How to manage talent effectively is a key question in organisations. Yet we still know relatively little about talent's psychological reactions to their exclusive status. Based on psychological contract theory and research on status, this study analyses a sample of 321 employees identified as talent by their organisations, only some of whom were aware of their exclusive talent status. The results provide evidence that talent status awareness moderates the relationship between a range of employer inducements and talent obligations, such that it increases the importance of some inducements while diminishing that of others. The study contributes to the talent management literature by isolating specific effects of talent status awareness and calling into question extant evidence of its direct positive effects on talent attitudes. The findings also have implications for talent status communication, talent management, and future theorising of talent reactions to their exclusive status.