reputation as workplace divas who need more handholding and who will bolt from jobs at the drop of a hat.

It's a tough row to hoe for a generation that should ideally be solidifying their careers, starting families and climbing the corporate ladder. But study after study shows that millennials have it harder than their parents did financially. They're coming of age in the workplace even as the economy continues to dig itself out of a Great Recession-sized hole -- and no one is making it easy for them.

More than a thousand chief financial officers worldwide gave their opinions about millennials in the survey, conducted by Duke University and CFO Magazine.

Plenty of them had good things to say about the younger generation: Some 70 percent praised their technological savvy, and 21 percent said they were more creative and innovative than the typical employee. They're also a relative bargain, willing to work for less money than others.

But millennials had some serious image problems, too. More than half of CFOs thought that millennials were less loyal to their companies, while 46 percent said they have an attitude of entitlement. And 31 percent said millennials require more intense management, while 27 percent said millennials are more interested in their own personal development than they are in the company.

In other words, you may be creative and know computers inside and out, but no one likes a prima donna.

Companies aren't really adapting to this new generation of workers, either. Only 21 percent are making work hours more flexible to accommodate millennials, the survey said, while 17 percent are allowing people to work from home, and just 10 percent are altering the corporate culture.

Perhaps companies would be more accommodating if millennials would stick around. But surveys show that the generation tends to job-hop more than their parents and grandparents did. A report this year by the Department of Labor shows that millennials have held an average of 6.2 jobs by age 27 -- and stayed in 57 percent of those jobs for less than a year. A separate study by Fidelity said that millennials stay with a job for just three years, on average.

The CFO survey also found that companies aren't going out of their way to diversify their boards of directors, either. Only about 4 percent of companies even have diversity goals for their boards, in fact. Many of the CFOs said there aren't enough women in particular with the experience and skillsets necessary to serve on a board.

Finally, CFOs in the U.S. said they were feeling better about the economy: They expect employment to rise by nearly 3 percent on average, and for wages to rise by more than 3 percent.

  • Kim Peterson

    Kim Peterson is a financial journalist covering business and the economy. She has written for several online and print publications, including MSN Money and The Seattle Times.