Purpose: Our purpose is to identify challenges of talent management of transition economies, based on a study of employee and employer obligations as elements of anticipatory psychological contracts (APC) among young entrants to labor market. We aim to analyze how APC differ between transitional and non-transitional countries and also if there are differences between transitional countries. Design/methodology/approach: We used a quantitative research design and conducted a survey using the PC Inventory among business students in Poland and Slovenia and the UK (as a control group). Findings: We found that APC in transitional countries differ significantly from the control group, with Polish and Slovenian APCs being more transactional and less relational than in the UK. Also, there are several differences between Poland and Slovenia, suggesting that CEE transitional countries cannot be considered a single region in this respect. Practical implications: We identified challenges related to talent management in transitional countries based on APC characteristics and proposed several ways in which employers and educators could help to build more realistic expectations and thus helping young talents with their transition from education to labor market. By increasing the understanding of APC employers can improve their talent management practices for the young talents. Originality/value: Our study offers unique insights into APC of the young entrants to labor market in transitional countries, with regard to both employee and employer obligations. The three types of APC were studied along with particular dimensions of APC. We linked talent management to the APC characteristics. Based on our results, we propose that socioeconomic context as well as national culture should be considered as antecedents of APC formation and given more attention in both psychological contract and talent management research.